1. Other than maybe movement itself, strength is at the top of the hierarchy or the base of the pyramid, depending how you look at it. That’s why its listed as #1. As Coach Brett Jones likes to say, absolute strength is the glass. Everything else is what you can put in the glass. The bigger the glass, the more you are capable of. A smaller glass (less strength) and you will ultimately be limited in what you can do.
2. Strength carries over in everyday life. Not only will you have a greater ability to perform physical tasks but in addition, the confidence that you can. See some examples of that HERE. Some days it may you are more capable, others it might mean that you can perform a bunch of work and still feel great the next day.
3. Most sports are strength based. Hit the ball harder, hit the other person harder, run faster. These are all centered around strength. Produce more force efficiently and be a more efficient athlete. Not only is producing force important but also absorbing it, whether it’s landing or another object/person. You need strength to keep you from getting injured.
4. What about endurance sports you say? Taking #1 and #3 into consideration, to have strength endurance you must first have strength to endure. How much, is debatable but you’ve got to have some sort of strength on which to build your endurance. I’m not trying to take a shot at those who enjoy running, although it just so happens that I don’t, but I think that the ability to run a long distance has much less carryover to everyday life than the ability to do a solid deadlift, rock bottom squat, a few push ups and a pull up. Those things require much more full body movement, coordination and strength. If you enjoy endurance training, do both. Here is just a random example: take someone who is relatively out of shape and can struggle from time to time climbing several flights of stairs. This person will better climb those stairs after running a couple times a week to “get in better shape” or spending half that time learning to goblet squat for several sets and move their lower body a little better? I’ll take option # 2. Depending on how you manipulate the weight, reps and sets you can work on strength, mobility and elevate the heart rate all in one.
5. Lastly, for some of us, the former is all well and good but the top priority is really just looking better (especially naked, at the beach, favorite dress, whatever). People want that toned, lean look and to feel better about themselves. The best way to transform your body is through strength training. The words strength training can be somewhat vague but let’s just say it doesn’t involve pink dumbbells, dancing or hundreds of reps per workout. It means progressive resistance with a moderate to heavy weight done for a few reps.
– Mike Baltren
Amen sir, very good post and completely useful for every fitness application. Strength also make our endurance easier, as we get stronger the work of the lower intensity activity such as running causes us to use less energy. So runners should do some strength and power also!