The real reason we train: Mental Strength

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There’s a transformation I’ve seen ever since I’ve been in a gym. People who were the most skeptical and least willing to lift weights are the ones who have the biggest changes in other parts of their life.

Getting stronger is actually scary. When you realize that you’re capable, you also realize that you’re more responsible. You no longer have the “I can’t” excuse.

I love when I see people become stronger mentally after they accept that they’re getting stronger physically. Does it really matter if you can deadlift an extra 30 pounds this year? No. But the work you put in to gaining those 30 pounds stays with you outside of the gym.

Here’s a story from last week. In addition to our normally scheduled programming, I often have one or two tests programs happening. I find someone who can handle a little more independent work to do a 3-, 4-, or 6-week program during class and let me know how it works. I’m usually doing the same program so that I can feel what they’re feeling.

I had a false start last week, and the program was just a bit too tough. The gentleman I asked to test the program said that if I had given him that program when he walked into the gym, he wouldn’t have stayed. Of course! That’s why I didn’t give it out then. Then he said, he’s happy to suffer through it because I was confident enough in him to give it to him as a special program.

That’s exactly right! As a newbie, this program would have crushed him and he would have never even returned for the second day of training. But after spending a year here, he’s not only stronger and physically able to handle the work. But he also had the mental determination to stick with it - something he never would have done a year ago.

That determination will follow him out of the gym and he’s now a better person because of it.

Oh, and that’s why we test programs. When we release this, it will be much more sensible.

Michael Deskevich