How strong, is strong enough?

Posted on 18. Feb, 2010 by in Muscle Building


I had a client this morning that told me that she would only like to move up 10 more pounds on her squat. When I asked her why, she quickly responded that going another 10 pounds would be “strong enough” for her, so she didn’t want to move up anymore, and consequentially get stronger.

Huh?? Strong enough?

Now, just to explain the entire scenario, this lady is not training for a sport, and is not training for any kind of competition…she is simply training to stay healthy, build some muscle and (I thought) to get stronger. Over the last two years in working with her, she has made incredible progress. She has built muscle, got much stronger, eliminated all of her pain and physical problems and feels better than ever. So, you can understand why I was a little perplexed by her declaration that she doesn’t want to get any stronger.

Before I go on, I will tell you that as long as she is working with me, she will keep getting stronger…the weight will keep increasing (safely) and she will keep reaping the benefits of this kind of training.

Getting back to the question at hand…”How strong is strong enough?” The answer is “it depends.” If you are making progress, and your strength training is not causing issues or pain, I don’t see why it should be a problem getting stronger. Strength is never a bad thing. There are times when your strength training may be causing some serious issues to your joints, more because you are pushing (or pulling) weight that is extremely heavy. However, even then, there are ways to continue to get stronger without causing injury.

I think that a lot of the apprehension that some people have with increasing their weights and thus, getting stronger, is fear. Many people have never envisioned themselves using “big weights” or hitting big numbers. The fact is, however, that the only limits barring joint issues and physical problems are in the mind. Once a person gets past that mental limitation, the sky, as ‘they’ say is the limit.

I recently helped a 52 year old women squat 225 pounds. Two years ago, this woman would have never thought that she would be squatting at all, not to mention 225 pounds!! Why did where get there with her? Why not!? It might have been the challenge of it, the feeling of accomplishment from doing something that she never thought she could before? It really doesn’t matter. The point is, that getting stronger (safely) has nothing but benefits, and no real dangers.

Life is much easier when you are physically (and mentally) stronger. There is really no doubt about that. Not to mention the numerous physical benefits that someone gets from strength training. So how strong is strong enough? That is for you to decide. However, just some food for thought…I think you can never really be strong enough!

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