Of all the forms of strength training I could have chosen, I chose powerlifting, which is just lifting weights on a barbell. I also do a bit of free weights and kettle bell stuff, but right now powerlifting is my jam.
I've practised and taught yoga for over a decade, and for nearly that long I was about as open to weight training as I was to having someone pull my wisdom teeth out with a pair of rusty pliers (I still have all of my wisdom teeth BTW.)
But life has a way of changing the way you see things. Having babies lead me to develop unexpected tendon weaknesses which were compounded when I practised the yang form of yoga I was used to. Unable to handstand, I started training with a friend who was a PT. He introduced me to lifting weights. And the rest is history.
And the main reason I like weight lifting as my main form of strength training?
Three words: efficiency, convenience, and badass-ery (not really a word, but it's just so much fun to say!)
Powerlifting is time efficient. The big compound movements you perform in a typical powerlifting program are predominantly the squat, benchpress, and deadlift, which use the major muscle groups meaning maximal effect for minimal time. Plus, you get all of the hormonal benefits I've already mentioned here.
It's convenient because I can do it at home. Anyone with small children knows that convenience is crucial! It has to be consistent to provide the positive benefits I mentioned, and to be consistent it has to be doable on a regular basis. I train three times a week: twice at home and once with a coach at a strength training gym.
And it makes me feel like a badass. I mean, I can do pull ups again. I haven't been able to do those since 1999.
For the record, I also do near-daily yoga and (occasional) pilates. Mobility becomes even more important when you're lifting heavy things. No one wants to end up walking like a robot!
IS BEING STRONG REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
Rather than telling you what you "should do” with your body, I'd much prefer to share my own experiences to help you discover all the options, and explore as you please. You can then choose what’s right for you, and that may well be ballet instead of bench pressing; pilates (which I also love) instead of pull ups.
Then again, badass-ery.