Funny you should ask my friend.
What if it is because I SAID SO…
Ok ok I am not that type of person so let me give a better explanation.
Strength training has a number of benefits for a person that I will lay out for you here in this article.
But to name a few: Strength training leads to better muscle endurance, better maintenance of muscle tissue, increased bone health, body fat control, and decreased injury risk.
The more important one to lay out is that in a CrossFit style gym or workouts that are intense in nature, it is important to have a base level of strength to express true power (which is important in a CrossFit Workout).
Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time. It is one of the components of muscular fitness, along with muscular strength and power.
As you can see it is important to have the ability to to contract your muscles repeatedly especially in a CrossFit gym setting.
But really, why is muscle endurance important you ask? Well let me tell you!
Muscular endurance important to Increase your ability to do activities like Climbing stairs, lifting boxes, carrying children, moving objects, or chopping wood without getting tired. It also helps you keep a healthy body weight.
When performance based training is your thing having great muscle endurance will lead to better outcomes in workouts.
Power. What is it?
Power is the ability to exert a maximal force in as short a time as possible, as in accelerating, jumping and throwing implements. While strength is the maximal force you can apply against a load, power is proportional to the speed at which you can apply this maximal force.
When you think strength that is things like Deadlifts, Squats, Presses, Push-ups and all other related movements.
Power Exercises are things like Clean, Snatch, Jerks, Med Ball Slams, Jumping, Sprints (on various machines), and short duration workouts that are explosive in nature.
Both are important in fitness and have their own specific benefits!
True Expression of Power
Above I laid out the differences in strength training and how to tell the difference between both.
Now lets talk specifically about why I did that.
With that knowledge you have to know that to express TRUE power you have to be strong enough.
This means that to get the full benefits of power producing exercises and workouts you have to be able to tap into the energy systems required to do them.
This means that to do things like the Olympics lifts and gain the explosive power they help a person to attain, you have to be able to overcome an object in a nature that produces power.
To do things like kipping pull-ups (aka power producing pull-ups) you have to be able to perform strict movements in a manner that allows you to produce power.
Another important thing to consider is that when doing things like sprinting you may find that for some people (maybe even you) a 20-30 sec sprint either on foot, a rower, or a Assault Bike may not be that fatiguing.
However if you watch a person with a base level strength perform this same test or activity they will be lying on the floor rolling around gasping for air in agony.
This is because with a base level of strength we can participate in power producing activities and obtain all the benefits.
Getting Tired vs. Getting Better
When I train people, make workout programs, or run classes I have one thing in mind as does my team. That thing is “How can I make people better?”
With training our goal is to get better, lose body fat, gain muscle, etc…
But with that we have to remember that “Getting Tired” or “Feeling exhausted” doesn’t necessarily mean you are “Getting Better”.
As a young Coach I used to think my programming was great if I had clients come up to me and tell me how smashed they were by a workout I gave them. It was like my badge of honor.
Then I heard this quote: “Any Coach can make a client tired. But not many Coaches can make clients better.”
I took this to heart and began down a journey of enlightenment.
That journey lead me to a place where I realized that:
- I want my clients to do functional fitness
- I want my clients to be strong and powerful
- I want them to move well
- I want them to taste intensity (a few times a week)
- I want them to live longer
But most important of all I actually want them to be more FIT.
Having more fitness requires a person to be strong, flexible, agile, and be able to express fitness at every level.
The only way to give my clients that opportunity is to have Strength Training at the base of everything we do.
The main theme I want you to get from this article is that strength training is important in every aspect of life.
Want to lose weight? Great lets do some strength training.
Want to gain muscle? Strength Train
Want to express power? Strength Train
Want to live a long time and have a healthy body?…. You know the answer.
Power producing exercises are cool and all but wouldn’t you rather be able to express them fully and safely?
If your answer is yes then you know what to do!
Coach Cody Smith
Muscle Endurance: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/physical-activity/muscular-strength-and-endurance
Strength Training: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits