Push Yourself, Jump Out Your Comfort Zone
If there is one thing I can tell you for certain, that is weightlifting is not an easy pursuit. It takes time; dedication, motivation and having to constantly deal with setbacks. Convincing your body to adapt and improve itself is just not a simple task. It takes a lot of work. Seriously, I mean A LOT of work! If you want to become a successful weightlifter and make it worth your time, you need to ask yourself one important question: am I really prepared to jump outside my comfort zone?
The answer for you should be a no-brainer. If you want more strength and size, you need to be ready to put your body to the ultimate test. But this shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, this applies to all aspects of life. There will be times where you will find yourself in a new situation and to be able to succeed at it, you will need to adapt. That means putting yourself out there, encouraging yourself and giving it all you have got to learning about your new environment. If you take the easy route and back out early, you are never going to give yourself a fighting chance at succeeding. Backing out is the easy way, but what do you get in return? Probably nothing but regret! What happens if you stick it out? You might find it difficult at first, want to quit and feel at times uncomfortable. But in the end you will probably say to yourself, that was absolutely all worth it!
It Was Never Meant To Be Easy
Weightlifting is not easy. In fact, I will be brutally honest; sometimes it’s an uncomfortable task. But then after all, you are pushing your body further than it was capable of yesterday. Naturally, weightlifting is going to be a shock for you’re body. Everyday when I go to the gym there are numerous challenges I need to overcome. It is never easy trying to beat your last session. As you push, your body pushes back. But I guess that is the beauty of it all, knowing that all the effort, energy and fight you put into your weightlifting endeavors, is going to lead to nothing but positive change. That is what you want, right?
“Weightlifting is not easy. In fact, I will be brutally honest; sometimes it’s an uncomfortable task”.
If there is one thing I notice about weightlifting that is (I will be blunt!), a lot of people don’t want to put the hard work in. That sounds pretty harsh, but from my experience this occurs quite a bit. There are a few reasons for this, typically they are: I don’t want to injure myself, I don’t want to burn myself out, It feels weird, I don’t want to wear and tear my body down, it doesn’t look like I would be suited for that exercise. With many new people to the weightlifting game, I have heard these time and time again. Ok, for the new people, this is understandable. You are starting something new and have concerns. That is perfectly normal. The problem is, a lot of weightlifters never seem move past this point. Eventually these concerns do nothing but act to limit your overall progress and drive to go that extra mile. Yes, there are risks, but there are risks with everything you do in life. But being safe and careful doesn’t mean you have to limit and compromise your efforts in the gym. Take for instance the deadlift. If you use good form (body tight, back straight, knees in line with feet) then your chance of injury is small. But, you are still going to have to confront the idea of experiencing a degree of tiredness, weakness and muscle soreness to make progress on it. There is no escape. If you are not prepared to ride through the waves, then you will never develop the know-how or capabilities to deal with them. If you don’t do the deadlift because you are afraid of taxing your body too much, then you will never allow your body to get better at it. That tiredness, weakness and muscle soreness you experience, is your bodies way of telling you that it’s struggling and needs to adapt to overcome it. That is precisely what you want to happen.
“If there is one thing I notice about weightlifting that is (I will be blunt!), a lot of people don’t want to put the hard work in”.
