“I try my best to leave my ego outside,” is what one of the most jacked, aesthetic guys at New Leaf Fitness said the other day. It’s a common idea, but not one that a lot of average people would expect to hear from a daily gym-goer, meat head, or serious bodybuilder.
“Oh really?! Keep my ego outside of the gym…There’s no way you have ever done that,” is what I’d expect some of my own critics to say to me. However, he really did say that and so would I. The truth is that working out is a great way to please your ego and make you more self-confident, but what happens when you are bloated with self-esteem issues and pride?
A) Always attempt lifting a weight that is far too much for you?
B) Constantly check yourself out in the mirror?
C) Only give your mirror muscles a work-out?
D) HAVE to lift as much as the other guy at your gym who has probably been lifting for years?
E) Constantly think about supplementing your “gains” with steroids or pro-hormones?
If YOU said yes to any of the above questions, then you may need to take my friend’s advice and leave your ego outside. Luckily for you, a big part of lifting weights is building character values such as discipline and humility. Here is a short list of things I compiled during today’s workout that may help YOU succeed at your gym-going endeavors. Not only that, but these tips may help you succeed at life in general:
- Practice humbling yourself when speaking to other people.
Keep a smile on your face and try not to talk about yourself too much! If you make it about them you’re happy to listen to them, then you are well on your way to getting that ego of yours on lock down. This carries on into the gym, where you’ll notice that you are happy to listen to more experienced lifters who want to give you advice. You may even become more apt to initiate the conversation. You may wind up asking them how to improve your form or how you should go about seeing better results. Over time, a well developed sense of humility can only make others more likely to help you on your fitness and life endeavors.
- Make sure that your mentors are humble.
You want to be humble! You want to listen to the advice older, more experienced people have for you. You also know that if you hang out with losers, you’re more likely to be a loser. Be careful about who you surround yourself with and who you take advice from. This is a bit more challenging, but be a little selective when looking for advice. Respect everyone and at times respectfully disagree, but make sure you don’t allow someone to give you serious self-esteem issues.
- Try working out solo!
A lot of people don’t like to work out alone, and oftentimes there are plenty of good reasons for that. Maybe you like to lift heavy and need a spotter. Maybe you need the extra boost of support from a friend to get into the gym. However, if your spotter and you work out in a way where you get seriously too competitive then it may be time to fly solo. I’m not saying competition is always a bad thing. However, if you are so competitive with your gym buddy that you’re constantly worried that he/she can curl more than you then it may be damaging your self esteem and causing you to lift too much too soon. Try working out by yourself with good amounts of TUT(time under tension) and progressive overload.
- Wear baggy clothes that don’t show your muscles.
All of this was just my advice and my personal opinion. Keep in mind that working out is awesome, and it’s good for you. I hope that you see a lot of impressive gains and that you have genuine self-confidence, discipline, and humility.
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Keep lifting folks.