Everyone* – Everyone with the possible exception of high level athletes who are more than likely strong enough and technique and recovery take over the number 1 slot…
Pretty much whatever your physical goal is, getting stronger should be your focus. Yes, even fat loss. So let’s start there.
Too many people, both men and women alike, become cardio addicts when it comes to fat loss. And while cardio certainly has it’s place, it should be in the back seat of the fat loss car behind the driver (diet) and the navigator (strength training).
The main training focus should always be getting a little stronger, whether that is adding a little more weight to the bar or doing a few more reps at the same weight. Stronger = more muscle mass = more calories burnt through effort and at rest due to that added muscle mass.
Since the main driver of fat loss is always diet, training needs to help you maintain, if not build, as much muscle mass as you can. As you’ll see below getting stronger will allow you to do just that.
Who is likely to be more muscular? The guy bench pressing 100kg for reps or the guy bench pressing 75kg for reps? Yeah, ok smart ass, assume the guys both weigh the same…
Building muscle relies on 3 m’s:
- mechanical tension – training volume (sets x reps x load)
- muscular damage – challenging sets, novel movements, eccentrics (at least until you adapt to them)
- metabolic stress – lighter loads (50% of your 1RM) for 15-25 reps or until your muscles burst into flames and you can’t squeeze out another rep.
In each case, the higher your 1 rep max is, the higher the corresponding rep percentages are going to be, and the more muscle mass you are likely to gain.
Look at the best in the world at their sport and I can guarantee they are not only more skilled and talented, but are also stronger than their peers. More strength = higher work capacity and greater power output. If you are more powerful you are more explosive and therefore faster. Add a greater work capacity and you can go for longer, leaving you concentrating on dominating your sport and not desperately wondering if you’re going to survive the sudden lack of oxygen!
If you want to improve your running, for example, getting stronger legs, glutes and core will allow you to put more force into the ground on each stride, injury proof your joints and make you a much more efficient and powerful a runner.
So regardless of your goal, focus more on getting stronger, and see your results soar.
Get strong, stay strong,