Are You Getting Stronger?

Here’s a fun fact about fitness.

We’re either getting stronger or we’re not.

The scale might not tell the whole story about how physically healthy we are. After all, there’s lean mass and fat mass … and your scale can’t tell the difference.

But when it comes to the No. 1, tried-and-true way to improve your overall health and longevity, increasing your relative strength is the way to go.

Relative, meaning relative to your body size, age, and other factors.

And for the most part, we don’t get stronger from “working out.”

We get stronger from training.

“Training” means that your program has been purposefully and intentionally designed in advance to ensure that you’re getting stronger and making progress over a specific period of time. It also means that you’re not doing the same “cookie cutter” workout as everyone else.

We never rely on how exhausted we are or how much fluid has been expelled from our sweat glands to know whether we’re making progress. Instead, we track our sets, reps and weights on our primary lifts, so there’s no gray area or guesswork.

So we know just by looking at our numbers … we’re either getting stronger, or we’re not.

There are different ways to stimulate changes in our muscle and connective tissues. We can lift heavier weights, lift the same weight for more reps, or manipulate variables like tempo, rest periods, exercise order, and exercise variation.

And this is the safest (and best) way to get stronger. If you’re getting back into a fitness routine this spring, look for something like this … and leave the random workouts and cardio parties to someone else.