4518 Why Strength Matters
31 Toes to Bar
31 Push Up
31 Shoulder to Overhead 95/65
31 Toes to Bar
31 Push Up
31 Hang Power Clean 95/65
... Tomorrow is Thursday? Are you gonna be a zombie? Or are you gonna to go to bed on time and fuel up to come in ready to smash!?
"Well I don't want to get TOO strong..." can you believe it? People actually say that! Maybe you've even said it. The truth is though, the only time when strength might be a problem is if you were to prioritize strength to the determent of your health or another fitness domian. You see the great strongmen and power-lifters and traditionally, you'll see mountainous humans, very strong and impressive, but with a slew of health problems, obese, high blood pressure, sleep apnea. How many of you think of those characters when you think of strength? It makes sense, they are the strongest. Wipe the slate clean of your perceptions though. If you're getting stronger AND faster, more enduring, flexible, accurate, balanced etc. you won't become the grunting hulk you're afraid of becoming. There truly isn't a reason why you can't become stronger and more enduring at the same time. The endurance world as well as the purely strength world would tell you otherwise though.
That fear is completely un-warranted. Those mega humans eat 5k-10k calories a day, train only for strength and power, and many have a little or a lot of pharmaceutical help as well. (Most of you eat less than half of the bottom end of that. Imagine eating double and then some- every day)
As a person who values their current and long term health, strength should be a priority of yours. At CrossFit you'll get stronger a lot of different ways, but there's really no reason or application for you to want to hold back in becoming stronger, and it has a lot less to do with your current competitive nature or desire to progress in CrossFit and everything to do with longevity. If you're a year or less into your CrossFit journey, you're likely setting new personal records anytime you look at a weight. You're making awesome neurological adaptations. Just learning how to move exterior weights helps you to quickly increase the loads. Those PR's, after a while, become fewer and further between and that's when the real work starts. Once you're pressed up against that ceiling, you learn that making strength gains is a long and arduous process. Much longer than loosing weight. Much longer than acquiring new skills. Aging doesn't make it any easier either.
The long and slow process is the bad news, the good news is that strength and the health benefits surrounding it- muscle mass, bone density, resilience- all have staying power. The gains you make in strength are relatively easy to maintain. Take Tom as an example, he got strong AF in high school, hasn't done much in the way of intentional training since, and a couple of months into HCF and he's the strongest dude. You can literally take a 10 or 15 year break and be nearly as strong. You can't say that about your cardio endurance or stamina (take a week off for sickness or vacation- how does that first WOD back feel?) As a 30-50 something, you may see strength as something to benefit you right now, but 20 or 30 years from now, the strength you build today will equal independence. There will certainly be a day, very far down the road when you really can't gain anymore strength. Sadly, there are millions of 20 somethings who are the strongest they will ever be in their entire lives, and if that's not very strong, that's a big problem. Why on earth wouldn't you want to bank as much strength as possible before it's too late? Strength is never an accident, so there's no reason to limit your efforts to get strong. "Whoops, too strong, I accidentally dead lifted a car and I'm the size of a house. That's not very sexy!"
You're in good hands though. Our track record is currently 100%. Zero women have quit Harvest because we made them into veiny bodybuilders or power-lifting monsters.