Why Strength Training is Important for Everyone
Hitting weights is not just for bodybuilders or strength athletes
Hitting the gym and strength training is often viewed by outsiders as only necessary for those who compete in strength sports such as powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting, or bodybuilding. What many people fail to realize is that a stronger physique helps with everyday functionality, and this is something that came up on an episode of the Boostcamp Podcast, when Michael Liu sat down with Cody Lefever (the founder of GZCL). The two discussed a wide range of topics including why strength training is important for everyone, and not just athletes.
Let’s break it down.
Who is Cody Lefever and What is GZCL?
Before we get started on why strength training is important for everyone, let’s discuss who Cody Lefever is. Cody has had a lifelong passion for fitness and while serving with the U.S. Marines Cody, began training himself as well as others to achieve a higher level of physical fitness. This ended up developing into a passion for lifting weights that went on to lead Cody to the powerlifting platform, where he competed in multiple state, national, and world level championships.
His client base ranges from military service members to athletes to the average person desiring improved physical fitness, whether that be in sports or in daily life. In 2022, Cody opened North America’s Highest Gym in Almba, Colorado. Located at 10,361 feet elevation, Alma’s Gym is high up in the Rocky Mountains approximately 2 hours outside of Denver. It is a place for locals and tourists alike to get stronger and develop their bodies.
Cody has officially partnered with the Boostcamp App to launch the GZCL Program (GZCLP) into an app format for free. The GZCL Program (or GZCLP) is Cody Lefever's famous linear progression program for beginner and novice lifters who want to build both strength and size. It is a highly popular alternative to Starting Strength and Stronglifts due to its effectiveness and flexible structure.
Why Strength Training is Important for Everyone
Strength training, which is also known as weight training or resistance training, is an activity that involves the performance of physical exercises that are designed to improve overall strength and endurance. This is extremely crucial for those powerlifters who want to get better on their compound lifts such as the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift, and those Olympic lifters who need a better clean and jerk. Of course it is also crucial for those bodybuilders looking to improve their physiques, but that is not all. Strength training is something that everyone can benefit from, and Cody Lefever has broken down exactly why.
Strength Training for Other Sports
Cody brings up the importance of strength training for other sports besides, well, strength sports. The first thing he mentions are his clients that train with him in preparation for the ski season, as he has had several clients who expressed better days on the slopes after strength training in the off-season. This is because that person is more physically fit, they are able to move their body better, stabilize themselves better, and exert energy better.
Cody also mentions that strength training also benefits other sports such as mountain biking, snowboarding, even riding snowmobiles, all things that you may think do not require much physical exertion and strength. Cody uses the example of one of his clients who is older and not this massive guy, but enjoys snowmobiling, he states that those machines are heavy and take a lot of energy to control and have fun on, especially if you get caught in some deep snow and need to shovel your way out. One of his clients is an older gentleman who skis and has completely torn his body up from skiing nonstop, but started strength training at Cody’s gym and started strength training. He has since said that he feels as though he is “40 again”.
These are only a few sports to list that benefit from strength training, but it goes to show that not all strength training has to be catered to strength athletes.
Michael goes on to say that not even just athletes that benefit from strength training, but also everyday people completing daily activities, meaning that strength training is functional. Cody talks about one of his clients who is in her 70s, and she has lost 30 pounds and is now able to go on walks around her neighborhood. She even fell last year, but was able to get up on her own.
Think about it, as you age, your muscles and joints will waste away if you are not using them. This can lead to you having a harder time doing normal, everyday tasks such as walking up stairs, getting up off the couch, carrying in groceries, picking up your children, and who wants that? It goes to show how crucial strength training is for everyone, and not just those big bodybuilders and powerlifters.
Cody states that while it is cool to have a powerlifting gym where you see guys throwing up some massive one rep maxes and all, it is also really cool to have a gym where people come to improve their quality of life and live the way that they were used to in their youth.
How to Strength Train for Recreation
When it comes to strength training as someone who is not looking to have the most muscle mass or be the World’s Strongest Man, there are a few things to consider. For one, you do not need to be going all out, taking sets to failure and what not, unless you want to. Keep in mind though, you don’t want to get injured so always be careful with your volume and intensity.
Strength Training Programs
That being said, if you are looking to start strength training, finding a good program will also be of great help. Now to find good programs for some quality strength training, check out the Boostcamp App. You can find tons of different workout routines that will truly push you to the limit, and they are made by renowned evidence-based coaches. Boostcamp also lets you create your own custom routines and log your progress, which is great for tracking your progress and making linear progression.
To maximize your gains and simplify your fitness journey, consider using Boostcamp, the last lifting app you'll ever need. Boostcamp helps you track your progress, offers customizable training programs, and provides expert guidance to ensure you get the most out of your chosen workout program whether it's linear push pull legs or upper lower or whatever you choose. There are also plenty of different program styles to choose from to help you start strength training. Start making the most of your workouts and download Boostcamp today!
Overall, strength training is something that everyone can benefit from, regardless of what you do. Whether you are a strength athlete or bodybuilder, a different type of athlete, or just want to improve your overall quality of life, strength training may be the way to go!