We have an ulterior motive...

In our office we talk about strength training with nearly all of our patients. The goal for most patients may not be deadlifting 500 lbs in a competition, but their focus should be on the importance of using training to preserve strength as we age.

Our patients always learn the basics of how to deadlift and squat properly. The basics of those two movements are important in everyday life. Frequently, you can overhear us saying "It is not about how much weight you can deadlift. It is more about being able to lift a laundry basket or a bag of groceries, safely." We use the mechanics of a squat everytime we sit down or stand up from a chair (or toilet). 

Ultimately the mechanics of these lifts are nearly identical to those activities of daily living.

Earlier this week, when I was talking with a patient about their training routine when a lightbulb went off for her. We were discussing whether it was better to lift heavy weights with a lower repetition count or a lower weight with higher reps. My response was that it depends on the goals, however, I went on to say that there are often additional benefits to lifting heavier. In the middle of our conversation, her eyes got big and I could see the wheels turning. When we lift HEAVY weights, the movement becomes much more challenging. Not just physically more challenging, but you have to win the mental game as well. The brain needs to be convinced that you are capable of completing the lift or you will not even try it. 

Strength training is not just about making your body physically stronger, it also makes your mind stronger. It opens our eyes to what we are capable of. It shows us that, indeed, hard work does payoff.

The next time you look at a physical challenge whether it is lifting heavy weights or tackling a difficult household project, take a moment and tell yourself that you can do this! Then get out there and do the work!    

Movement is my medicine,


Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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