• Nate Johnson

8 Reasons Strength Training Should Be Your #1 Priority in 2018 (Progress Photos Included)

Updated: Feb 2, 2018

1) Strength Training Gives You a Positive Outlook on Exercise

Strength training will radically change the way you look at exercise. In fact, you’re going to find exercise fun. Even more surprising for most of you is that you’ll actually grow to love lifting. Yes, LOVE it.

After working and talking with dozens of women, I’ve seen how most of them view exercise in a very negative light. It’s always been driven by a self-hatred. Hatred of body. Hatred of their seemingly lack of self-discipline around their favorite foods. And the actual act of exercising was torture. (Can anyone say cardio??)

Knowing this, I absolutely love it when clients tell me they’ve always hated exercise, and now they look forward to coming to the gym. That’s such a huge win!

When you love the exercise you’re doing, you’ll do it the rest of your life. And that’s the foundation for a true transformation of body, health, and lifestyle.

2) Strength Training is the Most Effective Exercise for Fat Loss

Let’s go ahead and talk about the obvious goal here. 2/3 of Americans are overweight and 1/3 are obese. And those stats are old! The numbers may be higher today.

Unsurprisingly, most people I talk to are looking to lose fat. Heck, so am I! It’s ridiculously easy to gain unwanted fat in this day and age due to unlimited access to junk food and our sedentary lifestyles.

So what’s the best way to lose fat? Well, you have to focus on nutrition. Without good eating habits, you’re going to find fat loss is an all-but-impossible process. But when it comes to exercise for fat loss, strength training is king.

Unlike cardio, your body continues to burn extra calories for up to 48 hours after a strength training session. That means if you’re lifting 3 days per week, your body is almost always burning extra calories. You’re literally burning extra fat while you sleep! All from a 45 minute training session that mornin

3) Strength Training is the Only Form of Exercise That Gives You the Toned Look You’re After

We don’t just want fat loss. We want to look lean. We want muscle definition. We want to look toned! And the best way to do that is strength training. In fact, it’s the only type of exercise that can truly give you the look you’re after.

Cardio can be a good supplement to a solid strength training and nutrition plan, but cardio alone is just going to make you a smaller version of your current body.

In fact, I frequently work with women who have lost weight through cardio and nutrition alone before starting our program. And while they’re happy about their weight loss, they always complain about being “flabby” and “soft.” Fortunately, they start to describe their body as becoming more “defined” and “toned” once starting our program. Oh, and they end up losing more fat doing strength training than they did doing cardio! (See point #2)

(For even better fat loss results, download our free "3 Secrets to Burn Fat and Keep it Off Forever Guide" HERE.)

4) Strength Training Helps You Build Muscle

If your goals have anything to do with fat loss or toning up, you have to build muscle! More muscle leads to a faster metabolism and more muscle definition. And if you want to build muscle, nothing compares to strength training.

As far as I’m concerned, any other form of exercise that promises to help you build muscle and tone up is an impostor. The fastest way to build muscle is by getting strong. And the fastest way to get strong is strength training.

5) Strength Training Won’t Make You Bulky

You would be a lot happier with your results if you focused on building muscle. Sounds crazy right? Well it shouldn’t.

One of the big concerns I hear from women is not wanting to get too bulky. Unfortunately, this is a horrible misconception that’s been propagated by both men and women in the fitness industry. Magazines and articles say things like “you need to do light weight and high reps to tone your body” and “if you want long, lean muscles you should stay away from strength training.”

Pardon my language (Mom, I hope you’re not reading this), but these statements are bullshit.

Wow. I just cussed for the first time in a blog. And now I’m not sure what to do….lol JK, I’m going to continue to rip on this horrible myth of women getting bulky!

This myth was likely started from all the images of super muscular female bodybuilders. But here’s the thing: 1) These women have been training incredibly hard for years and years. This doesn’t happen by accident and 2) The majority of these pictures you see are of women who take steroids. If you’re only lifting 3 days per week for 45 minutes and not sticking needles in your butt, you have no chance of getting bulky.

In fact, if it was that easy to get big, I’d be absolutely huge. I’ve been training to build muscle for 8 years now and I’m still slim. Oh, and as a male I have 10x the testosterone in my body than you do.

Phew…I can breathe now. Can you tell I’m really passionate about this topic? It’s seriously misguiding women and I’m sick of it!

Quick Summary of point #5- Lift heavy weights, get lean, toned, and defined, and enjoy your very feminine and fit body. Unless you’re a dude. Then you’ll just get muscular and lean, but you still probably won’t get huge.

6) Strength Training is Very Safe

The second most common concern I hear from people is “Will I get hurt doing strength training” or “Isn’t strength training dangerous?”

In short, no.

Strength training done improperly is very dangerous. But so is brushing your teeth improperly or cooking improperly. For example, if you shove a toothbrush into your throat or rub your hand all over a hot eye on the stove, you’re going to get hurt. And if you don’t learn to lift properly, you’re going to get hurt.

BUT, strength training done properly is one of the safest forms of exercise. In fact, proper strength training is the best thing you can do for your joints, tendons, and ligaments. This leads to healthier joints, pain-free joints, and prevents injury! Sounds like NOT strength training is what’s unsafe.

When you start a strength training program, make sure you work with a trainer who is obsessed with using perfect form. Don’t settle for anything less. It’s worth the investment.

7) Strength Training is Fun

This is kind of like point #1, but it’s even better. Because I said FUN! And who doesn’t love to have fun?!?! If you hate your exercise program, you can forget any chances of having long-term success. If you want to create a new lifestyle, you’ve got to love what you’re doing.

Getting together with people just like you, picking up heavy stuff, getting stronger over time, and encouraging each other while you do it is priceless. You can’t beat the combo of crazy trainers, the Steel Strength family, and squats.

I guess I can only speak for Steel Strength Training, but we seriously have a blast. I even joke that my clients should pay just to come hangout with everyone! The fact that your body and health improve drastically is just a bonus!

8) Cardio is Sooooo Boring!

Imagine being told you never have to get on another treadmill or elliptical. Now imagine being told you never have to get on another treadmill or elliptical and that’s the fastest way to transform your body!

Wouldn’t that be crazy?? Well, it may sound crazy, but that’s exactly what I tell my clients.

I think cardio is way overrated for 3 main reasons:

First, it’s terribly boring. If you’re into doing the exact same thing for 30 minutes then maybe you don’t find it boring. But for the rest of us….we’d rather watch paint dry. And remember, if you don’t enjoy your exercise, you’re not going to stick with it.

Second, you can enjoy all the same health benefits cardio provides from strength training and walking. And both of those are much more enjoyable.

Third, cardio is ridiculously overrated for fat loss. To lose a pound of fat per week from cardio, you need to run for 60 minutes 7 days per week. Now tell me again what you think your 30 minutes 3 days per week is doing for you? MAYBE burning an extra pound of fat per month. Don’t forget that strength training is hands down the best exercise for fat loss!

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, there’s my case for why strength training needs to be your number one priority in 2018. If you aren’t convinced yet, you probably have no hope of seeing the results you want. Maybe that’s a little harsh…maybe. But seriously, you can’t give me one good reason why NOT to strength train. So go lift something heavy!

If you’re ready to start a strength training program, click HERE and fill out the form. I’ll contact you personally within 24 hours to discuss your goals and tell you about our program.

I look forward to hearing from you, and Happy Strength Training in 2018!