by Khaled Allen

The most common complaint I hear from people who are interested in improving their fitness is that they don’t want to lift heavy weights. Bikers maintain that they don’t need to, soccer players believe it will make them bulky, and runners think it will slow them down. Women almost universally are afraid of gaining weight.

Marilyn Monroe lifted heavy weights, for crying out loud!

The problem is that there are no images in the fitness world of immensely strong, lean individuals. Everyone seems to think that if they so much as touch a loaded barbell, they will balloon into an Austrian bodybuilder. When people think of weightlifting, they see super heavyweight powerlifters and bodybuilders. They don’t think about the 135 lb men who are lifting 300 lbs and are about as lean and cut as a jaguar.

Most people don’t realize that the super heavyweights follow special programs to gain weight; they don’t get that way just by lifting.

People associate strength with bulk, and bulk with slowness. They would rather be small and weak than slightly heavier and immensely stronger.

Here’s an interesting fact: muscle tissue is capable of generating approximately 30 times its own weight in tension. That means 1 pound of muscle can pull 30 pounds of weight. Any gains in muscle mass will bestow more than enough extra speed, power, and agility to compensate for the extra bulk (up to a certain point of course).

The Spartan Race requires you to be well-rounded, just like any real-life situation that might require you to use your body. In an emergency, you might have to carry your loved ones to safety, and the ability to bike for hours will do you no good if you can’t even support their weight for more than a few minutes. Get strong. You’ll be faster, more agile, have less pain, and look better naked.

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