Get Strong!

Get Strong!

I want to address a question that I have had for years.

Why don’t people want to get strong?

I personally would think that most people would want to train to be strong, but in all my years in this industry I have found that not to be the case.

I would think that most women would love to be lean and super feminine and have the strength to make a guy jealous.

Female hitting 17 perfect pullups!

(How can you watch that and not want to go hit some pull-ups. Impressive!! Perfect example of being lean, super feminine looking, and having strength to make a guy jealous.)

And with guys I don’t think I should even have to say anything. I would think that every guy would want to become as strong as possible for their size. A guy should be able to protect and provide. Throughout the ages, strength was required to do both. (quick note: I am not saying that guys need to be huge. What I am saying is that I think that guys should be strong–there is a difference.)


Look at that stache!! Pure strength and ability to provide.

It seems like I constantly have to tell people to “go heavy.” With a lot of classes that I teach I say, “grab two HEAVY dumbbells,” and without fail the women in the class go right to the stack of neoprene dumbbells. What the What?!?

Why do we even have those dang dumbbells in the gym?! If it were up to me I would put those dumbbells away in a locked cabinet and only bring them out when someone is rehabbing an injury or when their toddlers are visiting and want to lift weights.

Seriously. Why is it that people come to a class to get in a good workout, but then they sabotage themselves by grabbing 5lb pink dumbbells? Do they think that those dumbbells are going to give them a good workout?

I find that without fail the people that make the biggest progression and change are the ones that aren’t scared of grabbing heavy weights. In fact, they are the ones that are trying to go as heavy as possible or pick the hardest variation of an exercise as they possibly can. These are the people that see the most progress.

They have an inner drive to become stronger, to build more lean muscle tissue, and to look better.

I find that without fail the people that come to class not to become stronger, but just to burn fat and get toned are the ones that are constantly trying to perform each exercise with the lightest weight possible and perform the easiest variation of each exercise.

It is almost as if they are afraid of getting results. They have no desire to get stronger. They just want to find the fastest way to looking like “so-and-so” with the least amount of work. They fail to understand that you just don’t look like “so-and-so” without putting in some hard freakin’ work.

You will never build the lean muscle that will get you a toned look until you lift heavy weights that challenge your current strength levels. Having the goal of getting stronger is one of the best ways to ensure that you get that lean and toned look.

When you are eating less and losing fat you need to ensure that you are building and shaping the muscle underneath so that you have something to reveal and be proud of when all the fat is gone. That muscle will only be built and shaped by lifting very challenging weights and performing challenging exercises. You must have the goal to get stronger if you hope to make that progression.

It is imperative that we understand the relationship of strength and a lean toned body.

You never get better at something until you push your limits. You don’t grow until you make yourself grow. A doctor doesn’t just magically become a doctor from watching old episodes of Doogie Houser. He has to put in hours and hours and hours of studying late in the night and just as many hours working on the floors in their residency. It is through these long hours of finding where their limits are and continually pushing through and past them that a young college student becomes the veteran surgeon that you would trust to cut you open.

Why do people think that the natural laws of progression and hard work don’t apply to the gym? If you want to look “toned” with lean shapely, and tight muscle, then you have to lift heavy weights. You have to push your body to its limits and then continually raise those limits. That is what will force your body to say, “Oh crap, I need to get stronger–time to start building lean muscle.”

Your body will never progress if you constantly use weight that is safe and weight that you have been using for years. If you are happy with where you currently are and the way your body looks then keep using the same “safe” weights, and hitting the same intensity levels in your workouts.

But if you aren’t happy with where you currently are, then it is time that you give yourself a gut check and grab the weights that kind of scare you. You have to push yourself if you want to progress. A lean toned body is found by those that aren’t afraid to put in the kind of work that qualifies them to have a lean and toned body.



Seth Bigelow