“Stronger people are harder to kill”
Mark Rippetoe

A person’s Grip Strength is associated with overall health outcomes.  High grip strength is associated with a decrease in all cause mortality and a decrease in mortality from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, COPD, and all cancers. 

Stronger people are harder to kill!!

My husband and I joke all the time that whenever we do a workout together that we are making ourselves harder to kill (and younger next year ;)).  But seriously, we actually are, and science backs this up.  With the current health crisis around the world this is more important than ever before!

We all should be facing this pandemic defensively:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Keep hands away from our face
  • Avoid close contact with other people not from our own bubble
  • Wear masks
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your health daily

But what else can we do?  What can we do offensively?

We need to build our physical resilience and our physiological reserve. We do this through Effective Physical Activity.

In recent studies, adults who engage in leisure time aerobic and muscle strengthening activities at levels recommended by the 2018 physical activity guidelines showed greatly reduced risk of all cause and cause specific mortality.

The data suggests that the physical activity levels recommended in the guidelines are associated with important survival benefits.

What is Effective Physical Activity?

  1. Aerobic Activity

2.5 hours to 5 hours per week of moderate intensity (5/10 RPE).  An intensity level where you could talk but not sing.  A nice brisk walk.


75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity (RPE 7/10).  An intensity level where you are not able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

  1. Strength Training
    2 or more days per week of moderate or greater intensity (RPE 5-8/10) strength training involving all major muscle groups. This is NOT moving muscles in isolation around a single joint.

Tips for Meeting Aerobic Activity Recommendations

  • Go harder not longer
  • Intensity, Intensity, INTENSITY!
  • Variety is the spice of life, vary your intensity

Tips for Meeting Strength Training Recommendations

  • Aim for 7/10 RPE with 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Work on load and then range of motion – the strongest lived the longest, not the most flexible! Build strength in a functional range of motion then work on full range of motion.
  • Work on full body movements to increase IGF-1 in the body. Full body movements increase metabolism more and IGF-1 is a growth hormone that regulates bone density and muscle strength (bones and muscles grow!)
  • Routine is the enemy – use a variety of strength training exercises – routine leads to injury, variety prevents injury

So if you haven’t been to class lately, consider the benefits of building your physical resilience so you can approach life during this pandemic in the offensive position as we move into the fall.  

Keep up your defensive habits of washing your hands and wearing your mask and hopefully I will see you in class 2-3 times a week to help you with achieving your Effective Physical Activity goals.

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