No Excuses! Light A Fire And Get Going!
I have always despised excuses from folks on why they cannot get their weight training done on a consistent basis. I would rather be told the truth than hear some lame excuse about why someone can't train. And I have heard them all. One of the most frustrating excuses for me to hear is the "My wife (or girlfriend) or husband (or boyfriend) doesn't want me to train today." Or "I have some chores to do." And sometimes, people simply say that they don't have the motivation to get there.
So you mean to tell me that the one thing that you do for yourself, the one thing that is going to make you a better man, a stronger human, a healthier human, is something that is negotiable for you? That all of that other stuff cannot wait so that you can have one hour a few days a week for the betterment of yourself?
There are plenty of excuses, and few are valid when it comes to not training.
I had a Special Forces soldier tell me one time that if anyone ever gives you an excuse on why they could not make it through Special Forces training, no matter what the reason is, they are a coward. And he meant any excuse. In his mind, no excuse was acceptable, you either finished or you didn't finish. So get rid of the excuses. Say to yourself that none of them matter, and that you will not let yourself make excuses.
Take care of your training first, and all else will fall into place. This works every time. Because when you feel good, when you look good, your relationships are better, you'd have more energy and stamina, you think better, and your senses are sharper. All this training stuff is analogous to what we are meant to do as humans. Get up, go hunting for the tribe. Stalk, use your senses to find the game . Climb, run, move rocks and finally, throw the spear to finish, then haul the game to share with the tribe. You are an apex predator, descended from other apex predators. They didn't have a choice on whether to hunt or not. They had to leave the comfort of their dwelling or they would starve. I firmly believe that this all transfers over to modern man . There was no room for excuses in those days. Didn't feel like hunting? Nobody eats if you don’t want to go out and brave the elements and face danger. Yes, today you can go to the store and you won’t go hungry. But, in our DNA, there are the instincts to hunt and to persevere thorough sweat and to persevere through the burning of your muscles and then do it again the next day and the next day.
To put it simply, you are meant to train. You are meant to push your body hard. And you are meant to keep doing it for as long as you are able to do it..
And I know it’s not easy to always get there and be motivated to train. Everyone goes through that stuff. If I wanted to wait until I felt all fired up and perfect, I'd rarely do it. Feeling mentally weak? Ignore it, know that what you are doing at the gym is essential to your health and well-being and get it done. Think of it as another daily habit that you just do, that you must do.
Get it done. No matter what. You will be happy that you got it done when it is over.
For me, the solace of training is something that I have come to love, have come to look forward to, have come to count on, when all the distractions such as phone and computer and people in general all take a backseat to the time when I am training.
I use training as others use meditation. I don't talk when I train. The only words are a quick hello to the cheery girl at the front desk and maybe I will ask if I can work in when someone else is using a piece of equipment. I try not to make eye contact with others when I am in the gym, because it just invites them to waste more of my time by saying something inane to me regarding who the hell knows what, and I am definitely not interested. I made the mistake of acknowledging a guy the other day with a nod of my head and he felt the need to espouse his political views to me. Right there in the gym. Little did he know that my views were opposite of his. But I didn't say anything, I just smiled, said, " Okay, great," and moved on. I wanted to say, "Hey man, I do not care at all", but then he may keep talking some more, trying to convince me to see things his way, and I could not have him waste any more of my time.
Sometimes, when I am done training, I get on the exercise bike and, I watch people. Some people are just as bad as the excuse makers. You know, the guy on the phone at the squat rack, the ten people that are watching videos on their phone or the guy texting while actually lying on the weight bench between sets. What a waste! Push yourself and get out. All that wasting time means nothing. The world will be fine if you do not check on it for an hour. It will do just fine without you while you get after it.
Unless your world is caving in, and sometimes, even if it is, get to the weight pile. And if you are still having trouble getting motivated, tell yourself that it is time to hunt, or your tribe will go hungry. Tell yourself that you are a hunter, a warrior and that getting stronger is essential to life.
About The Author. Jim Steel has been immersed in athletics and the Iron Game for most of his life. He has been a college football player and coach, powerlifter, Muay Thai fighter and is currently a competitive bodybuilder. In 1999, Steel was named Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, and moved up to Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator in 2004. He is the owner of the blog basbarbell.com, and is a motivational speaker, frequent podcast guest and the author of two books, Basbarbell Book of Programs and Steel Reflections. Steel is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.