“There is no such thing as a small miracle. A gym is a place of miracles. People do things they once thought impossible, lifting heavier, squeezing out one more rep, finding discipline and will power they didn’t know they had. They’re amazed by how good they feel and look, and they carry their new power into the world.”
Getting our body to look and feel the way we want is a constant, unrelenting battle against the urge to be stagnate and lazy. We want to sit still because sitting still is easy and it’s comfortable. Being in shape and looking good means that we have to wake up every single day ready to fight off and eventually beat this urge to stay comfortable.
Being comfortable is boring. The most fun moments in our lives happen when we are doing something we wouldn’t normally do and when we are pushing ourselves to the edge of our limits. Fighting our battle against fitness requires pushing to and resetting our limits. Our limits as they are now only exist temporarily in our minds. We can choose whether or not we let those limits, limit us, or whether to let them push us forward by always striving to break them.
To get in our ideal shape every day we have to rise to the challenge, and we have to be the one throwing the punches. Watch Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquio train for a boxing match. There is only one person in the ring actually throwing the punches. Everyone else is standing around watching and talking about doing it or how he’s doing it. Only one person is the fighter, and that person has to be us.
No one else will fight our battles for us, not your friend, not your parents, not your coach, not your personal trainer, not the people on the biggest loser, not the people out there giving motivational speeches. It’s on us.
I often get asked what my training strategy is. Do I lift heavy? How many days per week do I workout? What kind of program do I follow etc…? My honest answer is that my training strategy is TO TRAIN.
Everyday I make it a habit to rise to all the resistance that is trying to keep me from training. I’m too tired, too busy, too sore, and so on. When we really get down to it the first rep is the hardest, not the last. After the first rep something shifts in our psychology. Our mind and body now understand that we are past the point of no return, thus there is no choice but to move forward.
When I write, the conclusion isn’t the hardest part, it’s the introduction that is scary.
Declare war on your fitness.
Don’t just get all jacked up and motivated for one workout, one day. Nothing matters except that you get it done everyday. Think about your attack on laziness like you did with your high school sporting events. You were tight and nervous for days before the game, but when the whistle sounds or when the ball was thrown up all that went away and you just focused on what you were doing.
When I don’t feel like working out I don’t think about doing an entire workout I focus only on doing the first rep. It’s all down hill after the first rep. My heart rate climbs, I sweat, and I get into the zone.
5 Tips to Win Your War of Fitness
1) Change your clothes.
Your fight with fitness should begin by putting on your uniform. When you don’t feel like working out, just grab some shorts, a t-shirt, a pair of sneakers, and put on your uniform. Once you change your clothes you start to take on a warrior mentality. Once you’ve changed out of your work clothes and into your gym clothes you know the workout is going to happen whether you want to or not.
2) Do the first rep of your warm up routine.
You should have a warm up routine that you do before the beginning of each workout. Don’t focus on doing the whole thing. Acknowledge that the first rep is one of the resistance to workout’s most powerful weapons against you. By doing the first rep you take away this weapon in a matter of 2 seconds.
3) Do the first rep of your workout.
Put the weight on the bar. Get under it, and move it. Up and down, side to side, whatever, it doesn’t matter. Just get the bar moving on the first rep of the first set. Every rep you do creates inertia. Once you push the workout into motion it tends to stay in motion.
4) Be in the moment. Don’t run away from the pain. Run towards it.
The pain that strenuous workouts bring you remind us that we are alive. What we do in our moments of greatest discomfort defines us. We either stop when it starts to hurt or we stop when the job is done. In the case of fitness, getting the job done is all that matters. Everybody experiences the pain and discomfort. Only a few decide to keep going anyway.
5) Do the last rep of your workout.
Nothing can stop you if you follow through on what you start. If you start a workout, finish it. Finishing workouts that you start teaches us to follow through, and this carries over to other aspects of our life like our work and our business.
The Golden Rule: “Never stop fighting for what you want. Decide and do, but above all do.”