As a strength coach, I expect to be approached by people and asked questions related to training. A lot of the time I’m on the receiving end of statements that are misguided and downright wrong – and in those cases I have to put on my big girl pants and try to be as tactful as possible while still getting the right message across.
Needless to say, I was having a discussion with someone whom I care about greatly and they expressed to me word for word: “Lifting weights is pointless. Weights are stupid. I hate it.”
The first thing that came to my mind was: “UMMM…WHAT THE HELL?! That’s not a great thing to say to a trainer. Do you know who I am?”
Decidedly, this is not a great way to respond to people…so I chose to say this instead: “Well what do you mean by that? I would disagree.”
Essentially the reasoning behind their statement was that they didn’t feel like they had accomplished anything of value in the they time spent lifting. “I would rather get exercise by shoveling snow, working on a farm, accomplishing tasks.”
And I get that – I used to say that before I ever started doing any type of training. Unless there was a direct objective or something that was instantaneously accomplished I couldn’t wrap my head around doing it.
With that being said, I have obviously shifted my view on training seeing as I work as a strength coach and I try to promote training for health and general preparedness for an awesome life to anyone and everyone that I meet.
I would say that if you don’t feel like you’ve done anything of value after training it’s because you don’t understand what training is and you don’t understand why you are training.
What training typically entails is moving the body under load from point A to point B with good alignment to stimulate the muscles and the nervous system in cumulative fashion over an extended period of time.
However 90% of people train because they want a specific benefit from it – not because they want to move objects from point A to point B.
People are usually training for one of the following reasons:
- Preparation: you are in the process of changing the way you want your body to look or function. In this case training is getting you ready to do everything you ever dreamed of with ease while staying injury and pain free. This can range from wanting to have shoulders that look like pumpkins, fitting in to your old jeans, being able to walk 1km with a 5 bags of groceries in your hands, or playing with your kids outside for more than 10 minutes without feeling exhausted and gassed.
- Maintenance: Your body already looks and functions the way you want it to without pain or injury and you want to keep it that way.
Training is a means to an end – it is not the end.
Training is deliberate – there is an aim and an end result. It’s not immediate and there usually is no instant gratification unless you learn to enjoy the physical act of training. The results manifest through a cumulative effort of progressions.
So when you consider that the whole purpose of training is to accomplish a specific result albeit not instantly – it is anything but pointless every aspect of good training is purposeful.
Now if your view of training or weight lifting is just going to the gym and randomly moving objects without knowing or understanding why you’re doing it or what you’re doing it for…then yes, I would say that is pointless and probably a waste of your time and energy.
But that’s not training.
What’s on your mind?
Leave your comments, questions, or thoughts below – I want to hear from you.