Strength Training

Strength is the foundation of a long, healthy life.1

There is no such thing as “accidental” muscle. You must work hard and keep at it to get stronger. If you stop, you will waste away.

The Complete Strength Training Guide by Greg Nuckols weighs in at 54 pages and is a better, more concise resource than most books on the subject. Start there if you care about why and how strength training works. I will not attempt to summarize it here. But, if you don’t want to start by reading a short book, some of the key training concepts to keep in mind are:


It doesn’t make sense to invest enough time to gain the expertise required to develop your own training plans before you get started. Use a beginner-friendly training plan and learn what works for you as you progress.


Effective strength training requires enough resistance for progressive overload. This is usually accomplished by moving heavy things. Weight training equipment commonly includes:

Not having the “right” equipment does not prevent you from training. You can make gains with bodyweight movements, a handful of exercise bands, and jugs of water. Training at an elite level does require specialized equipment but you’re probably better off finding a specialized gym than buying it all yourself.

You can learn a lot about a gym from it’s equipment choices; if they only have weight machines and cardio equipment go somewhere else.

Buying fitness equipment is a slippery slope. Just because you have something in your home doesn’t mean you will use it.3 You can get a lot of mileage out of:

Everything else is a bonus.

  1. Dr. Peter Attia has written many articles and recorded many podcasts about this. His book Outlive is a good, high-level overview of how to stay healthy throughout your life. 

  2. Years ago, I recall a comment by Arnold Schwarzenegger on Reddit (u/GovSchwarzenegger) where he suggested adding pull-ups. I can’t find the link now. 

  3. I have fallen for this trap an untold number of times. It’s not just me; I have seen a spectacular quantity of aspirational fitness equipment in the background of Zoom calls with co-workers.