These days most of the people I train are into “fitness” versus the old days when everyone wanted to be jacked! I think it’s the same the world over judging by how many ellipticals you see in most gyms and how many power racks you do not. I guess it makes sense most people don’t care about being strong they just wanna look good naked! So if everyones into fitness why do we need heavy weights? Well if your absolute strength increases you can use more weight on your fitness exercises. “So? I don’t care about moving weight, I just wanna look toned and burn calories” you say? Well check this out: Lets look at it using basic physics: If your max squat is 400 lbs you will be able to do your reps with 300 lbs no problem. 300lbs x10 reps x3sets=9,000 lbs of work. Now if your max squat is only 200 and you are doing your sets with 150lbs x10reps x3 sets=4,500lbs of work. Leaving out all the other variables and benefits of being stronger and concentrating merely on the work performed. Which is going to burn more calories? 9,000lbs of work or 4,500???????? Using one of my favorite crcuits as an example lets compare 2 athletes Jason and Jim. Jason is a powerlifter who watches his diet and stays very lean at about 220. Jim is a tri-athlete who also lifts weights and weighs about 175. They both carry about the same amount of bodyfat (around zero-lol) but Jim spends about 3 times the amount of time working out as jason. They both eat a very similar diet, their calories almost identical. How is this possible? Jasons muscle mass burns much more calories at rest than Jim and when they train cardio Jason’s body is burning more calories than Jims because it takes more calories to move a bigger body through space. Also, they both train conditioning with the following circuit:
Kettlebell thruster, Kettlebell Swing, Pushups with weight, pullups 5 rounds of 10 reps each.
Jim’s Weights: 25x10 50x10 200x10 175x10=22,500 lbs of work in 5 rounds.
Jason’s Weights: 50x10 96x10 265x10 220x10=31,550 lbs of work in 5rounds.
I hope this simple math convinces you of the need to increase your limit strength. Jim sees the need and is constantly trying to improve his limit strength as well. Conversely, Jason is always trying to improve his conditioning. Even though they are on extreme ends of the spectrum in relation to their athletic goals neither will overlook the importance of being well rounded physically.