I was big—so it was no surprise when my strength was summoned to help move a large shake machine back in my Burger King days (a long time ago!). As my side of the machine sagged, a person not known for mincing words said in no uncertain terms my muscles were not that impressive.

It was the second time that I had received this comment. Another time was when a huge Nicaraguan man—a beast who would let me throw punches at his rock hard stomach, accused me of having muscles filled with air.

I could bench and curl a lot—and that was it. It didn’t help me much in real world applications. Then, in 2003, I discovered the writings of Pavel Tsatsouline. I learned a ton, but the main thing was having strength in the posterior chain, and I developed this through deadlifts and the kettlebell swing.

Additionally—and this is important—was hand and ab strength. You put all this together and you have a ton of usable strength. For in the grand scheme of things, we’re a picking stuff up, carrying it, and walking kind of species.

Fast forward a decade or so after that shake machine incident and now I have a strong posterior chain, strong hands, and strong abs. I can bend over and scoop up my kids. I can run and play. I can climb trees. I can get that stupid, unwieldy double stroller out of the trunk.

That’s the basic component of exercise—developing capability. Not having to shy away from physical tasks. Having good posture. Staying with the program and developing the self discipline of hard work employed consistently over time.