I have a computer job. Tapping on a keyboard all day does not require any strength. The only time I ever have to do anything remotely physical is to change the water bottle in the water dispenser. Sometimes I get boxes on the top shelves in the store room.
The water bottle holds 5 gallons of water so it weighs about 41 pounds. Of course it is bulky and awkward and you have to be able to pour the water into the reservoir and then flip it over without getting water everywhere. I'm usually the only man in the office so it's my job. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I used to struggle with it a bit. The consequence of my weakness was that sometimes the carpet got a little wet. Hardly life threatening.
So why waste your time training strength?
There are lots of reasons, but lets start with a very basic one - just to be a functional human being throughout your life. Once a person starts to hit that downslope of their life, somewhere around 35 years of age or so, they start to lose muscle mass. The technical term is called sarcopenia. It's a natural product of aging; it's inevitable that you will lose muscle mass.
Is it hopeless then? Hardly. The old adage of "use it or lose it" applies here. If you sit at your desk all day, and then sit in your car on the way home, and then sit on your couch all evening, then you will lose muscle mass faster then someone who trains. But is this really a big deal? It becomes one, yes.
It is very common for elderly people to have lost so much muscle that they have trouble standing up. You can get to the point where even in our incredibly non-physical world you can't function. What happens when you can't carry your grocery bags? What happens when you can't life a carton of milk to put it in your refrigerator? What happens when you can't maintain your balance standing and risk falling just walking around? The rest home is the next stop. It's not a question of longevity. It's a quality of life issue. What's the point of living to 100 if you spend the last 30 years of it having someone wipe your butt for you?
So training with weights gives you two advantages. You lose muscle more slowly and you can start from a higher level. If over the next 30 years I lose half my strength I will end up about where I was before I started lifting. I might start spilling the water again, but I'll still be able to do it. If my peers who are sedentary lose half their strength then changing the water bottle will be the least of their problems.
In a way lifting is like taking supplements. We take supplements because the food we eat doesn't provide all the nutrients we need to be healthy. We lift because the lifestyle we lead doesn't provide the physical stimulation to be healthy.
Of course there are many more reasons to pick up heavy sh*t on a regular basis. Stay tuned for part two.