How Strong is Strong Enough for a Man?
I remember when I first started lifting back in high school back in 1997. At first, I was going to the high school weight room because it was mandatory with our high school football Coach.
It took a few years, but then I decided that it was indeed something I wanted to put my efforts into. I started hanging out with the big dudes in school. We would lift, eat lunch, go back and lift again, eat dinner.
It was kind of like our own, innocent, Muscle Beach, except we weren’t in Venice Beach, we were in Hillsborough, NJ.
These guys were monsters, even by grown men standards. I didn’t have the natural size they had, so I figured I was just going to have to study more and learn more about the human body to catch up.
I made progress. Much of it because I had the proper mindset and I was super methodical in my approach to eating. I was also studying and using training methods from Eastern Europe.
However, it wasn’t until I was out of college that I started to gain some decent strength. Strength that would usually make me one of the stronger people in the gym at any given moment. I didn’t necessarily have strength goals, I was just learning how to access my strength and trying out different training methods.
In fact, last year is probably one of the first times I actually set a strength goal, which was to bench press 400 pounds. And by golly, I did it.
Yet, I am nowhere near that right now. I hit my target and then had to reassess. My fitness passion is currently Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I have plenty of strength to compete in that and hopefully one day become a decent grappler.
Which brought me to this question: ‘How strong is strong enough for a man?’ (don’t worry women, I am working on a similar article for you too).
At which point does strength not have a return benefit in terms of fitness and everyday life. For example, for my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practice, I am strong enough. So, I must shift my focus to different types of strength: strength-endurance, isometric strength, conditioning and so on.
A man that is strong enough should be able to:
- Bench press their bodyweight for two reps (if you can’t, you are either too heavy or too weak or some combination)
-Hex bar deadlift 315 for 5, regardless of weight
-Do a set of 25 pushups with a 1 second pause at the bottom
-Do a 60-yard farmer’s walk with 90 pounds in each hand
I know these numbers may seem easy to some, overly optimistic for others, but after being in the game for 20 years now, these are what I have settled on.
You want to be strong enough to be able to protect yourself and family from physical attack and you want to be strong enough to ward off age and to increase your longevity. The older we get, the first things to go will be our muscle, strength and power.
Fight for what’s yours.