We all know about the various physical benefits that come with training in the gym. The two most obvious is the increase of lean body mass (muscle) and the decrease of adipose tissue (fat). Other not so obvious benefits include the increase of bone density, which makes it especially pleasing for the female individual looking to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. We see improvements with blood glucose and insulin sensitivity, the up-regulation of important, anti-ageing like hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone, as well as the various anti-stress benefits on the mind and body.
All said, that’s fantastic. However, we’re missing a key component here. Although all of these physical benefits are what initially catches the eye (and they should definitely not be overlooked), we often forget about the long term psychological benefits that hard training can provide.
It comes down to much more than your new squat personal record, or the grueling circuit that you shaved 30 seconds off of. What it comes down to is the development and overall improvement of your character. The growth and development of you as a person and the high levels of work ethic and self esteem that come with it.
You see, training hard in the gym not only strengthens you physically, it allows you to become stronger on a psychological level as well. That extra push, day in and day out over the course of many years is what enables you to develop an unmatchable mind set like no other. No one else will understand it quite like we do. We push ourselves harder than most, past the point where others would give up. We grow our confidence to believe that anything is possible with enough hard work and persistence, and that every little push gets us closer to where we need to be. Most importantly though, it keeps us humble. It forces us to leave our ego at the door wherever we may be, putting us in a state of constant, never ending self improvement.
Looking past the mirror and the barbells, how have you – as a person – grown and developed for the better from this lifestyle?
Take a moment to soak it in and reflect.