Friday, March 1, 2013

How Strength Training Changed My Life


I don't think I can express my appreciation for strength training in words, and I believe I owe much of my current success in life to the barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells that I have lifted, pressed, pulled and pushed over the years.  That being stated, I will try to put my gratitude into words so that you can understand my love for training, and who knows, maybe it will spark a fire for a hidden passion that you secretly have...

  • Taught me to deal with pain:  There's no hiding the reality that lifting heavy weights will leave you feeling sore for the next following 2 days or so (the dreaded DOMS that we all learn to love eventually..), especially if you haven't trained in a while.  Some people are turned off by it, and stop training heavy (or even worse, quit exercising altogether), while others appreciate the fact that they know what they're doing is transforming their body into something different; something STRONGER.  I am part of the latter group.  I see training as being a third of who I am in reference to mind, body and soul.  Training is the "body" domain of who I am, and each domain should play an equal role in an individual's life.  So, seeing as how I see each domain as being equal, learning to deal with the physical (body) pain associated with training only shows me that I am also capable of dealing with mental (mind), and spiritual (soul) pain equally as well.  What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger..Right?  
  • Taught me to be patient:  The results will not come easy, and they will not come overnight.  You must be patient if you want to be good at complex, compound lifts, and you must be patient if you want to progress.  If you can be patient in your training then you can be patient when dealing with frustrating situations, or individuals when interacting in the world.
  • Developed an appreciation for progress:  This is similar to learning how to be patient, but simply learning to be patient doesn't express any appreciation or feelings.  I honestly love the progress that I can see and feel from being consistent, and staying dedicated to whatever program I am working on at that point in time.  Sadly, you cannot keep all of the progress you develop in one aspect of fitness when you switch up your training protocols, that's why you must stick at it and continue to work hard in every aspect.  You must learn to appreciate this, or else you will become discouraged when your progress plateaus, and if you become discouraged then you are missing the BIGGER picture.  These plateaus allow you to get back to the drawing board, reassess your focus, and get back to crushing it in the gym (or wherever you prefer to train) the next day, week, month and year!


  • Changed my lifestyle:  Similar to my blog post "Why Do I Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?", if you want to get stronger, you are going to have to refocus your priorities and change up your lifestyle.  This means not going out late as often.  This means not having that 3rd beer or cocktail.  This means saying no to the piece of cake that all your friends will try to shove in your face.  This means learning to deal with friends/people judging you for being dedicated.  This means CRUSHING it day-in-day-out, even when you don't feel like it!  BE DEDICATED...IT'S WORTH IT!!!
  • Discovered my passion:  From the first day I broke 200 lbs on my squat, I knew I was hooked.  The day I passed 300 lbs on my deadlift, I was addicted.  The day I did 100 dead-hang pull ups, I told everyone I knew - they didn't care - but I DID!  I cared so much, that I wanted to share it with EVERYONE!  I guess that's what passion is.  Sharing things that mean the world to you, even if others don't care, or think you're crazy.  It's not narcissism, people, its passion.  I'd be almost as excited for you if you shared these stories of progress with me as I was for myself...almost...  Be passionate friends.  It doesn't matter what it is that you are passionate about (as long as it's not negatively affected yourself or others), but when you find it, dive in head-first...







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