So usually I lift heavy things in the gym, either on my own, with a personal trainer, or lately with my son Miles who is starting university at Guelph next month.
That’s controlled and deliberate lifting. You know how much a thing weighs and you make a plan to lift it x number of times for y number of sets. Though sometimes the math is complicated. The other day I was lifting a 55 lb bar with 40 kg weights.
Lately though I’ve been lifting heavy things in the wild. What do I mean?
Well, here are some examples.
Tonight, I needed to move a washer and dryer set from the back lawn into the shed. We had a wheelie thing underneath it to get it as far as the shed so no problem but then there wasn’t enough clearance in the shed to get the thing and the wheels inside. Miles and I lifted it. I was cautious at first to make sure I was okay with the weight and then once I knew I was fine, carried it into the shed and set it down being careful not to trap my fingers.
Earlier this week Sarah and I had to get the Snipe into the water and out again on our own. We use a trailer and cradle and there’s a ramp into the water but the boat isn’t light. It weighs about 381 lbs. We did it!
And then there are all the boxes of books I’m moving here there and everywhere. My books don’t fit in the new house so some are going to my office at university and others are going to Goodwill. Books aren’t light!
Now lifting actual things is in many ways harder than lifting weights in the gym. Real objects are awkwardly shaped and when you set them down on the floor you need to be careful you don’t squish your fingers. Actual things rarely come with handles. You need grip strength to hold them. We’ve blogged about real world strength here.
This everyday stuff is a big part of why I train with weights, I can lift heavy things in the wild, not just in the controlled environment of the gym.
Yes, it’s for bone health. Yes, it’s to maintain muscle as I age.
But it’s also for practical things like moving washing machines, sailboats, and books.
How about you? Do you enjoy your strength in practical everyday ways?