How to Find the Fountain of Youth

How to Find the Fountain of Youth

What I am going to say shouldn’t come as a surprise - getting older sucks!  Once you past 21, your birthdays slowly descend from a happy occasion to get your friends together for a celebration  into a disappointing reminder of how you made another trip around the sun.

At one point or another, we have heard someone say “wait until you’re my age!”  This is usually from an older guy at the gym who just finished another long rant about their “glory days” and how much they used to lift.

As we get older, almost everyone gets weaker.  Almost.

As we get older, our work, family, and other obligations takes precedence over living in the gym. Muscular weakness can lead to a significant decrease in our quality of living and life expectancy.

There has been numerous studies that has analyzed the link between morality and muscular strength.  Specially, this study has concluded that muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all caused and cancers in men even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders.

In non-science language, by not focusing on strength training can increase your chance of death and cancer.  

Here’s five reasons why strength training is the hidden foundation of youth

1) Better for Your Health and Longevity

New research has demonstrated that muscular strength declines significantly as we age.  This same study has also showed increasing one’s muscular strength is one of the most effective ways to slow down the aging process.  Sarcopenia, the aging related decline of muscle mass, is known to greatly reduce performance in daily living activities and is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.  

Any type of consistent resistance training will slow sarcopenia, enhance functional performance, and reduce degenerative disease risks. A recent University of Pittsburgh study found that greater muscle strength was strongly correlated with lower mortality risk in a population of elderly men and women.

2) More Time-Efficient

As we get older, our time becomes more and more precious with our ever growing work and family demands.  With today’s busy schedules and obligations, it’s almost impossible to schedule an hour for yourself. . We simply cannot afford to be spending excessive amount of time ( or money) at something that doesn’t have a significant rate of return for us.  

If you value your time (as i’m sure you do), you want to get maximize results with minimal time within the gym.   To do this, you need to emphasize compound movements into your workouts so you are challenging multiple muscle groups at once.  The more muscle groups being used, the calories you burn, and the better progress you make. In addition, there are three main triggers for muscle growth, which are:

  1. Mechanical Tension (Heavy Weights)

  2. Metabolic Stress (the pump)

  3. Muscular damage (Soreness)

Of these three triggers, mechanical tension is the most important.  The best method to create more muscular tension is by training with heavy, compound exercises.  As you get stronger you’ll be able to lift more weight, making things easier both in the gym and in the real world.

3) Real World Carryover

In recent years, there’s been more of an emphasis on selecting exercises to help improve your overall quality of living and performance rather than pure appearance.  Most types of exercises improve both appearance and function, but some types improve functional movement perform everyday than others.

Instead of focusing on isolation exercises, the majority of your training should consist of the following:

  1. Hip Hinge (Deadlifts, Sumo Deadlifts, KB Swings.)

  2. Squat (Back squat, goblet squats, Front Squats)

  3. Push (Bench press and variations)

  4. Pull (Pull Ups, row variations)

  5. Single Leg (Split squats, reverse lunges.)

  6. Carries (Farmer’s walks, suitcase carries)

If the majority of your training programs consists of these movement and their variations, you’ll be on the fast path to maximizing your progress and feeling stronger both within and outside the gym.    

4) More Motivating

Without question, there is a difference between “working out” and “training”.  Let me ask you a question: the moment you step into the gym, do you know what you are doing and why you are going it?   When you are lacking the direction, focus, and progression, you are merely working out. While you are putting the time, and energy into your workouts, your progress may be minimal and it’s even difficult to objectively tell if you are even making progress.

On the flip side, when you know what you are doing the moment you step into the gym and specifically how each exercise is helping you achieve your set goal, you are training.  Chasing concrete and measurable goals is the hallmark of actual training.

The all too common goal of “I just want to be active” or I want to “lose weight and gain muscle is too lackluster to continuously motivate yourself  week after week to ensure real progress. You need a plan on exactly HOW to dominate and achieve your goals. Progress needs to be objectively defined, therefore you must have a plan in place to achieve your goals.  

5) The Superior Method to Building Self-Confidence

If we were all honest with ourselves for a moment, we are all drawn to strength training by some form of insecurity,  lack of self-confidence, and/or fear of being unattractive. By focusing on strength training you can develop genuine self-confidence because it gives a real, practice value.

Psychologists have discovered that the bedrock of confidence is something called efficacy, or taking pride in what one is able to do.  Being able to lift heavy ass weights is a fundamental ability anyone can take pride in. It may seem like a small thing, but the ability to shift your mindset away from the appearance to being strong could give you the emotional well being a big everyday boost.  

In short, if you’re not prioritizing strength training, start right now.  By getting stronger in the gym, this will be your golden ticket to living your best life. Even with our busy lives and judging multiple obligations, we can find an hour to finding the best version of ourselves.  

When you put a premium on getting stronger, everything becomes easier.  Doing your normal everyday activities will become easier, your health will dramatically improve, you’ll be more confidence and motivation than ever before.

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