A bit about weight-training


Are your goals to lose weight?  To ‘tone up?’ To look better naked?  To get healthier?  Then read on, as this applies to you:


All of the most recent research out there, and any respectable coach will tell you that the secret to reaching those goals starts with weight training protocol.  Incorporating a healthy dose of strength training is most appropriate for a vast majority of the population in order to get healthy and see the results you want.  Ask a bodybuilder how they lean out for their shows—they DON’T do large volumes of steady-state cardio!  They control their body composition with their diet and their training, which is almost exclusively weight-training.  If the leanest people in the world avoid high volumes of steady-state cardio when they need to be at their leanest, don’t feed me that bullshit that you’re doing cardio to lean out, okay???  Can we be done with that outdated and downright inaccurate reasoning?   Put simply, weight-lifting makes people more anabolic; muscle burns energy at rest; that idea of being ‘toned’ really just means you want to build muscle and lose fat, so get with the program—get the results you say you want by building muscle and becoming more anabolic by lifting weights regularly!  Ladies:  I promise you won’t get ‘too bulky.’  I only wish it were as easy to pack on muscle as quickly as most women fear it is!


Due to this misinformation, a lot of people become slaves to high volumes of steady-state cardio.  In fact, many do steady-state cardio exclusively as their fitness regimen.  This is why a majority of the population is catabolic, even the active subset of the population.  Outdated information has convinced everyone for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to do a high volume of aerobic work.  And they’re right…kind of—running endless miles at low-intensity burns calories….which leads to catabolism….which forces you to be a slave to the volume of cardio you are doing due to the fact that you’ll adapt to it….which means you eventually need MORE cardio….and this process generally lacks longevity, has poor health implications, causes your muscles to atrophy, and honestly, sounds like an outright terrible vicious cycle to be a part of!


There is a reason that I write a CP/weightlifting-biased program.  It’s because you need it to reach the goal that you claim to want.  It’s also no secret that attendance in those particular CP-oriented classes is always significantly lower than the others, and that bothers me.  Sure, it’s typical in a CrossFit class to end the workout in a pool of sweat and to be completely exhausted.  However, for many reasons that are too long to defend here, sub-maximal days are some of your best training days.  Hitting those weights, loading your skeleton, and having those sub-maximal days are SO IMPORTANT when it comes to progressing, leaning out, earning your meals, and preventing injury.  Skipping those days only ensures that you won’t get a balanced program design.  Trust me when I say it’s in your best interest.  You don’t have to be on the floor after every workout to get what’s best for you…in fact, you SHOULDN’T be on the floor after every workout!


I believe in the pursuit of balanced fitness for the general population.  The best results for health, as well as for function, are from a balanced program design that incorporates weight training protocol along with using the spectrum of anaerobic and aerobic energy systems.  Keep this in mind when the day comes up that you’re least proficient at, and ask yourself why you’re making the excuse to not go.  Is it because you don’t think weight training is a good workout?  It’s probably because you’re not strong enough yet to elicit the appropriate response–get in there and pound some iron!  Your body will thank you for it.


As a caveat, I have to add that I don’t meant to only pick on the people who avoid weight training—there are certainly people who avoid cardio like the plague and only lift weights.  However, I encounter so much more of the former example and less of the latter that I always feel the need to educate people about the benefits of weight training.


Here’s some extra reading that you may find interesting:


10 Great Things About Lifting Weights:  http://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/10-great-things-about-lifting-weights


The above article just got posted by me on the CFD Facebook page the other day, and I think this subject warrants it be -reposted for those of you who may have missed it.  There are a lot of good points in here that should make a person feel empowered about lifting weights!


100 Laws of Muscle:  http://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/100-laws-of-muscle


Here are some of my favorite points:


Any workout can make you tired.  But a good workout program will make you better.


When the average person thinks “I need to lose weight,” they assume they need to start running.  A better answer?  Start lifting.


Long distance cardio makes you good at long distance cardio.  Conditioning work—short, fast, and brutally intense—makes you good at everything.


The cardio paradox:  The more efficient you become, the less fat you burn with the same amount of work.  Efficiency is great if you’re racing, not if you’re trying to lose body fat.


The more muscular ‘bulk’ you have, the easier it’ll be to trim the fat.  Working muscle is metabolically expensive.  If you have fat to lose and no muscle underneath, it’ll take a lot more effort.


Women who look good in yoga pants do more lifting than yoga.


You can all see where I’m going with this, right?


Thanks for reading, and keep lifting!


—Coach Phil