Why we do the things we do

If you wonder why we do this weightlifting regime rather than some other, here are key points:

  • It’s all about strength and power. Strength and power translate to greater ability to meeting the physical demands of daily life.
  • Using barbells and dumbbells imitates real-life uses of strength. In daily life, there’s nothing to steady you or the heavy thing you need to lift. You have to steady yourself, and you learn how to do so by lifting with barbells and dumbbells. In addition, the techniques you learn transfer to life’s tasks. (On the other hand, barbells are a lot easier to hang on to than, say, boxes full of household goods.)
  • You have to lift heavy weights to be able to lift heavy weights. You can lift 10 kilos endlessly, but it won’t train you to lift 50 kilos.
  • It promotes quickness. We lose our fast-twitch muscle fibers at a faster rate than we lose slow-twitch fibers. This mode of lifting, where you use quick movement when possible to drive your lifts, helps to maintain more fast-twitch muscle fibers—the ones that provide power (as for jumping—or catching yourself when falling ) rather than endurance.

As a bonus, because skill and technique are involved, this kind of strength-building is more mentally challenging than some modes of exercise and promotes coordination along with strength. And the small classes make for a nice social environment. And, of course, it feels good to be strong!