I spent a good bit of my childhood being weak. I was smaller than the other kids, and not necessarily due to height. That came later.
But what I was happened to be skinny as hell. I inherited this from my father, who was a notoriously thin man despite his profession in law enforcement. However, I didn’t really care where I got it from, I wanted to know how to get rid of it.
One day, one of my parents–I can’t remember which–handed me a couple of five lbs dumbbells. I was still in elementary school, and they were kind of heavy at the time, but I lifted them and lifted them until they weren’t.
Five pounds isn’t much of anything, and I figured that out pretty quickly, but they were what they were, and there was only so much I could do.
You see, I figured out pretty early in life that it’s always better to be strong than weak. Strong kids preyed on the week kids. Not all of them, mind you, but enough that I knew strength was an asset.
But you know who the strong kids never preyed on? Other strong kids.
A bully could be the strongest kid in class, but he didn’t mess with the other strong kids. Yeah, he was stronger, but he respected them. Maybe he feared them just a little, like they would be too much of a challenge and make the veneer of invulnerability slip away.
That carries over as adults, with stronger adults tending to be hassled less than weaker adults. This goes for both genders, as a matter of fact, though strong women are more likely to be harassed than strong men. The guys who hassle people are sexist knobs. What can I say?
However, strength is also a net benefit to your life in general. Let me tell you a little story.
A couple of years ago, my family moved into our current home. Due to the time we were moving, we couldn’t get a lot of help. One good friend was there, and my son who is massive for his age, and me.
We were trying to move our stand-up freezer up some steps, which isn’t particularly fun. Yes, the freezer was empty, but it’s still pretty heavy and our dolly wasn’t built for appliances.
My son and friend pushed from the bottom with all they had, but it wouldn’t even budge the freezer. I had to use every ounce of strength I possessed to move it. Luckily, I had some.
I’d been lifting hard and heavy for months by that point and was lifting some semi-respectable weights at the gym. So there I was, using it in the real world and seeing first hand one important thing that people often ignore.
Strength is a strength, weakness is a weakness.
Yes, it sounds pretty “duh,” but think about our society today. There’s no emphasis on men–or anyone, for that matter–to gain physical strength. We live in a world where there are gyms everywhere, for just a few bucks a month, and there’s no imperative for anyone to become strong.
This is despite the inherent advantages of being stronger.
Do this for me. Think of the most gentle thing you can do, something that requires as little strength as possible. Something like picking a flower. After all, little girls do that at a young age, so that’s got to be something pretty gentle, right?
Now, ask yourself, could the World’s Strongest Man winner do that?
Of course he can. Just because he’s powerful doesn’t mean he can’t dial it down to pick a single flower.
But, can a three-year-old girl pull a semi?
There is literally no advantage to being physically weak. None. And yet, in this age of fitness centers on almost every street corner, the upcoming generation of men are weaker now that ever before. That means the men and women reading this need to step up. You can’t count on someone else being there to help you.
Yet there are so many ways it’s beneficial, and not just in moving freezers.
In a fight, if all else is equal the stronger fighter will win. Every time. Strength allows someone to hit harder and resist techniques more effectively.
On season two on NRATV’s Noir, Colion Noir and Darren LaSorte went shooting with pro bodybuilder Branch Warren, who is an avid shooter. They took shots with an M-14, which is a pretty heavy rifle, just to see if strength could play a factor.
Warren had the least difficulty keeping the massive rifle on target, which means strength has its place in shooting as well.
There are literally no benefits to being weak, so why do it? Why do people accept weakness?
The reality is that we live in a world where physical strength isn’t absolutely required, and the act of gaining strength takes time that could be spent doing something fun. Our world has conditioned people to believe that training for strength is somehow inferior, somehow an unworthy use of your time.
Don’t listen to those people. Get strong.