One of the first things I hear from people when I tell them that we’re going to strength train is, I don’t want to be strong, and I just want to be in shape.

What most people fail to realize is if you are not strong then you are not fit. I don’t care how skinny you are, if you don’t have the ability to correctly squat your own body weight or pickup something relatively heavy, then you are not fit.

One of the benefits of strength training is not just the calories you burn while training, but the long-term effect it has on your metabolism. In a 1994 study, published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," participants undergoing strength training increased their caloric demands over a 24-hour period by an impressive 15 percent.

Another benefit of strength training is the positive effects it has for women. 

Osteoporosis affects one out of every five women in the United States. Fortunately, strength training can combat the onset of osteoporosis. Also, in a 10-year review of literature published in "Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise" in 1999, it was shown that strength training specifically increases bone mineral density. It was further shown that intense strength training, such as power lifting and Olympic weight lifting, decreases numerous risk factors for osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength and bone mass.

Strength is important in life.

Usually aging is accompanied by a loss of power and muscle mass, which is related to a loss of flexibility. As you can see from above; all of these things are related. Training for power development therefore can reduce the effects of aging. If you can stay very fast and strong into old age, you will remain more youthful. Another great outcome that this kind of training provides; is the ability for your body to produce more hormones like testosterone, which has a significant impact on menopause and muscular atrophy.

Some of the ways we train strength and power are:

  • Basic strength training: full body lifts like- squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, dips, and presses.
  • Olympic weight lifting: Snatches, Cleans, and Jerks and their derivatives.
  • Jumps of all kinds
  • Sprinting

In other words, usually the stuff that kicks your butt the most are the best things you can do.

These are also the things that most people who are new to training fear. In most cases, exercises with a higher degree of difficulty are things that people do limited amounts of, in their whole lives. Mostly because, people fear things they are unfamiliar with.

Like so many things, you have to face your fears to reap the big rewards. That goes with everything in life.