Do You Want to be Gym Strong or Life Strong?

So what does it mean to be Gym Strong versus Life Strong?

What’s the difference between the two and which one seems best for you and how you want to live your life?

Gym Strong

This is someone who puts the greatest emphasis on how they look and not on how they feel or how their workouts translate to real life situations.

For example, someone who goes to the gym with the goal of having the biggest biceps.

That person is developing very specific strength for a very specific task such as curling a weight up and down.

This probably wouldn’t be the best person to ask to pick-up a 80-100lbs dog or move a heavy appliance or piece of furniture.

Life Strong

Now let’s look at the flip-side.  Someone who’s training involves lifting relatively heavy odd objects off the ground and moving them from point A to point B.

Is this someone who would win a bodybuilding show?  Most likely not.

But it would be someone who’s overall functional strength would help in lifting that dog or moving that appliance or piece of heavy furniture.

Please comment below if you’d like me to discuss the exercises that I personally use and use with my clients to become Life Strong.

Story Time

When I was in high school many moons ago, my friends are I were only concerned with building up our chest and arms.  We never, ever, considered training our legs.  As a result, we were only gym strong.

The only leg work we got was carrying dumbbells over to the bench so we could curl them.

There’s a saying I heard somewhere that applies perfectly here.  It goes something like this, “I’ve never met a strong person with a flat butt”.

Meaning, the musculature of your glutes (butt) is directly related to overall strength.

I started developing lower back pain my senior year of high school and was diagnosed with a herniated disc several years later.

I have no doubt that it was a direct result of how I was training in the gym.

Thankfully, I was able to avoid surgery by using very specific functional exercises that allowed me to fully recover.

Comment below if you’d like me to go into greater detail about that.  


So if you think about building overall strength to pick-up that dog or move that piece of furniture, doesn’t that mean that all of your muscles should grow and get stronger as a result of that type of training?

Won’t your biceps get bigger without having to do tons of bicep curls?

The answer is a resounding YES!

So ultimately, you will need to decide if you just want to look good or if you want to look good and have great overall functional strength.

I say, why not try for both?

Remember, please comment below if you’d like me to discuss the exercises that I personally use and use with my clients to become Life Strong.