Why train for Strength?
What is the importance of strength in a movement practice?
I often like to say that strength is like having money in the bank: it creates possibilities. If you have no money, you can’t buy anything. If you have no strength, you can’t move.
Of course, most of us have some degree of capacity for movement, which means we already have a certain amount of strength. The question therefore becomes, how much do we need?
This is a deeply personal question, and depends very much on your goals, lifestyle and desires. You’ll need different amounts of strength to be a professional dancer or to lift your grandchild up in the air, to climb the stairs or to climb a cliff, or to do a handstand or a cartwheel. The type of strength you’ll need will also be qualitatively different.
The role of your coach should be to assess what it is you want to do, and then work out how strong you need to be in order to make sure you can enjoy those activities. In this case the training is very specific and it prepares you for a particular activity, hobby, profession or task.
However, it is also worth investing in a general strength practice. Taking the time to step back from your goals and build your physical capacity is like saving up: you gradually build a level of strength that offers you freedom of choice. It gives you a baseline that not only balances your physique (so you’re less likely to get injured) but also develops a confidence in your body’s ability to take on new challenges, to life your life adventurously, without holding back. Essentially, you will be over prepared for life, so that you don’t need to worry about whether you can do something or not.
And as winter approaches and the weather takes a turn towards colder temperatures, this is a perfect time to invest into your strength practice. Not only are our outdoor practices a little less inviting than in the summer, but we instinctively want to eat more and move more slowly and both of these naturally benefit your strength training as they help you build more muscle and refine your quality of lifting far better. When the spring comes you’ll be ready. Ready for anything!