I am not saying that new weightlifters need to hit the deep end straight away. You need time to learn the movements, learn how your body reacts, assess your current fitness capabilities and learn to distinguish between good and bad pain. However, once you are past this point, you need to be upping your game. You can’t always hide away from the hard work. That means, entering the gym fueled and ready, and leaving tired, weaker, and a little more wiped out than usual. I can tell you, if you have really worked hard, then your feelings towards the gym should be slightly different between you entering and leaving. Me personally, I am always glad to get out the gym at the end of a heavy workout. There is nothing I look more forward to than a hot shower! If this is you then congratulations! You have had a killer session. You have challenged your body sufficiently, pushed it out of its comfort zone and given it a reason to want to adapt and become stronger and bigger. However, if you walk out the gym in exactly the same condition you walked in, then you have just wasted an hour or two of your time achieving nothing. You body hasn’t felt challenged enough and will not initiate the adaptation process. That sounds really harsh, but I have a very good reason for saying this. I am on your side! I see too many people day in and day out coming to the gym with the hope of becoming stronger and bigger. But after months they still haven’t changed one bit. Think about it, all that time, energy and money spent on going to the gym only to never change. That has got to be frustrating and a major source of demotivation for you! The problem is, very few fitness gurus will be honest and tell you that your wasting your time. I mean, why would they? Difficult is not appealing and does not sell. This is something I don’t want to see you experiencing in your weightlifting. It’s important to realize that your body is not going to go easy on you during your journey. It’s going to put up a fight with you. That means you have to be prepared to work smarter, harder and more intensely every time to win that fight. It might seem harsh now, but when your making gains later and feeling on top of the world, you will thank me later. The gym is the one place were you can let all your energy loose. It is important not to hold this energy back because you will really need it.
“I am always glad to get out the gym at the end of a heavy workout. There is nothing I look more forward to than a hot shower!”.
I haven’t told you yet, but I like to ice skate. I do a lot of ice-skating alongside my weightlifting. It seems a little random given the article, but I feel ice-skating as an example helps illustrate my point nicely. In other words, it’s ok to push yourself, feel a little discomfort and tire yourself out slightly. It’s all part of the game! If you have ever been ice-skating, then you will realize that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to learn. There are a few bumps on the road to success with it (I mean that literally). I am still learning, but I do it as often as I can because I want to get good at it. One of the things that prevent people from becoming good skaters is their fear of falling. If you are not prepared to fall, then you will never become a good skater. Trust me, I have fallen a lot! It hurts. But I am still alive. Falling means a few bruises and a little bit of soreness. Wearing ice skates also plays havoc with your ankles and feet. In fact, you will use muscles you have never really used before. It’s all going to feel rather weird. At first, they are pretty uncomfortable to wear and your feet will hurt for a little bit. But gradually you will develop the capabilities and muscles to accommodate this.
“This little bit of pain and suffering does have a purpose. It’s not here to kill you, but actually, to make you stronger.”
You are probably reading this and thinking: yes, I am never doing ice-skating. But this is my point. Even though I going to fall a lot, get lots of bumps and bruises and have aching feet, eventually I am going to develop the skills to become a good skater. This will only happen if I fight my way through these problems. There is no easier way around this learning process. As long as I wear the necessary safety stuff, and pay attention, then I am limiting any potential risks that could really set me back. This is exactly the same process for weightlifting. Before you can positively change, you need to be prepared to push yourself, make yourself a little tired and go through some discomfort to reach your goals. As long as you’re paying attention and doing everything correctly then the only thing you need to do is to go that extra mile. This little bit of pain and suffering does have a purpose. It’s not here to kill you, but actually, to make you stronger.
If It’s Easy, Then It’s Ineffective
Something is always more appealing and attractive if it’s easy. I mean after all, why would you choose for something that just makes your life more difficult? That usually leads to more stress, right? Well, you are right, but stress in the right amount can positively influence your weightlifting goals. Weightlifting is something that’s going to challenge you physically and mentally. There are going to be times when your body is feeling tired, weak and a little sore. There are also going to be times when mentally you feel drained, unfocused, frustrated and demotivated. These are all things you are going to experience on your journey. But, they are ultimately important if you are to achieve your size and strength goals. It means you are pushing your body hard enough forcing it to positively change. The change needed to make you over the long-term bigger and stronger.
“Weightlifting is something that’s going to challenge you physically and mentally”.
The important thing to realize is that if what you do does not challenge you enough, you will never improve. Every session needs to feel just that slightly more taxing than your previous. I know it’s much more attractive to always go for the easy routes in life and the paths of least resistance. But in terms of what is optimal, you need to be prepared to fight a little. Whenever you step out of the gym, it’s always good to ask yourself: could I have honestly done more today? If the answer is yes then you know what you need to do in order to make your next session all the more worthwhile. Don’t hold yourself back. Your gym session is your time to do what you normally wouldn’t do.
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. How hard do you work in the gym? Do you think you could work harder? Let me know!