Saturday, April 6, 2013


Do you have a video that gets you amped to go to the gym?  A go to music track you gotta blast before you walk in the doors?  A pre-workout concoction that is guaranteed to make you want to smash some weights?


"I thought it seemed obvious"

Is training such a miserable experience that you need to psyche yourself up to do it?  Is the reward of being stronger and better not enough motivation?  Is getting you to the gym like getting a kid to eat their veggies, requiring many gimmicks and theatrics?

I'm not here to judge, simply to wonder.  I cannot pretend to understand your experience or perspective, but instead just offer up my own.  I don't like to train.  It's not something I would willingly do.  If given the choice between training and a hot dog eating contest, the hot dogs win every time.

Pictured: My Id

Why do I train then?  Because I want to be strong.  It is the thing I live for.  My first coherent memories as a child are of wanting to be strong.  I grew up hearing stories of men with great strength overcoming adversity and fighting off monsters, watched movies where a strong man was able to fight off many attackers and accomplish great feats, and played games where I could be the strongest being possible.  If I had 3 wishes, I'd wish to be the strongest being to ever exist 3 times.  It's what I want.

I have a goal, and this goal IS the motivation.  Training is the method, and I employ it to reach my goal.  If I need motivation to train, it means I have picked the wrong goal.  You have to want this bad enough that you are willing to suffer the adversity necessary to obtain it.  If the goal isn't worthy enough, it's simply going to be a chore.

This is why concrete goals are necessary for training.  New Year's resolutions folks that just want to "get in shape" fade away, because there is nothing to chase.  If "being in shape" really was your life's purpose, you wouldn't be out of shape in the first place, so it's clearly not a high priority.

Now, is my goal of simply "being strong" a clearly defined goal?  No, but it is a driving force and motivating factor.  Instead, I have picked a concrete goal that, in obtaining, will make me strong.  For me personally, I want to deadlift 800lbs.  If I can do this, I will have reached a level of strength that I consider "inhuman".  That said, I imagine that once I accomplish this, I will still not feel that I have become "strong", and will set another absurd goal.

"Mind if I work in?"

Powerlifting is also beneficial in this capacity.  When I have a meet on the horizon, I am in very good shape.  At my most recent meet, I was walking around with a full set of abs.  Without a meet in my future, I have allowed myself to get soft.  Being honest with myself, I don't want abs bad enough to do what it takes to always have them, but when I have the opportunity to crush records, I will do what it takes, which means eating nothing but ground beef and mixed veggies and passing up the pizza and desserts whenever they are offered to me.  And every time I passed up eating something delicious, I told myself "this is what a record breaking total tastes like".  That, in and of itself, was enough to keep me going.

Is it for you?


  1. "If I had 3 wishes, I'd wish to be the strongest being to ever exist 3 times:

    I love this quote.

    And blog.

  2. I was contemplating this today as I completed my second 5 mile run in under an hour. Lap 16 can be summarized as "i'm only halfway done with this shit?" And lap 28 was pretty much "i realize the only reason i keep at it is im just too disciplined to not see it through". Lap 32 got done and it was pretty much "being able to run at this pace when i previously could not is why i keep at it"

    My goals, once i realized how valuable it was, was to just be able to endure. Continuously, and at a pace thats sensible.