At Power Plant Gym, we talk to people every day who are looking to “build strength,” which is great, because that’s what we do! But what does “strength” really mean? And what do we actually know about *where* and *what* our weaknesses are?
It’s easy to assume that strength is from your muscles. So if we’re weak, it’s because our muscles are weak. But that’s rarely the whole story! One phrase we hear *a lot* from beginners at the gym is, “But my legs aren’t tired. I just can’t do it.”
Just because your *muscles* can handle more weight doesn’t mean the rest of your body is up for it! When your movement is restricted, your body is sending you a message that says, “Hey! We need to work on this thing!” And we should listen.
The truth is that you’re only as strong as your weakest link… and it might not be your muscles! In fact, for many adults, it’s actually an issue with mobility or joint function. And for people newer to sports or lifting, it’s often just a matter of teaching your body a new way to move.
There’s very little benefit to overloading a bad movement pattern. And it can be dangerous. The smarter move – and the one that’s best for long-term results and success – is to progressively build strength in the weakest part of the movement.
So where do we start?
The first step is to figure out what the weakest link *actually* is. For example, if you can’t squat very low, it’s unlikely that it’s because your leg muscles are weak. It’s probably a limitation in the hip or ankle joint. So before we can add a bunch of weight to your squat we need to address what’s happening in your ankles and hips. We’ll work on mobility and movement pattern drills to strengthen that exact part of your body. Then we’ll incorporate these improved movements back into your squats. And then – poof! – the weak link is stronger and the whole movement is better!
When we lift and strength train, we’re working so much more than just our muscles! We’re working our nervous system, our joints, our tendons and ligaments… everything in our bodies has to work together to make lifting happen. This is part of why it’s such a great workout!
So… where’s your weakest link? And are you ready to fix it? If so, we can help! Just hit the “Free Intro” button at the top of this page to set up a chat with a Power Plant Coach. We’d love to hear about you and your goals and help you become the best and strongest version of yourself!