There are as many ways to define “health” as there are ways to get healthy. As men with demanding schedules and lives, however, we need to think about the safest and most efficient solution to good health. Putting muscle on your body is the most effective preventative medicine that you can administer to combat metabolic disease and the aging process. By creating muscle density, we increase the demand that the body places on individual systems: digestive, cardiovascular, nervous, skeletal, etc. It’s about creating efficiency in your physiological systems and becoming your own advocate.
Now, change your definition of strength training: don’t focus on how much weight you’re lifting, but how WELL you’re lifting it. Form is everything to keep the muscles engaged and mitigate the impact that bad form can have on the joints, connective tissues, and bones. And stop counting – look for the result: work to fatigue such that you know the impact that you’ve had on the musculature.
In essence, move slowly through a safe range of motion until you cannot move the weight through that range of motion anymore. If you want to change your physiology, this is the safest, most efficient way to get strong, but beware: If you start strength training, you’re going to start making other positive decisions – it’s going to have a domino effect in your life. You’ll be motivated to eat better, sleep better, and you’ll feel more energetic.
Let go of the concept that you have to work harder, and instead work smarter by looking to change the goals of good health. Put in the work in a safe and efficient manner, look for progress, get good rest between trainings, and get stronger to fight aging and metabolic disease.
Joshua C. Cagney, M.A.
InForm Fitness, Studio Manager and Strength Training Instructor