Should You Lift Weights?

Should You Lift Weights?

♪ Five, four, three, two ♪ – Weights. The question that has plagued people’s fitness decisions for years. Do I? Don’t I? Today, I’m hoping to make
a compelling argument for why you should be using
weights and strength training in your day-to-day activity,
whether you are rowing-specific or whether you are fitness-specific,
whatever it may be, whatever your life goals are, why I think strength
training is a valuable tool for you to put into your toolbox. Maybe it’s not the only thing,
but it can be part of it. If you’re here for the first time, welcome to Dark Horse
where you are the hero of your own story and we’re the guide that simply helps you get
to where you want to go, supporting you through your journey. The question surrounding
weights are actually quite tough for a lot of people for
two primary reasons. Number one, if you don’t
know what you’re doing or you don’t have great guidance, you can get yourself into a
lot of trouble with weights. That’s definitely
something we want to avoid. And then number two, there’s
a lot of misinformation as well as a lack of
understanding from a lot of people as to what weights actually do for you, why you would use them,
and the benefits that range outside of what most people view as weight training is bodybuilding. There’s so much more to
be encapsulated into that. So, that’s really where I want to get into is discussing the merits and the values of using weight training. But before I do that,
let’s cover a couple basics as to what we should be considering before we even dive into that discussion. So, there are three basic
things that I wanna make sure we put out as blanket statements. Now number one, always, always, always check with the physician
before you get started. Make sure that you have
approval from your doctor so that you actually are doing the things that are right for you. If there’s some reasons that
you shouldn’t be doing it, you wanna know. So, check with your physician
before you start any of this. Number two is be smart. Use the brain. Use the thing you got up here and start at an appropriate level for you. There’s no prescription
that I can give you. Comments. Don’t ask me where you should be starting. You need to know your own body. So, start in appropriate
level that allows you to build but doesn’t hit you so early
that you perhaps fall out towards the end or too soon. And the third is that there’s
no one right way to fitness. That is just probably one
of the most important things that I could say even on this channel. There is no one right way
to get fit or be healthy. All we’re talking about are
a variety of instruments that you can use for your benefit to help you get fit and healthy. So, when I talk about strength
training and weight training, understand that it’s all just
a part to create the sum. It’s just one of the pieces that you can use to add
another tool into your toolbox. I think keeping those three things in mind as we go into discussion
are going to make sure that we keep a level head
about this discussion and that we are creating
value as we discuss whether weight training is
something you could consider as implementing into your training or not. Okay. That aside, let’s go ahead and talk about weight
training with weights, the metal or the rubber kind, just heavier things than our body. Let’s put it that way. The benefits of using
strength training in your life range far beyond even
fitness and performance. Let’s just talk general health principles. These cover some really,
really critical life factors that you may not even recognize,
bone density being one, managing blood sugar levels, as well as reducing abdominal fat. How does it even do those things? Number one, bone density,
by increasing impact on your body, your body
then responds by improving the density to your
bones because it realizes that we are creating impacts
or having to take on loads that are heavier than
our body weighs by itself and therefore it starts to
send the signal to build heavier bone density because
you need that to support the activities that you are
doing on a regular basis, really critical especially as we age and our chances for osteoporosis improve. This is even more important for women who make up 80% of osteoporosis cases. Now the second, managing blood sugar
levels, super important. For anybody who has type two diabetes, strength training is
magically important for that. And number three, reducing abdominal fat. The reason that happens is because by improving lean muscle mass, we improve our basal metabolic
rate, which is a fancy way of saying that just at a standing rest, you burn more calories than you would if that were adipose tissue. So, lean muscle mass burns more calories per moment in time than adipose tissue, so improving caloric
burn at just a standing, steady pace essentially. So, using strength training
just as a general principle can promote a whole lot of health gains that you just can’t get from just cardio. My intention though is
to have a discussion about using strength
training for performance and why it could benefit
