Weight training as the Key for Inner Peace
After a stressful day at work, you are finally back home. Your mind is starting to powerfully re-focus, your stress is reducing, and your adrenalin is slowly starting to rise. Meanwhile your shake is almost ready in the kitchen as the vanilla flavored whey protein is blending with some oatmeal and water. The afternoon’s training session is just minutes away and your desire to wage war in the gym… to lift heavy and intense is starting rise.
When it comes to strength training or bodybuilding there is one thing that is rarely mentioned. I’m thinking of the psychological benefits of training, because there are more things to lifting weights than just building muscles or the ability to increase your physical strength.
When one has been training for a while, the gym starts to become “a getaway” – a holy ground to turn the light from the outside world out for a period of time – somewhere as we go to war against our inner demons and stress from the past and present… a place where we do more things that just lift heavy and intense.
After an intense training session and winning that inner war, the paycheck arrives, containing both endorphins and more structured thoughts and fewer demons around. With a mind and easy and calm thoughts, we can work or study better, be healthier and handle our stressful obligations. This is also something that builds confidence and self-esteem.
When it comes to fostering positive psychological effects, I would not be surprise if weight training is close to – or even better than – the outcomes from meditation, especially regarding variables like better focus and inner peace. This powerful variable helps us cope with our personal ups and downs throughout life.
“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
People who train are maybe more fortunate than we think – because from observing bodybuilding for 20 years, everyone I know has felt the feeling of walking into the gym feeling kind of low or sad and then leaving after the training session with both an inner smile and a face to match it. For many of us it’s a kind of therapy throughout the ups and downs of life, thereby it’s very valuable to carry on with weight training through the rest of our lives.
My advice for beginners or those who are curious about starting to build muscles and strength is to recognize that there is an even greater outcome from training than added muscle and strength and that includes important psychological benefits.
Regarding our industry, I believe that mental aspects are marketing pitches for bodybuilding and weight training when it comes to making fitness more respected through the mainstream.
Who knows? Perhaps the fitness culture in the future will start to measure the mental advantages of weight training a lot more than we do today. Yes, the psychological benefits may be just as important in the game of weight training as building strength and muscles – there is a powerful mind to be derived from it all!
“The psychological tools I’ve gained from bodybuilding will never atrophy.” – Tom Platz