Training Talk is back! Welcome to another edition of M&S’ monthly chat column.
For those of you that might be seeing this for the first time, we provide a topic along with different viewpoints and then the conversation continues below in the comments section by those who matter most, you.
I invite you to check out previous versions of TT and see what we’ve already covered so far.
The discussions have been great and you should share your thoughts on them if you haven’t already done so.
For The Love of the Game
I love the topic for this month because it’s about as personal as it can get. We’re not breaking down form of movements or which lift is the best. Instead, we’re going to talk about the mindset, focusing on motivation – specifically your motivation.
There’s one thing that most, if not all, of us have in common. We love to lift. If you’re reading this right now then training is probably the highlight of your day or at least one of them. So the question is why?
Related: 7 Ways To Have Fun With Your Fitness Outside Of The Gym
What is it about the fine art of picking things up and putting them down that gets the blood going and the pre-workout flowing? Simply put, what do you love the most about training?
Progress can be best enjoyed when there is a way to measure it. There is no better way to measure progress and results than with numbers. Many of us likely had a set number of pounds or kilos we wanted to be able to lift on a certain exercise. It might have been because you saw someone else do it or just because that was a sign of strength to you.
It can be impressive as a beginner to see some jacked and tan dude throwing up 315 for reps on bench or to see someone bang out pullups for what seems like hours at a time. You want to be that person too.
As we move forward, we can see the number on the plate get bigger or the dumbbells grow. Eventually we can count the plates we add and walk to the other end of the rack to grab those big boy weights, and that means you’re definitely progressing in power.
Some gyms have machines with stacks on them and you can get a pump just from taking the pin and putting it at the bottom. That physical strength can translate to mental strength because we can use that achievement as motivation and validation to do more in the gym and in our everyday lives.
You know what’s coming so let’s not waste any time here. We all know about the movie Pumping Iron which launched bodybuilding and Arnold Schwarzenegger into the mainstream. We also know what he said in regards to this topic while performing concentration curls.
I’m not going to take it that far but let’s be clear: Having a great pump that stretches your shirt and makes you look like you’re flexing when you’re really not is awesome.
Although this is Training Talk, there is no proper way to put that feeling into words. What I can say is that once you feel it, you have to feel it again and the day isn’t quite the same when it goes away.
Whether we train to compete in a sport or are recreational athletes, we like the challenge to do and become better. You’ve likely seen workouts here on M&S that were promoted as advanced or tough and thought to yourself “I got that.”
Maybe there’s a local person who trains at your gym and you wonder if you can hang with him or her in the weight room. That challenge is what develops our drive to push forward. Having that rabbit to chase or a lofty goal to achieve gives us the desire and extra reason to take our training to a new level.
Pushing yourself to do more today than you did last week becomes addicting.
Let’s be straight up for a minute. Training is awesome for several reasons but one reason that might be at the top of the list is that it’s a great stress reliever.
Did your boss push you a little over the edge today? Have you had a bad day or even a bad week?
Training is awesome because it helps you release that aggression and take out your frustrations in a positive way that doesn’t affect anyone else…unless you throw a weight at someone. By the way, don’t do that. You might get kicked out of the gym.
In all seriousness, the weights don’t talk back and don’t feel pain so you can go all out and use that stress to create strength. Training is the one thing that you know will always be there to help you out if you can’t afford a therapist. Since that outlet is at your disposal, it’s great to take advantage of it.
Many motivational speakers and coaches over the years have preached that you should go to bed every night knowing that in some way you became better than you were when you woke up that morning.
As with the strength aspect, all of our fitness levels can be improved in a measured way. Those ways include but aren’t limited to the number on the scale, body composition, times on a measured event like a run, measurements of a bodypart, clothes sizes, x number of weight for y reps, and results of medical exams.
Related: Setting Goals - A Realistic Approach to Consistent Gains
Seeing yourself doing better than you had previously is a direct result of your training which is why we love doing what we do.
Law of Attraction?
This one might not be number one on many lists but it’s definitely up there so don’t be ashamed of it. It can be very satisfying to the ego to be somewhere and catch someone checking you out. It might be a quick glance up and down with a slight smile or a full on head turn as you pass.
Whatever it is, as soon as it happens you’re thankful that you’ve been clanging and banging because if you hadn’t been, there’s a good chance that wouldn’t have happened.
Eventually it might lead to the beginning of a relationship. Training can make that possible and that instantly makes it worth doing and a priority on our schedule.
Your Turn to Talk
That’s enough for this side of the column. If there was ever an edition of TT that has emphasis on what you think, it’s this one. So the question for this month is simple:
What do you love the most about training and why?
What is it that makes you get up early to get after it or why is the best part of your day at the end?
Share in the comments below what it is that makes what you do so enjoyable. Then I hope you’ll share this article on your social media pages and invite your friends to join us here. The more, the merrier.
I love the way its completely transformed my body. I lost 105 lbs and along the way fell in love with weightlifting. It feels like I was a block of marble and I'm slowly chipping away at the form underneath. The daily surprises in muscle growth and honestly seeing myself like I never have before (and never thought I would) have been a beautiful addition to my life. I love every single thing about training.
Hi, Katie. Congratulations on your awesome weight loss and I love how you shared your thoughts. Fitness gives people new perspectives on their bodies and lives. Thank you for reading and sharing. This made my day.
For me, I love getting an awesome pump that causes my veins to look like roadmaps. And obviously I love looking good and being healthy. But the biggest reason for me is that it's just great fun. I love to jam my heavy metal in my headphones, headbang between sets, lift to the tempo of the double bass pedal, etc. It just gets me to a place that I don't get to in any other circumstances.
Ok, Tim. You can't come on M&S and talk about jamming metal without sharing your favorite bands. Who ya got? Seriously, thanks for reading and commenting.
Thanks to M&S for posting my newest edition of TT. I'm looking forward to the responses from y'all. What do you love about what you do?
I was born with dyspraxia which caused me to have less than average muscle tone, hand eye coordination and general strength. Training has helped me improve myself and I've chosen not to be what I was born to be but what I want to be. Love me some front squats!
Jack, this was awesome to read. Love the attitude and that you love front squats. Thanks for reading and sharing your comments. Keep inspiring.