what you’re currently doing as an addition to. Before I actually get into that though, I wanna make a quick argument for why, if you are a rower, an actual rower, you really need to make sure that you have a strong
strength training component to the training that you’re doing to help improve your performance. Now if you are a rower,
the odds are very high that you are accustomed to having programs that include large amounts
of volume, lots of strokes, and lots of focus on either
light weights, high reps, or just repetitive technique. Now why would strength
training benefit you in such a sports-specific
training methodology? The huge benefit here, and
I’m gonna run off-script for a moment, is A, all that
repetition is not healthy for the body if you want to create a well-rounded platform to perform. Now sports-specific is
extremely important. As a rower, yes, you
need to get volume in, you need to take lots of strokes so that you can gain feel for
the boat, for the machine, so that you can improve your performance. That aside, you need to
develop stronger systems to support you. I have seen countless rowers who, having spent so much time on volume, just taking the stroke over and over, actually begin to get weaker at the stroke because they aren’t
spending time with weight that forces the body
to learn to strengthen in some of the critical positions that you’re going to go through. For example, it is really
critical as a rower that you are spending time
with a sandbag in a front hold. Why is that important? Because we spend so much time
bracing against the stroke, by taking the load into our front here and having to support this, it actually asks our
back to do the opposite, which is straighten up,
to hold onto that load so that it can get
stronger in that upright and supported position. Often rowers, as we get more
and more and deeper and deeper into the stroke, we start to
get comfortable with our spine being in this kind of a
position, this rounded position where we’re not doing
a benefit to our spine. We need to be able to
handle and support our body as it moves through space and time. The other things that are really critical, explosiveness from the legs. You are not going to get more explosive by doing high rep, low weight training. It’s only going to reinforce
that you’re not able to be explosive but with
a very light weight. If you wanna be able to
actually apply some force through the stroke, working on things like heavy squats, heavy cleans. I’m not necessarily an advocate of snatch because we don’t need to put our shoulders in that kind of position. I know I’m starting to ramble, but I get really passionate
about making sure that rowers have a strong strength basis so that they can perform better
on the water or on the erg and stay safer within your body. Please, please, please if you are a rower, consider putting a significant
strength training program or strength and conditioning program into what you are doing. Don’t just go for repeating
the same movement pattern you’re already doing in the sport. Try to vary it and try to change it. Okay, rowing rant over. Let’s get back to you, the
person using strength training perhaps for fitness purposes. Now the first benefit is the
ability for strength training to counter-train what you are
doing in your everyday life. For example, if you repetitively, I’m gonna wander back
into the rowing piece, if you repetitively
use the rowing machine, you wanna make sure that
you are strengthening countermovements to that. For example, we do a lot of pulling with the arms in the stroke. It’s very natural. But there is absolutely no
pushing through the arms in the stroke. Therefore, we get really good at pulling, but we lose all that strength and pushing. So, adding in things like
pushups, bench press, dumbbell work, overhead press, all those things are very
important to help counterbalance. Adding in other things
like some sort of a crunch or a hollow routine like a
gymnastics hollow position is important because we
spend so much time being open that we never counterbalance and strengthen that closed position. The body is this amazing
symmetrical being. All of our muscles work
together to perform or counter-perform movements. You can use strength
training to help strengthen both sides of the system, and we are going to remain in balance. In balance, not imbalance. Important distinction. The second benefit using
weight training in your routine is the ability to improve
dynamic force production. Now that could be in any movement, but in particular for the
purposes in the rowing machine or just life, one of the
more important factors is dynamic hip opening
and dynamic leg strength in a push motion. Push can be squats or it can be vertical or it can be horizontal
like the rowing stroke. Adding resistance and adding
weight forces the body to adapt and learn how to move with a load that is greater than what our
body naturally is producing as we move through our everyday life. Just to improve, we can add
weight, start to do things like squats, dead lifts,
cleans, kettlebell swings, anything that helps to improve a dynamic force production
