Try To Beat Yourself, Not Other People

There Are Always Two Sides To Everything

Weightlifting can be an enjoyable pursuit, motivating, rewarding and well, just down right fun! But often, this entire positive experience can become overrun by feelings of frustration, disappointment and, the need for more. Like most things in life, you will always encounter two sides. In weightlifting, you will come across both the good and the not so good sides continuously.

That is, unfortunately, just part of the whole weightlifting game! The important thing however, is learning how to magnify and reinforce these positives, while minimizing the negatives. If you can achieve this, then your entire weightlifting journey will only get better. Now for the important question, what am I actually talking about here? 

Motivation Is The Key To Achievement

Do you remember when you first got into weightlifting? What made you get into it? I am guessing, that for a lot of you, it was through someone you had seen, either on TV, the Internet or in a magazine. That someone just jumped out. They grabbed your attention, they inspired you, and at that moment, you said, ‘I really want to look like that!’ ‘I really want to be like them!’ Strong mixed feelings of emotions started to arise and finally, you felt motivated to do something about it.

From that moment, you began your weightlifting journey! None of this seems bad, right? You had found your source of motivation and it acted as the catalyst needed, to push you to get out and achieve your goals. When it comes to weightlifting, these people that you look up to can act as a huge motivational boost. Sometimes, you wake up and you say to yourself, ‘I just don’t feel like hitting the gym today’. But wait, you miraculously come across your favorite fitness idol and bang! That motivation comes rushing back. What happens after this? Well, if you are like me, then you probably race out the door and go set some new personal records in the gym.

“When it comes to weightlifting, these people that you look up to can act as a huge motivational boost”.

So, what can you say from all of this? Well, one thing is for certain. If you are looking for motivation, look towards your favourite weightlifting idols! It will provide the motivation that pushes you to go out and work towards achieving your weightlifting goals. When it comes to achieving your full weightlifting potential, motivation is the key to unlocking this. Why? As with everything, you will experience both positive and negative times during your weightlifting pursuits. These negative times will sometimes lead to questions such as ‘Why? Is it worth it? Should I do something else? Am I made for this? If this happens, and it will! Motivation will be the driving force to push you through these bad times and, to keep you on your weightlifting path to success.

Always Feeling Like Your One Step Behind

There are a few things I often hear with people new to the weightlifting game. Things such as ‘ I want to look exactly like him or her’ ‘How can I look like that’ ‘If I take this, or do this, will I achieve this look’? These are all fair questions. After all, when you begin something, you are still learning, and knowing what is and what is not possible, comes with time, learning and experience. Although having fitness idols can provide you with a huge motivational boost, they also bring a not so good side to the whole weightlifting pursuit. This not so good side can sometimes, play tricks on you both physically and mentally. If allowed to take control completely over your weightlifting pursuits, it can potentially impede your weightlifting progress. Welcome to the negative side of the coin!

“Fitness idols can provide you with a huge motivational boost”.

When you look at weightlifting idols, the chances are, you see them in perfect, peak condition. That means, the absolute best they can be and look! But, the problem is, that is all you can see. Typically, you get to see nothing more than a brief moment, a snapshot in time of someone (with a bit of Photoshop also thrown in there). Its no surprise, if you want weightlifting motivation, then naturally, you want someone who is at the peak of their weightlifting game. If they look great, you have all the motivation you need! But, what if, you do everything right, and in time; you still look nothing like these people? The chances are, that feelings of failure, disappointment, not working hard enough, start to creep up in your mind. Am I right? You might become so disappointed, disillusioned and frustrated, that you start becoming more extreme in the way you pursue your weightlifting? (Or maybe, you stop all together?)

Once this all starts happening, you kind of feel like your always one step behind everyone else in the weightlifting world. It feels like you will never, whatever you do, be able to match up with these people. After all, what is the point in doing all this weightlifting stuff, if I can’t end up looking as good as these people? That is my ultimate goal!

“What if, you do everything right, and in time; you still look nothing like these people?”.

Honestly, I understand your struggle. I have experienced the same many times. Trust me, as someone who has grown up in a bodybuilding family (you can imagine, surrounded always by perfect physiques!) I have often felt that I fall behind other people in terms of weightlifting achievement. Often, I have a weightlifting plan, I feel great, and everyday it feels like my body is changing for the best. But suddenly, someone steps into my line of sight. Someone who is extremely strong, very big and who, well, just looks all round great! Better than I could ever imagine or hope to achieve! Everytime it happens, I always begin to question my own weightlifting path. I ask myself all sorts of questions. Am I doing things right? Or could I be doing something better? What is their secret? It’s pretty natural! You see someone else who looks 100x better than yourself, and you start to wonder whether they have found something out you haven’t yet. In short, you begin to focus more on someone else, than yourself! The question is, wouldn’t it be better, to focus this energy on yourself rather than on that other person? After all, the only one who can allow to you achieve your weightlifting goals, is you.

There Is No Better Comparison, Than To Yourself

Weightlifting idols provide a great source of motivation. This motivation keeps you firmly on your weightlifting path. But, in my opinion, that’s all they should provide. Nothing more and nothing less. The chances are, if you become too fixated on these idols, at some point, you will start questioning your own progress, weightlifting path and lose sight on what’s achievable and what is not. It is important to remember, that you don’t know anything about these weightlifting idols. Other than what you see, hear or read about, their reality could be completely different! In a world of digital enhancement, social media and other tricks and gimmicks, many things can be blown out of proportion, exaggerated and made to sound better than they really are. You might even look at someone and say to yourself ‘Wow, that is perfection’ When in reality, they might feel absolutely terrible! Through all this, your expectations over weightlifting can become, skewed. When it comes to someone else, nothing is certain.

“Competing with and surpassing your old self every time, will lead to continuous satisfaction, motivation and feelings of accomplishment”. You take them by their word. But that will always leave you uncertain. If you want to reach those weightlifting goals, then the best thing you can do, is to focus on you! Competing with and surpassing your old self every time, will lead to continuous satisfaction, motivation and feelings of accomplishment. On the other hand, trying to compete with other people will always leave you with a lingering, hesitant and disillusioned feeling of ‘Am I ever going to be as good as these people’ This will always lead you to question your own ability and weightlifting journey. In other words, no matter what you do or achieve, you will never recognize your own results or truly appreciate how far you have come, if you focus too much on someone else.

If you are looking for competition, then the best competition will always be with yourself. If you are continuously exceeding your old targets, then give yourself a pat on the back! You are doing it right. You probably feel good, right? No ifs, buts or maybes, just, I am glad I did it! Now, I am going to keep going. When it comes to motivation, yes, look to your idols. They are really good at giving you the motivation necessary to pull you through your workouts. But, when it comes to assessing your progress, and looking to the road ahead, look only to yourself. Most weightlifting idols represent an end destination. Remember, for you, weightlifting is a journey. How you change and compete with yourself over time, that is your journey. It is the journey and not the destination that will keep you on the correct weightlifting path.

If you have any questions about the article or would like to discuss further some of the topics mentioned, then please feel free to leave comments down below. I would love to hear your thoughts!


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