You need a strength foundation. You have to progressively weight train with enough intensity to be strong.
This baseline strength or foundational strength will allow you to do with weights what you want. Whether you want to keep progressing and compete in strength events, or get stronger for your sport, or develop massive muscular bodybuilder size or just enjoy being big and strong and able to do more for yourself.
Don't worry about losing weight or the size of your muscles at first.
Your muscles will get larger, denser and harder the stronger you get.
Your belly will get flatter and you will lose body fat the stronger you get...if you control the amount and type of food you eat.
But you need strength. Weakness is no good in men. You have to be strong. Not just for vanity, although that is important. Strong, muscular men look better than weak men without muscles.
Get strong for your health. So you can do for yourself. So you can defend yourself. So people leave you alone. So people respect you. So you are not a burden. So you can care for yourself when you are sick and get old.
Strength is critical to the quality of your life.
If you just look at older men without any strength you will see what I mean.
Everything is difficult for them. Everything takes an incredible amount of time if they can do it at all. Most things that a younger person takes for granted, a weak old man cannot do.
Do you want that for your life?
I thought not.
How strong do you need to get?
You do not really need to get as strong as you think. You start by getting a bit stronger than you are now.
Don't worry about getting as strong as the guys on YouTube or in the magazines. Those guys make a living out of weight training and are quite strong and have the assistance of pharmaceuticals. Since you and I make a living outside of the gym, we have other priorities to handle too.
So you would not expect to get as strong as them or develop that level of muscularity.
So it makes no sense to worry about their strength and muscles. Only think about your strength and your muscles.
But since you are curious, I've listed some numbers below to give you some idea.
Don't you think you will be considered strong if you can consistently with good form for full range reps
These are just numbers I have lifted in the last year. I started
with extremely light weights in February of 2016. These numbers were
what I worked up to in about a year.
I think this is quite strong. Strong enough. You don't need to get that much stronger, unless you want to. You can just keep working with these weights, cycling them up and down to avoid injury and maintain your strength foundation for as long as possible.
Here is a little more about me so you can see where I'm coming from and adjust your standards up or down. I know some of you can do a lot more than this. And some of you have a smaller frame and will need to adjust accordingly.
From Starting Strength
The most significant loss in physical capacity with advancing age is strength – the ability to produce the force of muscular contraction. Your ability to interact with your environment effectively is predicated upon your ability to exert the force of muscle contraction against the system of levers that comprises the skeleton, and therefore to control your own body's mass and the masses of the physical objects you interact with.
All the other physical problems associated with age – the loss of muscle mass and balance and bone density, the increased risk of diabetes, and the much higher risk of physical injury – are related to either the loss of strength itself or the process by which this loss occurs. Balance, endurance, power, accuracy, and speed are all aspects of strength. And the things we do to remain strong – the use of our muscles to do physical work and the associated use of carbohydrate as the fuel for muscle contraction – keep our metabolism functioning normally, thus preventing the acquisition of Type II diabetes, and perhaps even dementia.
Many of the items on the list have to do with a lack of time. No time for yourself and your needs is a huge problem for most men. It's why most men live a very substandard life and probably why they die young. It's why I started this website.
If you are intent on making your life as great as possible, you will need to shed as many time-wasters as possible, including the enormous time sink of being married.
All the other reasons can be overcome with persistence, patience and will. Each workout will build on itself. You will make gains after a few months and outstanding gains after years of effort.
Keep thinking of the benefits of a strength foundation and learn to love the iron.
A few minor thoughts
So lifting works for both types of men.
If you're skinny-fat, it's critical that you get lifting. I'm sorry, but this is the worst look for men. You'll thank me after seeing how 6 months of dedicated lifting building a strength foundation will transform your body.
Functional training looks like a good way for you to get hurt while not making any progress. Certainly you will not make any gains on your strength foundation if you are not consistently adding weight over time to major lifts. And being injured and not being able to workout at all will set you back.
Functional training is what you do in addition to or after you do your foundation strength training if you need it for a specific sport you are tying to excel in.
Most of you don't need to bother with functional training anyway.
Functional is only good for learning how to do your sport. It is specific to the sport. If you aren't participating in a sport, there is no need to do functional training.
Balancing on balls is not safe.
Explosive movements in an unbalanced state are not safe.
You will develop tremendous balance by squatting below parallel with a progressively heavier weight on your back and pressing larger and larger weights over your head. These lifts are far safer, if done correctly, than functional training.
Squatting below parallel will make your legs flexible enough.
Deadlifting will create a strong resilient back.
Just get stronger building your strength foundation. Your life will be better, easier and the aging process will not be so terrible.
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