Real growth in the gym comes from the pain, the sweat and the drive. It happens in those times when you don’t think you can do another rep, but you find the strength deep within to push out five more. The time for weakness ceases to exist at the door, and as soon as you step foot in the gym, your only job is to give 100 percent. This mentality will carry you farther than any program, diet, or trainer. Without it, you’ll find it hard to develop discipline, consistency and drive and thus have an even more difficult time developing any type of results.
These values are in the gym, buried deep within the exercises, sets and reps — within the burn, the pain, the sweat. They are earned, not given, but the reward is worth it. Discipline will carry you far, even in your daily life. Being consistent and driven in your work and your actions will draw others to follow your direction, morphing you from sheep to lion. Your results are the aftermath of these values, not the predecessor. They are a display of the work you’ve put in, day in, day out while everyone else trails behind.
The beauty of the gym is that the weights will never lie to you. Lifting 200 pounds will always be lifting 200 pounds, and the progression you experience physically and mentally cannot be given to you; it has to be worked for. Hard work is respected, cherished and aspired to. And when you achieve something each day that makes you better than you were yesterday, pride and self-esteem will follow.
The next time you step foot in the gym, take a breath before you touch a machine, step on the treadmill, or lift a weight. Take in the sounds, the people around you, and the music. Be aware of your surroundings, and then become aware of yourself. Mindfulness in the gym — focus, concentration — is where your strength lies. Turn off your email, the phone calls and the texts. This hour is yours; don’t allow anyone to steal it from you. Take advantage of that time.
As the year moves forward, stay the course. Don’t falter or get distracted by the diet or program everyone else is following; pick your goal and stick with it to the end. Exceed even your own expectations. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Richard Saad is a personal trainer and can be reached at 864.907.0214.