The phrase “You can be anything you want… But you must be strong first.” is a powerful statement written by StrongFirst’s Chairman Pavel Tsatsouline.
What does it mean to be strong first?
Strength is not the only quality, but is a very important one that takes many forms and is not measured solely in pounds or kilograms.
The discipline to achieve requires you first have strength of mind and character.
The ability to help others first requires you to be strong enough to help yourself.
Flexibility first requires you to be strong enough to achieve a position.
Posture first requires you be strong enough to hold a position.
Speed first requires you be strong enough to move your body.
Endurance first requires the strength to endure…
and the list goes on.
Since 2008 the way I have been taught in the original RKC by Pavel and now StrongFirst has always emphasized quality over quantity. I’ve always been taught that in order to become strong, I must first learn to move well, then learn to add strength to good movement. At the instructor courses I’ve attend and been fortunate enough to assist at I’ve consistently witnessed candidates being taught to emphasize form and quality before emphasizing quantity of volume, intensity or load.
Repeatedly I’ve heard the message that strength is useless if you can not move your body well enough to use it efficiently. Finally, the instructor certification experience itself is built around requiring candidates to first become strong enough to perform the techniques well before teaching them to others. Just as I’ve been taught these lessons by my team leaders, senior and master instructors, I too have striven to teach movement and quality first to my own students.
A fast movement is inferior to an equally fast movement performed with more strength and therefore less perceived effort.
A harsh action performed from a position of weakness is inferior to a gentle action performed from a position of strength.
A beautifully executed movement is inferior to an equally beautiful movement that is also stronger.
I believe strength has a higher purpose.
Become strong enough to make life better… for yourself and others.