Strong and Healthy are NOT the Same Thing

I am a certified personal trainer, however I am by no means a nutritionist or a medical professional. That being said, the purpose of these posts is not to provide explicit medical advice-they are to help you prepare mentally to begin, run along and stay on the Road to Gainzville. That being said, the denotation for the words “healthy” and “strong” are markedly different. While there is certainly a correlation between the two, I personally believe (with some exceptions, naturally) for the most part, strength builds confidence while health is more related to quality of life.

Obviously the aforementioned is not a blanket statement, however I think it’s important to differentiate between the two for approaching training from a cerebral perspective. Eating a strict, balanced healthy diet alone with no exercise for an extended period of time can certainly have undeniable health benefits, however it will not help build strength. When I refer to strength, I refer not only to raw, physical power but confidence and focus as well. I’d argue mental strength is more important than physical-we all age and eventually reach a point where we can no longer bench press X number of pounds, however a sharp mind (with some exceptions, of course) lasts much longer. Strength-both mental and physical-builds confidence, competence, courage. All of this helps breed success and allows us to enables us to achieve our goals, whatever they may be.

I want my clients, friends, family, everyone-to be healthy and strong. While the responsibility for ensuring you are healthy is your own, only a certified medical professional can let you know if you’re truly healthy. That being said, when you’re strong, you know it. The feeling of breaking a personal record (PR) in the gym or on the track is fantastic, as it is the ultimate barometer for knowing you are stronger, faster, and better than you were before.  The sensation you get when you cross a finish line of a race-that is strength. This is the distinction I want to instill when it comes to approaching my clients’ training: healthy is something you’re cognizant of, while strength is something you feel.

I want you to chase that feeling of strength. We’ve all felt it-maybe you nailed a presentation in school, handled a negotiation expertly in the office, lifted more than you ever have on a particular exercise, didn’t get winded going up the stairs, was able to move a heavy piece of furniture without too much difficulty-we all have experienced the sensation of strength occasionally, and our goal as healthy and strong people on the Road to Gainzville should be to constantly seek to improve our strength. I want you to know you’re a strong person, with the confidence and willingness to work to attain your goals. Nothing worth having ever comes easy-doesn’t matter if it’s completing a marathon, finishing an obstacle course race or acing a final exam. Strength will help you push through and ignore any doubts which will inevitably crop into your mind and enable you to remain focused on the task at hand.

I encourage you to focus on building strength, and finding a way to motivate yourself when the going gets tough. What are some examples of strength you’ve displayed-mental or physical-you’re most proud of? What event do you recall that keeps you going when you want to throw in the towel? Let everyone know in the comments and know you are strong!


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