For me, the gym is about far more than just changing my outward appearance. Although, it has definitely helped with that too – I am stronger, leaner, and more developed than I had ever imagined.
However, the most paramount of changes have occurred inside my head. My confidence and life skills have changed profusely ever since the Iron and I developed a meaningful, loving and lasting relationship.
I began training at the ripe age of 18. Over the past five years the iron has taught me some lessons that only very few people will ever experience;
1. Growth occurs when we fail.
In order to grow our muscles we have to push them beyond what they’re capable of. They aren’t willing to just grow because you want them to. They need to be forced and pushed to their extremes. If you have never experienced true muscle failure in the gym, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. I don’t mean mind failure which occurs when you begin to feel pain so you stop. I mean true muscle failure in the sense that you have pushed yourself so incredibly far that there is legitimately no strength or ability to do that movement for a single half rep more. This, promotes growth in our bodies. Eventually, we will be able to lift more.
The same is true with our lives. We learn from our mistakes. We fall and pick ourselves back up. We become more knowledgeable, motivated, determined and a little bit harder when we don’t quite get the outcome we were aiming for. We grow, as a person.
2. Our minds are our greatest assets and own worst enemy:
Have you ever experienced a time in the gym where you physically couldn’t do any more but your mind forced you to squeeze out that one last rep? Or alternatively, your mind gives up before your body?
I have, and often do experience both. Our body’s hear everything that our mind says. You think you can do something then you’re right. When we push ourselves beyond our greatest beliefs, there is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. If you believe that you are possible of greatness, then you are. You, and only you have the power and ability to change your life, it all begins with your mind.
On the contrary, our minds can hinder us to great extents. The bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t do something is the only thing stopping you. Learn to use your mind, identify unhelpful thoughts and address them.
3. “The iron never lies”: (Henry Collins)
This is something I have seen many times before but never really knew the true meaning until I fell in love with training. 100kgs will always be 100kgs. It doesn’t matter how you look, what you do, what car you drive, how much you weigh, or the size of your paycheck. The iron will always be itself and it won’t change depending on who you are. It will always be there for you, no matter what.
Blaming the bar for your inability to make that lift will not change the fact that it sill weighs 100kg. Take a look at yourself, your focus, your attitude and your energy and then try and blame external forces.
4. You need to push yourself in order to change:
We’ve all seen that person who comes into the gym, does their crunches, press ups and sits on a bike for 30 minutes. They’ve been coming for years, yet their body hasn’t changed.
Simply showing up to the gym doesn’t mean shit unless you’re there to work. You want to change your body, you have to act like you want to. You can’t show up and go through the motions just for the sake of it. The same holds true for life. Going through the motions is a waste of our time on this planet. Push yourself. Force yourself to change, grow and experience something different.
You put in minimal effort you will get minimal results. If you want to achieve greatness you have to reach higher than bare minimum and strive for more.
5. Goals are vital:
How do we know that we are succeeding if we don’t set goals?
SMART goals are imperative for the gym and for our lives. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-constrained.
Aspirations are not goals. They can be a blueprint of the road we wish to lead, but aspiring to look or be like someone else is a waste of yourself. Set goals and do everything in your power to achieve them