(Comic by Nijaz Sedic.)
Ok, so maybe you don’t actually want to be a meathead. But you should. And it’s not for the reasons you think.
Sure, it might be cool to have a back that tears at your shirt’s seams, and biceps that get the girls all giggly. And maybe it would be kinda neat having people turn their heads to stare at you in awe as you walk on past them.
“Did you SEE that guy? He’s HUGE!”
But you don’t really want to be like them. Vain. Conceited. Musclebound. Probably insecure. Compensating for something.
Nah, all those weightlifting types are just shallow egotistical narcissists. Soulless, even. All body, no brain.
What could we possibly learn from them?
Well . . . more than you might think.
You see, there’s something about weightlifting that most people don’t get. They can’t get it. It’s just not possible to see from the outside. What they don’t understand is that lifting is hard.
Really fucking hard.
And anyone who has had even a small measure of success in the endeavor has accomplished something few people ever will.
They’ve built themselves.
That’s hard business. Anyone can lose weight. Fat loss is a natural byproduct of corrective eating.
But to grow muscle . . . that’s something else entirely. The human body doesn’t like it. It will fight you tooth and nail.
So with that in mind, I’m going to give you an inside look into the qualities that make for a successful weightlifter. Whether they be bodybuilders, strongmen, or Olympic lifters; all accomplished “lunks” share these hard earned traits . . .
And we can all learn a little something from them.
1. Know Thyself – It’s the cornerstone of achievement. You will never get anywhere in life if you are unwilling to look deep inside and face your demons.
Nothing will bring you face to face with your demons quicker than that last rep on the bench. The one you didn’t think you could make. That hard fought 13th rep when you thought you were done for at 10.
You learn things about yourself when you are willing to push to your limits. Not the limits people say you have. Not even the limits you think you have.
I’m talking about end limits here. Mental and physical. The point where you absolutely cannot go any damn further.
True failure. Utter collapse.
Meatheads have been there. Many times over.
2. Find Your Passion – You don’t add 30 pounds of muscle to your frame by chance. Nor do you squat triple your bodyweight through god-given talent alone. It takes dedication. Determination.
The kind of persistence that only comes when you’ve found your passion.
High-level weightlifters are some of the most passionate folks you’ll ever meet. They have to be. Putting yourself through the rigors of lifting, day in and day out, is grueling business. You won’t last if you don’t find purpose there.
Meatheads have found their passion. And they pursue it with all the reckless intensity it deserves.
3. Sacrifice – Achievement requires sacrifice. Something most of us prefer to ignore.
But not the weightlifter.
He knows that strength can only be built through pain. There is no other way. He accepts that simple fact and doesn’t cry about it. He doesn’t whine. He doesn’t complain how unfair it is . . . that other lifters have bigger bi’s, or that Joey, on the next mat over, is out-deadlifting him by ninety pounds.
The weightlifter knows that Joey worked his ass off for those extra ninety pounds. He understands that he’ll have to do the same if he wants to achieve that level of success.
Meatheads are willing to make the sacrifices necessary. They will sacrifice their comfort. They will sacrifice their time. They will sacrifice Friday nights at the pub, sleeping late in the morning, and buffet lunches at Ming’s Chinese.
At the very least, after a set of 20 rep squats, they’ll sacrifice that lunch all over the mat.
4. Iron Begets Iron – Weightlifting is all about growth. And I’m not just talking muscle growth. Because what is the pursuit of strength if not an attempt to better oneself?
You cannot build strength of body without building strength of mind. It’s impossible. The effort required to truly change your body is resistance on a whole ‘nuther level. Resistance that must be overcome.
Resistance that makes you stronger.
The more you give to the iron . . . the more struggle, blood and pain . . . the more it gives you in return. The more of its own qualities you embody.
You become iron.
Iron body. Iron mind.
So many people are looking for a foolproof way to build their willpower. To build their character. They’ll scour self-help sites looking for tips and tricks to strengthen their mind and empower themselves.
But they seldom even consider the simple and proven method right before their eyes. All it takes is a trip to the local gym.
Meatheads understand the fortitude that weight lifting builds. The grit. They have it because they’ve earned it.
Don’t Be So Quick to Judge
People look at a well-muscled guy and think, “He must spend all day in the gym. Dude needs to get a life.”
Well guess what, he’s got a life. And it’s probably a lot better than yours. Maybe if we tried living a bit more like our meathead brethren, we might have more to show for our own efforts.
And we might even develop a little grit ourselves.
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