Why I’m Opening Starting Strength Boston

by Arthur Frontczak | April 21, 2021

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Do you have the latest gadget? Does your vacuum clean the floor when you’re not there? Can your car park itself? How many screens can you watch a movie on at home? The latest technology always makes life “new and improved” … right? I believe the answer to that question is: it depends on our choices. And in my view we’re choosing convenience as an end unto itself without investing the time saved into meaningful endeavors.

The march towards “effortless living” continues. I can order anything online from my couch and have it arrive at my front door. Sometimes it comes the same day, which I find disturbing. At least I still have to walk from my couch to the door. I worry we’ve become so enamored with technology that an important truth got lost: not only can personal effort be a good thing, it’s essential for a healthy and meaningful life. Growth comes from effort which produces stress followed by recovery and adaptation. Sound familiar? It’s the cornerstone of the Starting Strength method. More on that in a minute.

I’ve had a long career in Information Technology (IT) management. What appeals to me most about technology is that it empowers people. Digital tools enable us to observe more, understand more, and accomplish more with less effort. And doing more with less can be a good thing. When I moved to Boston with my wife in 1996, for example, car trips were a two-person job. It took a driver behind the wheel and a navigator with a map (for us non-Boston natives, a printed spiral-bound map book) to get anywhere. Today I tell my iPhone where I want to go and the best route is plotted automatically. And it’s updated instantaneously if conditions change. Personal effort required = negligible. No more navigator. And soon no more driver either as vehicles will drive themselves.

I thought the point of technology was to minimize “non-beneficial” work, allowing us to invest time and energy in what’s valuable. We would choose to replace “low value” activity with that of higher value. Looking at our society, however, I see a lot of the first part but not very much of the second. We’re developing an ethos of “effort elimination” that exalts convenience and effortlessness above all else. Physical effort in particular, is looked upon with suspicion. Our online-centric world of efficiency and abstraction treats physical activity (like lifting weights) as crude, outdated, and even risky, especially when compared to more “evolved” mental and intellectual pursuits. More evolved?

I can say from personal experience that nothing stimulated my personal development more quickly than learning how to Squat and Deadlift. I came across Mark Rippetoe’s work when I was 50. I wish I had found it 30 years earlier! The Starting Strength program produces a wide range of long-term benefits. Your body becomes stronger than ever. Your mind learns what it’s like to accomplish something hard. It challenges your assumptions about what you’re capable of as a person. You become a bit more grounded, more humble and a little wiser. Is strength training the only way to grow as a person? Of course not, but in my experience it’s the most broadly accessible. Weightlifting is beneficial from your teenage years into retirement. It produces the widest benefit per hour spent. Strength is foundational to life. Our body doesn’t define who we are, but it is the instrument through which our life is lived. Rip was right when he said: “Humans are not physically normal in the absence of hard physical effort.” I can’t cite scientific studies that show strength training adds years to your life, but anyone who strength trains can testify that it adds more life to those years.

I’ve used technology to help people become more efficient and save time for over 20 years. Now I’d like to help you spend some of that time. I’m opening Starting Strength Boston to change the world with the most complete and effective strength training program in existence. I believe our collective health and well-being depend on it.

So add up all of that time you’re not waiting in lines at the bank (thank you, online banking), not driving to stores (thank you, online shopping), and not commuting into work (thank you, remote working). Use it to transform yourself in a Starting Strength Gym. Our coaches and gym have everything you need. If you give us a try, I bet you’ll wish you started sooner.

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