According to the Library of Congress there are different kinds of strength. These are absolute strength or maximum force; dynamic strength, which supports repetitious movement, strength endurance to offset fatigue; and elastic strength, which helps the body to exert force quickly. Every body has some strength in each of these areas. How much you have is owed to several factors. Some we have no control over. These include genetics, gender and age. The good news is we do control some of the other factors related to physical strength. These are training exercises, diet and mind management.
The human body has more than 600 muscles. The old saying, “use it or lose it,” illustrates the value of training them when it comes to building physical strength. For example, your dominant hand, the one you write with, is likely stronger than your other hand because you use it more. One of the most important things you can do to build physical strength, endurance and flexibility is train your muscles to adapt to increasing challenges. Building physical strength is not limited to weight training, though that is a common way to get stronger muscles. Physical strength can also come with the practice of correctly holding poses with dance, yoga or Pilates. In short, you build physical strength by training your muscles to become stronger. For best effect aim for a training practice that engages the targeted muscles at least three days each week – rest days support muscle development. Don’t forget cardio. Your heart, perhaps the most important muscle in your body, needs to be strong too.
Muscles need quality fuel to be their best. If your goal is to build physical strength, a secondary goal is likely to treat your body to a healthy diet. Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients help muscles rebuild and strengthen in cooperation with your training plan. Try to avoid excessive consumption of empty calories, high fat and fried foods.
While it is true that thinking you want to be or wishing you were strong will not make it so, it is also true that the mind does have a role in building physical strength. The twin building blocks of physical strength, diet and exercise, are powerless against an unmotivated mind. Ultimately, physical strength springs from mental strength. You must have enough determination to plan and stick to health habits that contribute to and advance your fitness goals.
It takes time, discipline and planning to develop physical strength. As you consider your strength training goals, be sure you set realistic expectations. Keep a training log to track your progress. Adjust for factors outside of your control, such as genetics and age and make the most of things you can, such as exercise variation, training frequency and diet.