“When will I hit my limit or achieve my potential in terms of strength?” Is a question we often field. A variation of this includes, “When will I shift to trying to maintain my strength rather than trying to improve it?” The answer to this question is both interesting and encouraging. We will reach our peak ability to demonstrate strength at varying times in our lives. Peak strength may occur at 45 years of age or 65 years of age depending on our training experience and individual physiology. However, the important point is that we should never switch to a strength-training program that emphasizes “maintenance” over improvement. As we age, we may have to continue to strive to improve just to maintain our current level of strength. After all, our biological trajectory is that we will continue to get weaker and weaker as we age. This occurs even if we are active. We can combat this process if we strength train intelligently. However, when we are 60 or 70 years old, we will need to strive to get stronger, just to maintain. Interestingly, research indicates that if we switch to a regimen that encourages “maintenance” we actually start losing strength. It appears that the very construct of “maintaining” has negative mental and physiological effects. Of course, we don’t always have to improve in terms of the amount of weight we lift. We may improve by performing more reps with the same weight, by taking less recovery between exercises in a given workout, or by slowing the movement speed with which we perform each repetition (and therefore increasing the difficulty). The imperative is this: We must attempt to improve. This Mantra has become the Passion of Discover Strength… Our Core Purpose. This is how we we think about exercise, how we think about ourselves, and how we think about an organization. Never Stop Improving.
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