Do I need strength training?

or is it only for the girl next door?

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

My Opinion

Very often when I am taking a new client through their assessment, we get onto the discussion of goals and start chatting about strength training. Generally speaking, guys are all too happy to build some additional strength but one issue that girls often raise is an objection to looking too bulky, and that they don't feel the need to be strong. This is a fair concern if being strong means looking athletic and possibly losing some femininity - if that is in fact your opinion. However, being strong doesn’t mean resembling the Avengers cast or waltzing around with muscles bulging out your sexy V-neck singlet. Most strength training, especially in the beginning, will illicit more neurological efficiency with your muscles. This means you don’t necessarily get bigger but instead you learn to use more of the muscle fibers than you did previously (check out our article by Marco for more explanation on this). 


For me, getting stronger is about allowing myself to do more with my kids, from carrying them when they need me to or lifting the sofa when they accidentally let their model cars skid under (a surprisingly frequent occurrence which makes me wonder whether they are doing it on purpose!). Fortunately, my wife is strong enough to look after herself and often finds herself helping me out with any heavy lifting that needs to be done. 


There are a lot of fun family activities that I would miss out on if I was weaker. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the harder it is to build base line strength - so if you are knocking on a bit then I'd suggest getting started!


As an example, bouncing back from injury takes longer as the years pass: a person who has strong legs will recover a lot quicker from an injury compared to someone who has less strength. This is just one of the many reasons why strength training is important for everyone.

The good:

Being stronger affords you quicker recovery from injury, a longer enhanced quality of life, being more capable physically when it comes to doing things for fun and being self-sufficient (whether that's in old age or fixing things around the house).

Who is it for?

Anyone who generally doesn’t want to suck at life or rely on those around them to carry their groceries. 

Watch out:

I once heard that this guy was so strong that he killed a lion with his bare hands. His girl at the time thought he would look more trendy with a shorter haircut and buzz cut him a spikey new look and he lost all his strength. So be sure to first cut off a little bit of hair and test to make sure you don’t have the same issue. 


You could just be weak and pray that one day you can afford a good-looking nurse to open your Nutella jar.

The Verdict:

There is no real disadvantage to being stronger. It does take some effort and understanding but most people can benefit from some additional strength training.

What others say: 

“ Yes of course I think strength training is important for everyone, for you, your grandparents and the girl next door. Strength training helps with so much more than just looking good: it increases bone density, overall health and helps you just be a stronger, more capable human being

Charis Maguire