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Weight Training

I don’t know about you, but I love a barbell. There’s something about looking at the training calendar and seeing that today is barbell work. It doesn’t matter if we’re squatting, pressing, cleaning, or snatching, I’m going to get to “feel the steel” as my coach likes to say. The reason I love the barbell is because it’s built for weight. The barbell is the cylindrical metal rod that holds your weighted plates. It’s your connection to weight. And that connection becomes important in the journey of building physical fitness, because weight is what leads to strength. We want our athletes to get stronger, so our training program is loaded with weight training.

Weight training is not a new concept. It’s been around since early mankind, simply by necessity. Take the Vikings for example. No, not the NFL team, think Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. History recounts stories of the Vikings as far back as the 8th century. Known as traders, explorers, and perhaps most notably warriors, Vikings traveled in large ships that they rowed to other countries. And you thought a 3,000 meter row was hard! But not just anyone could row a Viking ship. The Captains quickly figured out that they wanted their boats full of the strongest men in the village. Hence, weight training became a part of the Viking culture. Long before there was a barbell, there were some good ‘ole stones.

If you’ve never seen the Rogue documentary Fullsterkur, you should check it out. In it, they visit Nordic countries to find stones like the Vikings used to lift, some weighing as much as 339 pounds. I don’t know if you’ve done much awkward object lifting lately but picking up a 300+ pound stone is no easy task. The Viking way of life depended on strength, so they ordered themselves around a training program built to develop strong warriors. Suffice it to say, there is no path to strength that doesn’t involve weight training. If you want to get strong, you have to lift heavy loads.

Spiritually speaking, the same concept applies, only we like to look at it in reverse. Think of your life as a spiritual weight training workout. You’re the barbell. Over time, you accumulate the “weight” of life. If you think that’s not true, imagine yourself as a child. For most of you, that was probably an easier time than figuring out how to pay the bills, run your businesses, lead your teams, and balance the tension of the demands of the American lifestyle. But what the Vikings knew applies to us today. See, they didn’t pick up a 300+ pound stone and carry it for good. That seems ridiculous to even consider. They carried the weight for the time it took to produce the result they desired and then they, wait for it, put it down. You are carrying weight in your spiritual life that is hindering your ability to grow. Maybe you’re hindered by your priorities, because work is at the top. Maybe you’re hindered by a mindset that you can’t, or you won’t, or you never. Maybe you’re hindered by a choice in the past, and you haven’t let go or forgiven. Life gives us daily opportunity for spiritual weight training. But in order for you to make your biggest gains, to get the most from the struggles and difficulties coming your way, you’re going to need to drop some past weight

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