element to your body. Now I’m sorry if that
sounds overly complicated. Let’s just think of it this way. You want to be able to do four
major movements in your life: pushing and pulling of the
upper and the lower body. Lower body push, that would be a squat. A pull would be some kind of a hip hinge, a thing like a dead lift
or a kettlebell swing. Then there’s an upper pull and push. The upper pull would be
something like a bent-over row or a pull-up. In a push, we’re talking
a pushup or a bench press or an overhead press. Those four components make
up a lot of the movement that we do in our everyday life. If you can improve dynamic
force production there, you are going to get stronger
at a lot of the things that you just happen to be doing already. A third benefit to strength training is the easy access to equipment. What’s that you’re saying, Shane? No, no. Equipment is expensive. I don’t have the money for that. Ah not true. You can actually quite easily access some really great strength equipment. Some of my favorites
include tractor tires. There are a lot of places that will happily give
away their tractor tires because they don’t want ’em and they don’t wanna have
to pay for the disposal. So, you can get a 300-pound tractor tire, which can be lifted,
flipped, jumped on, smashed, whatever you need for very little. For example, I had a 350-pound tire delivered to my house for $60. That’s great. I use it all the time. I smash it with a sledgehammer. I get a lot of use out of that thing. Sledgehammers, there’s another great tool that’s actually quite inexpensive, 27 bucks at Home Depot I think. You can duplicate things that
you would do with a mace, or you can again smash it. That’s great complimentary
movement to the rowing stroke where I’m coming up and over the top. As opposed to opening, I’m actually closing with that strength. Another is sandbags, just
filling a bag with dirt. You probably have it
somewhere on your property. Or you can just go to any
home improvement store and buy a big whole bag of
it for really inexpensive. Sandbags are one of the
best tools that you can use that don’t cost a lot of money, can be used in a tight space,
and gets stored really easily. So, things like that are great
ways of developing strength that aren’t going to cost
you an arm and a leg. A fourth benefit is that
you can use weight training to support the movements
that you’re currently trying to get better at. Wait, what? Didn’t I just say it’s great
to benefit countermovements? (tape whirring) Now the first benefit is the
ability for strength training to counter-train what you are
doing in your everyday life. Yeah. So, it does both actually. It can support the movement
that you’re already doing by making it stronger and more explosive because you increase resistance, increasing the body’s ability to adapt to that particular movement, and you can support the way
in which you are performing your exercise that you
want to get better at or perform better at. Finally, strength training
will improve your ADL or your activities of daily living, things like picking up
groceries, going to the bathroom, sitting in your coach and standing up, all the super exciting things. But really, strength
training will only serve to make those things better and safer in the way that you’re moving. So, using weight training, there’s no real loss in value there. A lot of the misconceptions
are built around people thinking they’re going to get bulky. That’s just a farce. If you wanna get bulky, you
have to really wanna get bulky and spend a lot of your time
eating a ton, way, way more and doing so much strength
training that your body just builds straight into
adapting to that muscle growth. That’s just not where most people are. Adding in strength training
is simply a dynamic component of any well-rounded routine that is intended to get
you fit and healthy. Whether it’s for performance, aesthetic, or just general physical
preparedness of life, GPP, strength training has a
place in what you’re doing. Here’s my question to
you, do you currently use weight or strength training in
your program, why or why not. And after having watched
this, is this something that you’re gonna consider
moving forward with? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you as always for tuning in. It’s fantastic to have you here. If you enjoyed watching
this and you connected with the discussion, with
feeling like you have a place that you wanna go in your life and you’re looking for a
support system and a group that’s gonna help you get better, you wanna be the hero of your own story and you’re cool with us being the guide and the community that
surrounds us being something you wanna be a part of,
hit that subscribe button and the bell next to it so you get alerted whenever we come out with a new video. As always, I love you. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Please, go spread the love. Give it to others. We need so much more of
this in our daily lives. Guys, I love you all, and I mean it. I’ll see you on the other side. ♪ Five, four, three, two ♪

