Don’t Ego Lift
You enter the gym, scan the area, flex a couple of times in the mirror, and then proceed to the bench press. The guys beside you are lifting pretty heavy so you think to yourself, “Eh, 135 pounds should be a good warm-up!” You get to rep number 7, start to struggle a bit, and rack it. Hopping up and swinging your arms for a quick stretch you realize that you have started with way too much weight but no turning back now because you don’t want other people to think you don’t know what you’re doing.
You continue, barely making it to 5 this time. At this point all you can do is clean the weight up and move on, but first a quick flex picture in the mirror for the Gram, #flex #gainz #gymlife. This is a perfect scenario of an ego lifter. Gyms are full of them and even the best of us can fall to ego lifting. While lifting in general can show results, you will see far more benefits from being patient, having a strategy, and not focusing on what others think. With the constant growth of social media, a misconception of fitness has evolved. We watch fitness influencers eating whatever they want and still staying in great shape. How is this possible?! We tend to overlook the time and effort that some of these people have put in to be able to look or lift the way they do. One picture doesn’t dictate their whole diet or training regimen. We see these posts and compare ourselves to them. We want to be able to eat what we want and look the way they do. This urge for instant results causes us not to have a plan and to think about everyone else’s journey but our own which creates an unhealthy relationship with fitness and nutrition. It is so important to first realize you are on your own journey and most likely it will not look like someone else’s. Quick fixes are never sustainable and only leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged.
This is not to say there aren’t positives on social media as well. Social media can be a great tool for you to stay motivated, encouraged, and learning. We can find inspiration, workouts, and support groups to help us on our own journey. However, building a strategy that works for you will be the fastest route to achieve your goals. We tend to make it more complicated than what it has to be. Finding what works for you, putting it into a routine, and repeating that routine will be the best way to create a strategy that works for you. That’s the simplest way to put it. Finding what works for you can be the hardest part. Maybe you skip breakfast or maybe you don’t like to do cardio.
The perfect plans exist but they might not be the perfect plan for you. It takes quite a bit of trial and error because life is a constant balancing act. Some weeks we can do great on our nutrition and get all of our workouts in. Then, on the weeks that life throws us curve balls, we throw everything away. A basic strategy is to keep track of your weight, reps, and sets. Depending on your goal will determine if you stay at higher reps to tone up or lower reps to build muscle. Keeping a food log will also help make you more aware of what you’re putting into your body. Our nutrition is the fuel for our life. Nutrition is arguably the most important step to reaching your goals. Being able to find a nutrition plan that works for YOU and sticking to it will keep your progress moving!
Consistency is Key
Consistency is the key to our results. In the weeks that you struggle, reflect and see what you could have done differently then learn to make the adjustments needed. Our ego can also get in the way of learning. When people have been lifting for a long time, competing, or have achieved decent results, they often think that they know everything there is to know and become very dismissive of new ideas and criticism. This is the egos doing and it can be detrimental to progress and improvement. When people invest a lot of time into a way of training, or a method, it’s hard to admit that there is a better way to do it or that you have been wrong. Sure you might have achieved good results in either size or strength doing it that way, but what if there was a way to get even better results? Or, what if you could have got the same results in half the time? The ego can stop you from improving and learning. Just because you’ve been doing something for a long time or invested a lot into a particular protocol, don’t let the ego stop you from admitting you were wrong and continue to learn. People get extremely stagnant in the gym and don’t make progress for years. A lot of the time this is because they already think they have it all figured out. They have achieved results in the past and ego stops them from making progress by accepting new ideas or criticisms.
You see these people dishing out advice to anyone who will listen doing the same workout, year after year, same weight, same size. Don’t be that guy or gal. Your ego can be your biggest enemy. It can cloud your results, stop you from learning, and even cause short-term and long-term injuries. Take the time to make a plan so that you can achieve your goals. Social media will always be around and we choose to let it have a positive or negative effect on our lives. You choose your outcome. Leave your ego at the door to give you the best chance at succeeding in fitness.