There are many obvious benefits to a good strength and conditioning program. Increases in strength, speed, power, and conditioning are all great physical attributes that will put you in a better position to be successful in your chosen sport. But it is my belief that some of the best benefits lay just underneath the surface and although they aren’t as visible to outsiders they are the ones that will have the greatest positive impact on your life.
- Being good at the things that require no talent: Working out requires no talent. No one is born good at working out. It’s all about hard work. Show up, listen, pay attention to detail, work hard, give your best effort and you will find success in the gym. None of these things require talent, they are open to anyone and can be a great equalizer in your sport and in life.
- Mental toughness: Some of the things that you will experience in your work outs will bring you to your knees. But you will learn to disassociate with the pain, keep pushing and persevere. I call this “accepting the suck”, some things in life are going to suck but the ability to accept that it’s going to be hard and keep moving forward can change your life. It is a learned skill and you will find it in the gym. A close friend of mine calls squats the metaphor for life. You have all this weight on your shoulders pushing you down. You can either let it keep you there at the bottom or you can push and fight and stand back up.
- Confidence: the confidence that you develop going through battles in gym and coming out the other side are unparalleled. The combination of physical strength and mental fortitude that are required to complete certain workouts and programs will increase confidence to new heights. It will spread to all aspects of your life and make you feel like you can accomplish anything. And you can.
- You get what you put in: perhaps my favourite life lesson that the weights give you is what you put into something is what you get out. The weights never lie to you. If you haven’t put in the work they won’t move. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you make ten dollars a year or a million. If there is a weight sitting on the floor in front of you and you haven’t put the work in you will not be able to pick it up. In a time when everyone is awarded for everything and everyone gets a trophy and people are given passes and moved through the system because no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings the weights hold true. They don’t care about your feelings, they won’t pass you just because and they will always tell you the truth.
- Working out is for everyone: everyone has the ability to get stronger. Just like the weights won’t lie to you they also don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you are short, tall, skinny, overweight, male, female, young, old or of any ethnicity or socio economic background. If you put the work in you will receive the positive benefits and results.
The lessons that can be learned in the gym through working can literally be life changing. I’ve seen this in many of the people I have trained over the last twelve years and in myself. You need resistance to shape character and you will find plenty of it in the gym, both physical and mental. All these benefits exist for everyone and they are waiting for you on the other side of those gym doors. So get it there, it’s yours for the taking. Strength, Courage, Hustle, Commitment.