Lift for life
I have never heard a woman say that her bum is too hard, or heard a man complain that his biceps are too big. I think it would be easier to find someone that has been abducted by aliens than find one of these people!
Yes, to a certain degree we all are vain—and, personally, I have no problem looking good in a pair of jeans or a short-sleeved shirt. Vanity can be a great tool to help us move forward, and it should be embraced—to a certain point.
There are the excessive narcissists, like one of my co-workers. When asked if he had ever met a mirror he didn’t like, he answered with a flat “NO.” And there are fitness competitors who go to the extreme in order to accomplish a certain aesthetic ideal—maximal muscularity with minimal body fat. In reality, these bodybuilders aren’t that different from anorexic model wannabes.
Without going that far, a healthy level of narcissism should be an option for us all. But how does one achieve a body worth flaunting? First, to what degree is lifting weights important, and second, how far is too far in terms of muscularity?
Two simple questions, with not-so simple answers.
1. If you take into consideration only function, the answer to the first question is simple: nature kills the weak! The less muscle mass and strength you have, the more you’ll be prone to accidents, the more susceptible to disease you’ll be, and the more weak and vulnerable you’ll be when you’re older.
2. For the second question, the answer might appear to be “the more the better.” In theory, more muscle and strength should equal a better lifestyle.
But we don’t do things only as a matter of functionality—and if I started telling my female clients that they should be as muscular as possible, I’d be out of business faster than Betamax!
Even though weight lifting makes life more enjoyable in the long term (who doesn’t want to be strong and self-sufficient in their old age?), there is more to life than lifting weights.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that form and function should always go hand in hand—and that obsessing about your muscles is as bad as neglecting them.
Don’t fixate on your muscles—but lift, and lift heavy. In order to feel good, to look good and to get more out of your life, either as an older person or as a person wearing jeans and a T-shirt—but hopefully as an older person wearing jeans and T-shirt!