Throughout your entire life you have been sold the concept of convenience. From the time we wake up until the time we fall asleep, most of us have found ways to make our lives easier. In fact, companies are raking in billions of dollars capitalizing on that fact!
The fitness industry displays much of this behavior as well. Fat loss pills, videos, special equipment, etc., this list could go on for days. What no one tells you is that true growth lies in the most uncomfortable places. It is not easy to wake up at 5am for your workout and then go work a full day. It is not easy to take the time to prepare your meals for the week so you do not eat garbage food. It is not easy to walk past the junk food and stick with whole foods. Throughout the years, I have had countless people tell me, “I wish I had your energy so I could workout as much as you do/train as hard as you do.” The fact is I have the same energy level as everyone else. Much to the contrary, it is not easy for me. I am in my late 30s and I am riddled with injuries and I have lost more matches than I’ve won.
What keeps me training then? I accepted the fact long ago that working out does not have to be “fun”. Is it a bonus when you do a workout you enjoy? Absolutely, but if you have never worked out when you hated it or pushed yourself further than your body wanted to go, then you haven’t reached your full potential yet. Why I love martial arts training so much is because I don’t have a choice of the intensity of my workout. Each time my training partners are going after me like rabid dogs. Wrestlers have a saying that I love: “Embrace the Grind”. Life is a grind. The sooner we accept that fact, and furthermore, clutch the idea and run with it, the quicker you will become happier with yourself.
Try pushing yourself a little further each workout. If you are taking a weight training class of some type, try to get to each station as quickly as possible and have your equipment in hand and ready to rock so when the instructor wants you to go, you are starting your first repetition before Coach finishes the word, “GO!” Don’t stop throughout the entire time. When the last 20 seconds of the round hits, go harder and sprint it out. If you can hit fifteen reps with good form on any exercise, you need to increase the weight or the intensity. All while keeping good technique, of course! Next time you are so sore that you want to take the day off, go train. Do a longer warm-up and train intelligently, but still go train. I have lost count of the workouts I wanted to skip, but didn’t. Do workouts that will make you want to quit or cry at least once during a workout! If I could put into words that feeling…well you know ;)
I am not implying you should do this for every workout. Start wherever you can. I tell my clients that when they push themselves that far, That is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!!! This is the concept that should be applied to all life goals, not just fitness. If you want to go back to school but “don’t have time”, accept the fact that you will sacrifice fun times, sleep, etc., but you will accomplish your goals. True growth ALWAYS comes from extreme discomfort. Find the comfort in the discomfort. Do not wait for all of the traffic lights to turn green before going for a drive. Just drive.