A dull ache.
Tense and untense my back and shoulders, trying to do the little I can to break up the lactic acid.
The mental burning buzz is over... fallen into faint relaxed enjoyment.
These are the dividends of iron.
Everyone should lift weights. There's no more consistent way of transcending the daily, the mundane, the rote, into a higher way of thinking and being.
I remember the best set of squats I ever did, falling to my knees afterwards and wretching, about to throw up.
And then, a smile. The wheezing and wretching subsides, and I'm laughing.
"Good set!" my buddy says.
I half-cough/half-laugh. "Yeah."
I'm just coming off a frenzied building cycle. I'd been neglecting my health.
I feel so stupid. Iron pays higher dividends than any stocks or bonds, anything else possible... maybe even higher than just human interaction, because you interact better after lifting. The burn from your muscles rushing to repair themselves and the rush of blood and arenalin and testosterone to your brain... it leaves a calm and strong presence. Good people smile at you; bad people become scared of you. Sales calls become trivial; who cares about a telephone rejection when you could kill a bear with your bare hands?
And you're more likely to tell someone you love them, to appreciate them, because why be self-conscious when you're so primally strong?
Women should lift, too. I didn't know many women that lifted in my life, they were all afraid of being bulky. But that's not right, women don't get bulky like men, it's impossible. Women should lift weights, the few women I know that lifted were better off for it. The more intense forms of yoga strengthen with bodyweight anyways, but this can be gotten straightforwardly with a little weight training.
Iron. If I'm not lifting, I need to start lifting again. Why do I ever let it stop? Not enough time? I don't have enough time not to do it... what a big quality of life push. It increases results across the board in all other areas of life.
If you haven't lifted before, try it.
If you've been neglecting it, start again. Today.
If you're on a good program now, well, no need to say anything to you. You already get it.
nothing compares to a good session at the gym, just you and the weights. clears your mind and refreshes your body.
I won't knock lifting weights, but many consider burpees the best single exercise. No one should do only one exercise, but I love burpees!
I loved this post. Nothing like exercise to get you clear-headed again.
I'm at the gym about to continue a heavy set of bench press.
Today was supposed to be a cardio day, then I read this...
One of the greatest joys in the world is the iron gym.
What's an iron gym? It's hard to describe. It's easier to say what it's not.
An iron gym isn't a fancy fitness club. An iron gym doesn't offer jazzercise. An iron gym doesn't have wooden panelling and beautiful adornment. An iron gym doesn't have awesome, clean bathrooms. An iron gym's locker room is spartan, at best. An iron gym has mostly free weights, with very few machines. An iron gym isn't a place to mingle with the opposite sex. An iron gym doesn't offer yoga or other classes. An iron gym has no amenities, niceties, or anything like. An iron gym is usually obscure, with nothing special in real estate. It's often in a basement. An iron gym doesn't have a salesman to give you a tour of the place and show you around, doesn't ask for a one year commitment to join, or anything like that. An iron gym doesn't have fancy membership cards, swipe-in/swipe-out, or anything like that. You just show up and nobody hassles you.
So what's an iron gym? It's a spartan, bare bones place with free weights and a few very basic machines. It's often dirty and disorganized. There's no classes offered there. There's almost never women in an iron gym, if you go every day for an hour you'll maybe see a woman once a week. Maybe.
And I fucking love it. I love being at an iron gym. It's just a place to push iron. There's no posturing, no showing off, nothing like that. If you need a spot, someone will give you a spot. Everybody's cool. People don't talk too much, don't socialize too much. Nobody's doing business or trying to get a date or trying to move up the social hierarchy. There's just one thing there. Iron. And you lift and it's good.
I was lifting weights, and before I had even finished my warmup, I quit.
I wasn’t in pain and there was no logical reason for me to stop, but I did. I had just taken a few extra recovery days the week before so the problem wasn’t overtraining. I had slept well and eaten healthy the day of the workout, but for some reason I quit.
There appears to be some mechanism in our brains that’s geared toward survival and when I had the thought that maybe lifting weights wasn’t 100% necessary my body decided to conserve energy and give up on me. I allowed my body to control me as if I was an animal so, I had the idea to treat myself like one.
During my next workout I decided that not only was I going to finish my whole workout, but as punishment for giving up on myself I was also going to add 5 pounds to each lift. I decided that no matter what happened, I wasn’t going to leave until I got through my whole workout. And it worked. I completed each lift, and strangely enough the weights actually felt lighter than before.
I can’t tell you why the weights felt lighter, but I can tell you that increasing the amount I had to lift worked. Maybe it’s because I was more inspired by the higher goal and my body produced more adrenaline than it typically does. Maybe my body thought I would increase the amount of weight it would have to lift if it failed. I don’t know, and while I’m still not sure this is the best long term strategy to be using in the gym, I’ve been able to apply it to others aspects of my life quite successfully.