Why People Lift
|People begin lifting weight for many
reasons. Some begin lifting in an attempt to "get
fit" or lose weight, others begin lifting to enhance
sports performance, or just to be stronger. Many begin
lifting weight in an attempt to gain sex appeal or self
confidence. But the biggest reasons that someone begins
lifting weights seriously are school bullies, insecurity,
and a perception of failure in life or as a person.
Physical activies have throughout history been outlets
for agresssion and a means to deal with frustration. This
is also true in strength training activities.
The appeal of lifting weights is as much mental as physical. Progression little by little is the means through which goodness can become greatness and smart people can do the work of genuises. To be able to progress in something even of the physical body can motivate one to see that things of the mind can also be overcome. With weights progress is measured one pound at a time and one repetition at a time. Progress is in fractional percentages and new achievements constantly are surpassed. For a person to be able to do what they could not do before and have a chart outlining the slow steady path that they undertook to a former impossibility is truly amazing. If one can surpass a challenge of the body surely challenges of life can also be planned for and overcome.
In the beginning a novice weight lifter will struggle with form and range of motion on exercize movements. But he will be full of enthusiasm for progress in something that is new to them. The human spirit likes success especially in things that are new. In the first few weeks of weight training one will make tremendous percentage gains in strength. This is mostly due to increased neural efficiency more so than actual muscle building. Gains will slow though and then those who wished something easy and thought they could have champion physiques or strength levels with no real work often quit. Those who remain battle on and progress little by little.
The battle waged by a weight lifter is not between other people of greater or lesser strength but against oneself. Lifting weights is about doing better and being better. Its about a lack of contentment and an almost egotistical drive of narcissisim that demands one perform better than one has before. This is human passion at its best; its the drive towards the impossible and beyond. Rather one is trying to launch a rocket into space or lift a piece of steel over one's head its all about the human mind willing something to be and then working to make it so. Sure there are health benefits to weight lifting and it may allow one to look better but these things are really secondary to what weight lifting can truly offer in essence.
Weight lifting is about long term goals. Its about not giving up. Its about being motivated even angered by those that can do something you can not. Instead of just sitting in a state of stuppor and complaining about ones lot in life or ones genetics, or ones economics one does something. In life those of success often exploit their strengths to allow them to succeed. Weight lifting works differently its about exploiting ones weaknesses towards a desire to improve. To turn a weakness into an evolving strength motivated by a fear of former weakness is the essence of weight lifting at its purest form.
If liftting weights promotes a sense of excellence why doesen't everyone lift hard and seriously some may ask? The reason is simple pain, fear, or a lack of interest. A lack of interest is an easy enough reason to justify. If someone has no interest in something it is not important to them. Incremental success can be achieved in many ways. Those succesful in business, or society, know of the joys of incremental success. Those without success in life may never know the joys of incremental effort and reward except through simple things like lifting. The pain of soreness, the fear of failure, a lack of discipline, and the conveniences of every day life combine to thwart the efforts of many that begin a brief routine of lifting or fitness. Weights are a great social equalizer. One hundred pounds is still one hundred pounds for anyone and everyone. Such is not true of one hundred dollars or one hundred miles. To those poorer much more effort is required to achieve 100 dollars or to travel one hundred miles. But for both rich and poor alike the iron weighs the same.
Those succesful mentally, socially, and economically perhaps might gain the most from a weight lifting regimen. Its another field of battle to compete against yourself and win at. Something is always gained from success of this sort. For those without success of any sort in life at all weight lifting can be the one thing they are equal to all others at in life. Gravity is the same for everyone. While some are born stronger, or faster, almost anyone can improve their lot in life strength wise. Success in one area usually gives way to success in other areas. The power of the iron can humble the wealthy and empower the average.
Weightlifting provides a means for goal setting not for some company, teacher, or friend. But goal setting for oneself. When someone learns the power of personal goal setting there isn't much they can't aim for and reach closer to because of effort. Goal setting and achievement coupled with an enhanced ability to deal with pain can make weightlifting a true self esteem building activity. To succeed in weight lifting ones diet, sleep, lifting intensity, lifting frequency, and time must all be managed symbiotically and in an effective fashion. If this is not the sort of priority management that success is about in life just what would be?
In the end weightlifting to its hardcore adherants is a spritiual thing. It allows one to wield the body like a machine. Its allows one to know success; incremental success. It allows one to manage hostility. The iron of weightlifting can be a best friend. Its consistant, won't inflate your ego, and lets you know exactly where you stand. A friend that is always there, always pushing you, and never accepting anything less than progress can be the best friend one ever has. For many that lift their iron is their best friend on this level. They lift because its who they are. The reason to lift is the drive to succeed.