boxing 007

I’m a skinny man—but I love the gym. Not because I’m particularly strong, or because I know a lot about workouts. Hell, I’m not even that disciplined compared to a lot of people I know. But going to the gym is a wonderful process. It’s a careful activity really, and I’ve mapped out a couple of its stages.

Getting Ready

Deciding to actually go to the gym is the hardest part in my opinion. I usually take about 30 minutes just putting my clothes on and dipping about procrastinating. That’s not even factoring in the amount of time I sit at the computer just thinking “I have to go to the gym, and I don’t want to.”

Entering the Gym

The gym, or gymnasium if you will, can be a scary place. For a lot of people the gym is a stage on which to be observed, even if you don’t want to be. Your body is on display, so it’s easy to feel self-conscious. Being overly self-conscious, which I can teach you how to do if you’re interested, is really detrimental to a good workout. Of course you want to be conscious of your muscles and how your body is working, but you don’t want to feel like you are being watched or judged. It makes you feel insecure, then you get all negative and your mentality suffers.

This is why a lot of people workout at home, but it’s exactly why I love going to the gym. It’s the mental exercise; turning a negative body image into a positive image comes from conquering social challenges. It’s about focus: focusing on the workout and pushing yourself physically. Shifting your focus from how you are perceived, how good/bad you look, to the minutiae of how your body works and how you can push your boundaries. Surprisingly, this always takes a good deal of effort.

Flow State

This is where things get going, you’ve nailed your warm-up and a couple other exercises have gone well. Your blood is moving and you are feeling good about yourself. This is also where your workout will most likely fail, because it’s easiest to start making allowances, and excuses.

When you’re pumped it’s easy to lose focus of the moment. During a workout, it’s the moment that matters.

Steady state

During a particularly good workout, you hit consistently good reps and push yourself adequately on each exercise. You’re not eager to leave, and you don’t dilly-dally. A good workout is a kind of meditation.

Finish

After a workout we all feel wonderful right? Panting and pretending to ignore the world you get to walk out of the gym with your head held high. This is exactly why I love gyms: more than anything it is a mental exercise. A good workout transforms you from being lazy and self-conscious to disciplined and aware.

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