The New Rules of Lifting by Lou SchulerEvery weekend over the next few months, I am going to be examining each of the New Rules of Lifting from Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove’s new book. This is rule #3.

To build size, you must build strength.

The authors talk about how metabolically expensive it is to have large muscles, and how your body will resist building them without a good reason. They state that muscle growth through increased strength is always a weight lifter’s goal in the gym. They also talk about the advantages of having stronger muscles such as weight control, injury prevention, and rolling back the biological clock.

I agree with the statement, but not with all of their reasoning. They deride folk who are there just to “tone” their muscles, but they don’t talk about any other reason that somebody might want to lift weights. My goals are a little bit different than average, at least for half the year. When I am getting ready for a marathon, I still want stronger muscles and do what I need to to build strength. My other goal, however, is not to increase my muscle size. Heavier muscles mean I need to work harder during my marathons. When I am recovering from a marathon, then that is when I try to increase my muscle size.

Weight control and injury prevention are good reasons to concentrate on strong muscles; by their example, however, I have no interest in having the body of somebody 20 years younger. In 20 years, I have no doubt I will say something different. In the meantime, I’d prefer to have my body than a 6 year old’s body. Ha ha.