Mid-Week Tease…

This is a mid-week tease for my upcoming column, The Framework Of Fitness Part II; The Cornerstone Question.  Below is an excerpt:


“Before one can ask the question, “how many sets and repetitions should I perform of a given strength exercise?” one should first ask the question, “what am I really trying to accomplish?”  

That’s a hard question to answer as it applies to strength training.  The utility of strength training is vast and has many applications; conditioning for athletes, muscle toning, muscle shaping, muscle building, retarding the aging process (which is an umbrella over many other virtues), building strength, increasing flexibility, and the list goes on.

Most will seek multiple aspects of that list.  When I ask someone why they want to lift weights, among the more common answers I hear are as follows;

  • build strength
  • tone muscles
  • shape muscles
  • increase flexibility
  • add muscle mass

People may seek those to different degrees, and with varying priorities, but most want some combination of these. ”


Please check back this weekend for the completed column.  Thank you.

Oh, and there’s this from the seminal Alt/Country band, The Bottle Rockets.  Enjoy…

4 responses

  1. So here I go again with my “bodyweight exercises” talk. I found I’m growing stronger from bodyweight exercises opposed to when I lifted weights alone. But what’s your take? Do you think weights are ideal for developing functional strength opposed to bodyweight exercises?

    • Josie: For those who can do body-weight exercises, the utility is great. There is a kind of strength developed with them that is, in my opinion, superior to that gained with traditional strength training.

      The negative side of body-weight exercises as that they can be much more harsh on joints and tendons than traditional strength exercises.

      Also, I don’t recommend body-weight exercises for those over 60(ish) — even if they can do them, I think traditional strength training offers more value and is less harsh on diminishing bone density.

  2. For me, it always has been about what I want to look like at any point in time & what my goals are at that point in time. I gained easily when I was younger so this was always a must for me.. I had to know how to lift for me, how to eat for me & how to do cardio for me & nobody else…

    Looking forward to the post.

  3. Jody: I like the way you acknowledge changing goals at changing times in your life. So many people fail to change the goal as their life evolves, and thus end up frustrated with the means.

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