What I Have Learned After 10 Years of Lifting Weights
Lifting weights sucks.
It’s commonly understood that pulling or pushing a weight is very uncomfortable. It is not something our body naturally wants to do, especially while being in a gym filled with people you do not know. We naturally want to stay home and relax. We are borderline crazy for even thinking of driving/walking/sometimes dragging ourselves to the gym just to lift some metal for an extended period of time.
Now that we got that cleared up, I’m here to tell you that after 10 years of doing that maniacal thing I just described, it doesn't get easier. I still get that palm sweating feeling that I used to get as a teenager when I’m about to start a workout. My mind is firing at 145 thoughts per minute about reasons to just skip the workout and go home and snack on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. I never “want” to lift weights, I just know that I will feel better the next day knowing I got it done. Some people would say I am addicted to lifting, but that’s just because they see the dedication on the outside. They do not see the mental battle I go through each day to just get started.
That brings me to my next point. One of the hardest parts to lifting weights is getting started. Too often I have people ask me “where do I start?” and the obvious, yet true response is.. “Just get started.”
If you’re reading this and have yet to get started on your fitness journey, I would recommend to properly equip yourself. Make sure to have a sufficient amount of athletic wear. This does not have to be anything fancy. Just some hoodies, t-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, and sneakers will suffice. The next step would be to sign up for a gym. The decision of where to join is entirely up to you. Make sure it is an environment in which there’s a great balance of increased motivation and lack of intimidation. Don’t just stop there, whatever you do, don’t be a “gym donor.” I have been victim to, and know plenty of people who have gym memberships they don’t use yet pay for it every month. Try your best to use the gym as soon as you sign up to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
If you’re reading this and you already got started on your fitness journey then congratulations. You’re well on your way to becoming a more resilient version of yourself. I hope you’re proud of yourself. There is nothing more gratifying than doing something that’s the perfect combination of being beneficial and unnatural. By lifting weights, you are tapping into a part of yourself that cannot be replicated elsewhere. My advice to you would be to continue to challenge yourself. That “go to” workout that you’ve been doing? Well add one (or more) set/s, add more reps each set or even more weight. You would be surprised what you are capable of.
Now if you are a seasoned vet, you know exactly what I will be discussing next. There is never a point when a squat, bench press, or deadlift gets easy. If it is, then you are not reaching an optimal level of intensity. People think it gets “boring” or “monotonous” but that is never the case. No matter if you have been lifting for 10 years or 30 years, there are always challenges to overcome. It may not be to reach an all time max, but it may be something like having a weight feel light that was once a struggle for you. There are endless roller coasters to ride on while on the lifting journey. There will be bad weeks/months, but in a sense, those are needed in order to cherish those times of strength. People expect growth to be linear and immediate, but you know all too well that it’s not the case.
All in all, lifting weights comes down to 3 “D’s”: Desire, Decision, and Dedication.
You must desire to make the necessary changes to optimize your health.
You must make the decision to take the necessary steps to optimize your health.
You must be dedicated to continue taking the necessary steps to optimize your health.