Strength is the basis of all physical attributes. Simply, it is our ability to produce force against another object. The greater the amount of force produced, the stronger a person is. By increasing strength, you will increase your physical potential in all aspects of life. Every movement we make requires a degree of body strength to perform, and the stronger we become the better we perform them. Agility, Speed, Power or Balance, all physical skills require strength to execute. By training for, and increasing strength, you will increase your capacity for all other physical skills.

Any training program that doesn’t make the trainee stronger in some way will quickly stagnate and progress will slow as the strength limit is reached. And there it will stay until a change is made and the focus of training is moved to growing stronger.

The most effective way to get strong is to train with progressive loads on the compound movements, the squat, deadlift, overhead press and bench, and others. They’re known as compound lifts because they involve at least two joints in the movement (think of the hip and knee movement in the deadlift) as well as large muscle recruitment. These movements require the whole body to engage in lifting the weight. A heavier weight requires a greater muscular effort, which leads to a greater adaptive response. The whole body adapts to the increased stress by growing stronger, increasing your capabilities in any physical challenge.

Regardless of your training goals, whether it’s to lose weight, gain size and muscle, improve athletic performance or anything else, ask yourself if your program includes any progressive strength work. And if not, why not? There is no substitute for consistent hard work on the main strength lifts. They can only help your training goals and improve your physical ability, work capacity and your training potential.

In the next part I will talk about other benefits of strength training, including not just the physical, but also the emotional and psychological effects.

Thanks for reading

Owain Lloyd
Personal Trainer in Liverpool at Liverpool Personal Training Studios