A Stronger You

I spent a lot of my time growing up in the weight room. I can tell you first hand, it is a very intimidating environment in the beginning. I was surrounded by big, burly guys, who could squat, bench, and deadlift what seemed to be a million pounds.

I was an overweight ten-year-old kid who was there for the kids’classes, but I knew from the start that weight training would be my passion. Over the years, strength training has been the best thing for my physical and mental health.

photo taken by gabe rousseau
I lift frequently as strength training has many lifelong health benefits, such as living a longer life. (Gabe Rousseau)

A brief definition of strength training is when our muscles are put under eccentric and concentric stress with the goal of increasing strength and size of the muscles.

This is most commonly done with barbells, kettlebells, machines, and free weights, but it can also be done without equipment at all.

Strength training comes with a ton of stereotypes. When thinking about weight training, a lot of people think of the bodybuilders who are very lean and cut, or the powerlifters who look like the human reincarnations of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It is perfectly okay to not want to be either of those kinds of people. It is still important and beneficial to incorporate strength training into your weekly routines.

Strength training has dozens of both physical and mental health benefits. In this current day and age, mental health is being affected more than ever. US News published a study by Harvard Medical School, where they discovered that strength training improves symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The report reads, “Strength training provides an opportunity to overcome obstacles in a controlled, predictable environment, increasing mental resilience.¨ This has also been linked to an increase in confidence and self-esteem.

It’s likely that at one point or another, you have heard an adult, such as a parent or a grandparent, complain about pain. Whether that’s knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, etc., strength training develops strong and healthy muscles, which will help cease these types of pains.

photo taken by gabe rousseau
I like to train with others because it is great way to stay motivated.

Strength training improves bone density and increases the quality of your muscles, tendons, and other tissues in your body.

Most importantly, strength training improves cardiovascular health, also known as your heart. This leads to living a longer, healthier life.

One of the most difficult things about strength training is finding the best workout routine for you. It is important to know that what works for other people might not necessarily work for you.

Your workouts should be based on your health goals. If your goal is to bench 500lbs, then your workout routine is likely to look different from someone who is trying to just stay active.

Even if you don’t own weights or have a weight set, there are still great ways to improve your strength and physical health doing body weight exercises such as pushups, squats, lunges, situps, and others.

“Strength training provides an opportunity to overcome obstacles in a controlled, predictable environment, increasing mental resilience.¨ ”

— Harvard Medical School

Primal Strength and Fitness, Level Up Fitness, and Anytime Fitness are all gyms in Stoughton that could be a great place to start. They all offer group classes, individual training, and other services that will help you take off in your strength training journey.  

I have dedicated the latter part of my life to helping others with their strength journey and would be happy to answer any questions. Feel free to shoot me an email ([email protected]) with any questions you may have.

It is important to remember that your strength journey will not be an overnight thing. If you stay patient, consistent, and most importantly, have fun, you will find out quickly just how great strength training can be.