Some days I walk into the gym and don’t want to be there. I’ve been at the gym at 6:00 am going on 4 hours of sleep staring at +300lbs squats. I’ve had to dig deep to keep going on days like that. We all have those days where we just want to give up. We each have to find a way to keep pushing. We have to find something inside of us to drive us forward. Here’s how I do it.
Every day I walk into the gym I take a second to remember why I lift, why I show up every day. For me, I’m always working towards something. Whether I’m working on a new PR or a specific lift it’s always something. The days I perform the worst are the days that I don’t have a goal in mind. So I’ve become accustomed to setting goals. With a guiding factor I’m always tempted to just cut my workouts short or skip a session. But when I know what I’m working towards every workout, every set, every rep, they all count.
When I first started lifting something I struggled with was failure, especially the first time I started powerlifting. I’ll never forget the first powerlifting meet and I had to drop 450lbs off my back while squatting. I was so determined to get it and it just ate at me that I couldn’t. I reminded myself that there’s always another chance. I wasn’t competing to win, I was competing to be a better me. Two weeks later, September 23, I finally put up 450lbs for my squat PR.
One of the biggest faults you can make at a gym is comparing yourself to other people. Everyday it’s always how I look or how much I’m lifting, but never about the other people at gym. Even at the powerlifting meet when I was competing against others I still was doing it all for me. No matter what I put up that day it was going to be the best I could do and I couldn’t have been happier with my results. When I see people that are massive or they are outlifting anything I could put up I don’t compare. Instead, I think I idolize those people. It’s inspiring to see people that are chasing similar dreams and are achieving them. It doesn’t give me a competitive motivation, but instead an internal motivation to do better for myself.
The biggest thing I do before I lift is focus. Which sounds simple, but in reality it’s what most people forget to do. I drown out all the distractions; I put in headphones and I even wear a hood to narrow my vision. As I go into every lift I make sure I have something pushing me. There’s certain peoples presence that help motivate me or I focus on what my goal is. Sometimes I’ll draw on emotions and think about negative experiences that drive me. I’m also notorious for biting my shoulder before I squat. Whatever it is you have to find something that works for you. Just remember it won’t be easy.