Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I love about training.

I just finished reading a new article on t-nation, and the last paragraph that Tim Henriques wrote spoke volumes to me. 

"Serious lifters with a few notches on their weight belts know there's no quick fix to strength. Instead, strength comes from hard work on productive exercises, and it's usually a painfully slow process, earned one excruciating rep at a time. Put some work into this program and you might find it paying you appreciable dividends down the road or on the platform."

It made me realize how much I fucking love working out, and why. Sure, there are the aesthetic benefits (we all like looking good without clothes) and there are the performance benefits (beast mode). But is that it? For someone who truly loves working out, there has to be something else. Something bigger that drives us to get into the weight room and try and move an amount of weight that makes people look at you sideways. What gives me that extra push to do things that make "normal" people scoff?

I have a fear of being average, and that pushes me. I like to be the best at stuff. Even though I'm often not the best, I like to think I am. If I don't believe that I am the best trainer at my gym, why would any client believe that I was the best? I'm not cocky (despite what my friends would tell you) but I am very confident. Whatever I do, I try to excel at. 

I love overcoming challenges. "I hate losing more than I love winning." Every time I break a weight or rep PR in the gym, a new one is set immediately. Pulled 395? 405 is next. After that? 415. Every day has a new challenge. You feel like the biggest badass in the world when you are successful at meeting one of these goals, and the failure just teaches you how to reassess. You don't miss a PR and then stop trying; you miss a PR and figure out how to come back and crush the weight the next time you try. To keep moving forward you have to keep learning. 

I honestly got this in a fortune cookie.
Those are pretty common reasons for people to work out, though. Tim's last paragraph made me think of something I'd never thought of before though. Training is one of the few areas of life where you ALWAYS get out of it what you put in. If you get in the gym 5 times a week and bust your ass doing the right exercises, and then go home and eat a flawless diet; you're going to end up on the Swole' Patrol. If you go spend 40 minutes on the arc trainer twice a week before happy hour with your co-workers, you're going to look like it. I really don't know of any other areas of life where you control your destiny to this extent.

You can go to work and put in 100% every day and be perfect, but that chode down the hall got to ride with the boss at the company golf tournament, kissed some ass and got the promotion instead of you. Same with school; some people just aren't good at it. No matter how hard I study some materials, I just don't get it. (Math and Chemistry, I'm looking at you!)

Another area where you don't always get what you put in is relationships. Sometimes no matter how hard you work at it, or want it to work, it turns out that the other person just isn't right for you or doesn't want it to work. Plain and simple, not everyone is ultimately compatible. You're left wondering where you went wrong; what you could've done differently; why you weren't good enough. You did everything in your power though.You can't force someone to love you; that's illegal. 

Not weight training though. The barbell doesn't lie, it doesn't give a damn if you had a shitty day. If you put in the work, you get the benefits. It is as simple as that. There is no squeaking by when you are holding enough weight on your back to crush your spine; only big brass balls and either glory or defeat. Your body can't fail you, only your mind can.

That is why I love training. 

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