A Thoughtful Pursuit of Strength

I’m not a bodybuilder. Nor do I plan to be. The only reason why I would ever hit the gym would be to get stronger. Stronger than I was yesterday.

Strength is a skill. The more you lift, the better you get at it. But you got to have a plan. Pick up one and stay put. I don’t see much value in switching programs every month. Give it some time — three to six months is a good commitment before you make a switch.

Strength, however, cannot be the be-all-and-end-all of fitness. It shouldn’t be. You should also focus on building endurance (cardio? And by that I don’t mean running on a treadmill!) to round-up your fitness goals. And let’s not forget how good it is for your heart.

It was irritating to catch myself struggling for breath after climbing a flight of stairs despite a new Deadlift PR! (I’m not overweight. Am just the right heavy for my height.) My mind went: “what’s the point, bro?” And I couldn’t agree less. Upon deeper analysis, I realized that I wasn’t doing enough cardio… and ignoring your heart isn’t a good idea.

Sure, I get almost the same benefits of cardio doing additional exercises in the weight room. But four days a week is just adequate. Anything more can be an overkill. I’m not a pro athlete. Amateur at best (miles to go before I can even think about competing at a local powerlifting event)!

Went out for a run yesterday. Using a run-walk program that eventually trains you to run a 10k. It’s a good start. And I felt so good! The best things in life is just out there, for free. Just lace up and run!

My friend, Shikhar, thinks it will kill my strength gains. He may be right. But being a Hybrid Athlete is a different ball game. And I think I’m game for it.

Read Alex Viada’s post on the practical considerations of combing lifting and running for more inspiration.

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