I’ve never been great at team sports…or team anything(group projects: bleh) for that matter. I’d much rather get things done on my own and fail on my own if it comes down to it. I think this is part of the reason I was drawn to exercise and weight training as my “sport.” I don’t work out, I train. I want to put a little bit more weight on the bar or to finish those 100 burpees a little bit faster. If I don’t make it, I know I need to try harder next time. If I do make it, I know I got there by pushing myself to achieve that. I know most people don’t view the gym and exercise in this light. Curiously, one of my clients this morning said something that I think really helps me reframe weight training for most people:
“I looked at our workout logs and I couldn’t believe that I had lifted that much weight. I did that!”
Often upon picking up a weight that’s a bit uncomfortable for the first time, many people say, “Oh this feels too heavy. I don’t know if I can do it.” The first time a person hits their sticking point on whatever movement they’re doing, they typically think that they’re done. They can’t lift the weight. With most people I’ve coached, there’s that turning point where they set their mind to lifting the weight up and they do everything they can to get it up there. They know the sticking point is just something that can be overcome. Their body stiffens as they brace their core; their legs, arms or even entire body starts shaking as they fight against gravity and there’s a look of solid determination on their face. Whether they lift the weight up or not isn’t the point. That mental shift, however is exactly what I’m looking for and it’s one of the most powerful things that can’t be taught when training someone.
Learning that intensity is one of the best skills that we can add to our lives. It spills out into everything else we do by upping our confidence levels and, seriously, how could it not?? Lifting big weights is freaking hard and is downright uncomfortable at best. We’re not always sure we can do it. But we learn over time that when it comes down to it, we know how to dig down into ourselves and push as hard as we can rather than giving up at the first sign of trouble. Everyone that weight trains regularly stands a little bit taller(not just because of better posture!), struts a little bit more and is way more self-confident than they were before they started. Every set back and problem in life just becomes another sticking point to push through.
Afraid to talk to the opposite sex?
Want a raise?
They all just become problems you can overcome rather than something to accept. Go talk to that cute guy or girl, tell your boss your dam sure worth more than he’s paying and that car was a dud anyways. Or maybe telling your boss straight up you’re worth more is something like a 400 pound squat; you’ll get there with enough time and hard work but you’re only at 200 pounds right now. So ask for a little more responsibility and don’t be afraid to make sure they know all the good work you’re doing.
Some common side effects regular of weight training include:
- Increased confidence
- A more visually appealing body
- A desire to lift bigger weights
- Eagerness to get into the gym
- Stronger heart
- Stronger vocal cords through grunting
- A desire to listen to heavy metal music