Lifting weights can’t change your DNA, but it will create the best body you can build.
Society today is driven by imagery, advertising and creative marketing that portrays physiques that typically fit a “one-size-fits-all” ideal. And chasing this ideal often ends in failure and dejection.
When it comes to your intention in the weights room, aspire to create the physique you are able to and become the best version of you, rather than a second-rate version of someone else’s physique you saw on social media.
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Own your reality
We can all feel happier and more fulfilled if we focus on making the most of what we have, rather than attempting to transform ourselves into something we’re not.
We are built genetically by our DNA. While this set of encoded instructions determines our physical traits, strength training influence the expression of certain genes and can help us reach our potential for physical development and performance.
However, no matter how much we put into our exercise and nutrition, we cannot alter our genetic make-up or DNA.
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Define your own standards
When we start to shift our focus from chasing an idealised vision for ourselves to maximising our potential, we not only become more self-aware but discover our own standards of beauty and ability.
And training for physical strength is what ultimately changes your physique in a manner that manifests your true potential.
And the benefits are more than just physical. This training positively influences our hormonal profile, which is paramount to optimal health, wellbeing and performance. Additional by-products associated with improving your hormonal profile include increased confidence and less stress, anxiety and depression.
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The ageing antidote
Training your body to lunge, hinge, pull, push and carry builds a body that not only looks good but also feels good and moves well. And this functional strength is the antidote to ageing.
When you’re in the gym, focus on movements over muscles – this will always deliver the best results. Do not marry your mind or body to a single modality, especially when training to build the best version of you.
You want to transform your body using the movements and exercises that have been advancing athletic performance for decades.
A combination of strength, endurance, power, speed, agility, mobility, stability and functional training will empower you to develop your true capabilities across the board and will help you develop that structural balance that is key to a well-rounded physique.
Living life lazy, unfit, out of shape and weak is ultimately a choice, much like fear. Fear is a choice. Don’t choose it. Why would you want to remain weak if you can become strong?
When training for strength, the more you practice, the more you create beneficial habits through movement. And when you start to treat “getting strong” as a skill, you start to make major progress.
Improvement and growth is not about the depth of the pool of sweat you create. Rather, being strong is about how your body moves as a unit. This is what allows you to improve your movement both inside the gym, avoid injuries and prepares your body for the hard hits in life.
Moreover, developing physical strength requires indomitable mental strength. If you don’t have it when you start, you will have it when you finish as mental and physical strength go hand in hand.
The pursuit of strength lies in the will of your mind. As such, developing power and tenacity through strength training will not only change the way the world sees you, but it will change the way you view the world. When you learn to build your unique body, it will build your character.
By Lil Kimble, powerlifting coach, founder of OTG Athletic, and multiple Powerlifting World Champion
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.
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