Live to Lift Another Day

My dad used to have this really cool shirt, and on the back of the shirt it said, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” He is a Police Sergeant and an incredibly strong human being, so let’s just say the shirt looked bad ass. We all have that saying or maybe even a song that gets us pumped up in the gym so you just know it’s GO time.

Motivation is everywhere these days, but don’t get me wrong, it’s totally necessary. We need it in order to get through those last sets, wake up early to get to the gym, or even push the plate away instead of going for seconds. We all have a need to be challenged or use motivational concepts to inspire ourselves or our clients to reach further, dig deeper, and get closer to the goal. With that being said, I’m sick of hearing the motivational quotes and seeing all the crazy social media posts that encourage ignorance in the gym. So, I’d like to offer some unconventional motivation.


Discipline over time

If you’re looking for a magic pill, quick fix, or pre-workout recipe that will change your life, this article is not for you. No hard feelings, but you should just donate your money to a worthy cause instead of investing in your own laziness. Results come from one thing: discipline.

The more discipline you have over longer time periods, the more likely you are to achieve results. Being healthy with better nutrition, strength gains, financial freedom, spiritual growth, or whatever it is you’re trying to achieve comes from continuous bouts of self-discipline. You cannot go into the gym, bench press your arms off for a day, and then walk out with pecs like an action figure.

Everybody is different

Your friends have the best intentions, but what worked for them will most likely not work for you. The amazing thing about the human body is that no two people are the exact same. DNA and fingerprints tell us exactly that.

Next time you’re in the gym just stop for a second, think about all the differences in the people around you. Think about height, weight, body type, gender, age, past injuries, blood type, hydration levels, joint fluidness, lung capacity, sports they played as a kid, and even what they had for breakfast. All of these things are important in how your body adapts to training programs or responds to exercise. So stop looking around to others for your own answers. Instead, start working on a plan specifically for you that is based around your goals. Self-discipline will help you work through that plan over time in order to achieve success.


Listen to your body

Rest does not mean weakness. Listen to your body, and rest whenever possible. We all have busy schedules and stressful days at the office. When you need sleep, sleep. If your nutrition could help your body recover quicker, change your eating habits. Do you need a massage or maybe a sauna session? A recover day in a hot tub?

We give rest a bad name in today’s society. It’s become a synonym for weakness. I’ve even heard coaches say, “When you’re not working there is someone else out there who is, and he will beat you.” Again, I’m all for motivation and hard work, but there is a time and a place to enjoy recovery--mentally and physically. I would encourage all athletes to find ways to recover and to do so with purpose. Just make sure you train hard enough to earn your recovery days.

Get personal

There are a lot of people out there training in the gym for the approval of others, and they use motivation from others to push them towards a goal. But this is about you, and only you. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, and stop trying to impress people with cool sayings or posts of you at the gym. Be different, create a plan, stay disciplined to the plan, listen to your body, and enjoy the process.

The best feeling about going to the gym is how you feel when you leave. Stress goes away, you got a good pump going, you have a sense of accomplishment, you’re tired but also motivated. Everything feels right in the universe. That feeling is contagious, the process is endless, and the goals are always changing. This is what it means to live your life to lift another day.

Andy Heiser