I received the following comment in response to an earlier post about bodybuilding vs. powerlifting…as if those were the only two strength or fitness practices available.
“I used to improperly lift weights in my teens and early 20’s, just going for aesthetics. I’ve spent the last couple years unwinding the damage, and was wondering what you would recommend for rebuilding from a foundational strength level. I want to be able to move without pain, and do my work (massage therapy) without feeling off balance the whole time. “
What do you primarily focus on for strength or fitness?
This is a good question to ask yourself.
In bodybuilding it is often just on what you look like.
In powerlifting it is often just what you can lift.
I’m not saying that either of these are bad…except that primary focus on either one is likely to lead to damage.
Understand that these are both externally focused.
If you want longevity, whether that is just for health, but also to be able to look good and lift heavy into older age, more and more focus must go internal. In other words, you need to learn to listen to your body.
Pain and damage is a signal. And these are signals that most bodybuilding, powerlifting, weightlifting and much more train you to OVERRIDE.
I would say that training for health is the best thing to focus on. The top priority. In my experience this is the best long-term strategy as for how to focus on these things is this order of importance.
1 – Health
2 – Performance
3 – Aesthetics
My finding is that if you aim for number one and two, then three takes care of itself!
Unfortunately, most people invert this order to their own detriment.
As far as unwinding damage, and building performance by building a stronger body in all the right ways, a good place to start is The Indestructible Body.
In fact, learning how to assist your body in healing from aches, pains and injuries can be one of the best “tutors” out there.
Train to be healthy and you’ll find your performance goes up.
Train for health and performance and you’ll find that your body takes care of looking good.