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Barbell Medicine recently posted a 3 part series on strength training for endurance athletes that also list several research papers regarding strength training improvements in endurance athletes and the real benefits from performing various weighted movements that truly backs up what you are trying propose more people should do.

  2. I've been waiting for a video like this. when I do weights, along with my cardio, (be that triathlon training/rowing/running) I see a huge improvement in my fitness. especially when that weight training comes from crossfit…Shane: I do youtube videos as well and I put together my first rowing workout. take a look if you want. I would actually like to know if my technique is ok. hopefully with me putting the link here, this comment doesn't go to your spam folder.

  3. Fantastic vid as ALWAYS! thanks! you always provide very informative videos, posts, drills, etc. also high quality videos! all appreciated.
    Talking about myself, I have a regular program of strength training and commited to it over the years 🙂

  4. Hey Shane, I came across your channel a few days ago and have been checking various videos. You have a great presentation and wealth of knowledge. I am a 54 year old pilot who races motocross (dirt bikes). I purchased the E model C2 in 2007 and have used it on and off over the years with some years being very serious and dedicated. I was very comfortable knocking out half marathons regularly and Ive done a couple full marathons with good results just to challenge myself. Unfortunately last summer (08/19/19) I was involved in a racing accident and broke my neck fracturing C5, C6, C7 resulting in partial paralysis and Central Cord Syndrome. This past year has been incredibly challenging and I remain on disability from work and may not be able to return. Intense activity, health and fitness has been a major factor my entire life. This injury has been a life changer for me and I have never faced anything like it. The plate, screws and cadaver bones have set and I have been cleared to resume my own fitness routine. The doctors have all been fairly worthless and just seeking as much money as possible with little interest in providing guidance or support. So I am left to deal with this on my own and that is fine by me because I know what works and will not give up. I have dusted off the rower and relocated it to my garage gym. Your videos are motivating me to reengage fully with my Concept 2 again. I also have my free weights and road bike that will become part of the plan. I live in North Texas and the heat has hampered me from beginning this routine, but the weather is slowly changing and I can't wait another week – it is go time! I know this is waaay too long, but I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am going to use my rower with the help of your videos to fight like hell to see how much healing I can obtain and undo this paralysis. I have detoxed of the terrible medications and resumed a healthy meal plan. I am have been a big intermittent faster with fantastic results for my adult life. I have always enjoyed the C2 community and have participated in their yearly challenges. I hope to be part of the upcoming "Skeleton Crew" challenge this next month. I can't find much of any support online for spinal cord survivors using rowing as part of their rehab, but I am going to be one and stay positive, motivated and prove it is worthy of aiding in my recovery. Thank you Shane for your inspiring, kind natured approach to helping us out here.

  5. Back in August I discovered how much I love rowing because I love compound weight training…I bought a Concept2 and have been following you ever since. August 19 I started a Madcow 5×5 program and finish with your 20 min Fat Loss workout…I curse you during the relax minute portion of that HITT…but in a good way. I started at 350lbs and weighed myself yesterday at 341lbs… you're an inspiration and having you row with me is the best motivation…even halfway into my row I feel like 10 min is enough you always come on and say " Don't give up on me now" and " use your active recovery to practice your form" helps. My strength is much better and my 5×5 compound weight training has helped my rowing endurance. One final note…do the Rowing after the weight training. I did the mistake of doing my row before weights…big no no for me.

    You're such an inspiration and you have a follower for life. ☮️

  6. I started weight/strength training when I started rowing (July 28). I was using machines, then I changed to free weights (dumbbells), and I just started barbells (deadlifts, squats, bench presses). I'm 46 and obese, and not getting any younger. There're about 50 reasons for me to get serious about lifting!

  7. Another great video. I’m 60ish and have been using the rowing machine for less than a year but really enjoying the challenge.

    I’ve watched your earlier videos and benefited greatly by focusing on my technique. I stopped getting faster and had now incorporated heavier weights into my regime to try and build my strength to improve my time. Sooner or later I’ll just have to accept that I’ve reached my capacity to get faster, but I like to see if I can shave a second off my previous best time for 250m, 500m, 1000m or 2000m. I’m also using the ski machine for variety. I’m using the app to track my progress and keep me honest.

    Thanks for such informative videos.

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