Recently the Winter Warriors have begun to pile into my gym, choosing my previously solid 4 o’clock start time to shit all over the racks with quarter squats, barbell curls, and bodyweight box squats (yes, that happened). Half these people I recognize from last year and haven’t seen since March, and the other half I have never seen out of the almost uninterrupted 5-6 times a week I’ve been there all year. Adding to my annoyance is a) the fact that the Winter Warriors are a mere precursor to the dreaded Resolutioners and b) the tons of directionless regulars I see doing the same shit they were doing three months ago and not looking one ounce different, only now coming to my attention because I’m having to fight them for equipment.
If I sound like I’m trying to come off holier than thou, it is only by accident. A byproduct of the face palmage I experience seeing these ghosts of lifting years past. Yes, I am arrogant enough to believe I can read their minds because I was all of them at one point, and almost to a man I know what they’re thinking: *Now* I’m gonna get shredded. This time is different. I’ve finally arrived.
But it’s not gonna happen and deep down they know it.
The Winter Warriors and Resolutioners will get their three to four month gym fix and peter out as the snow melts, quitting just as they were starting to make progress.
The directionless regulars will continue to slog on, going through the motions, lifting with the intensity of a comatose quadriplegic and looking in the mirror between sets just waiting until they finally become jacked.
You could argue that they don’t lack dedication, especially the directionless regulars. Even the Winter Warriors and Resolutioners have dedication in their own perverse way, joining the directionless regulars for a few months of near regular dojo sessions.
What they lack is motivation. Drive. Willpower. Intensity. There is no inner force pushing them to make the weights their bitch. There are no psyche ups, no bar slamming, no grunting, no semblance of any extra effort beyond this ho-hum, do my 3×8 of never increasing weight for every body part and call it day garbage. They show up, put time in, and then hope for the best. I can’t tell if they’re afraid of hurting themselves, hurting inanimate objects like weights, the rack, or the bar, or all of the above. It’s like a retirement center with them in there, without the fucking and pants shitting.
Getting strong isn’t magic. It’s dedication + motivation. It’s showing up for every session and bringing your inner beast along with you. It’s having small goals, like beating last session, and large goals, like deadlifting X pounds, and having the drive to fucking go through with it. It’s stomping up to the rack every set and fucking shit up. Anger, rage, a drive to superiority.
If you have any strength and/or aesthetics goals that worth half a shit, you can’t just “put time in”. Moderate effort gets you moderate results. Nothing should be more infuriating to you than moderate results. You spend all that time in the gym and “moderate results” is all you have to show for it? It’s not the program, it’s you.
Get angry. Tear shit up. Sweat your ass off. Blast your Max Out Music and wring your adrenal gland dry. You will never get to whatever higher level you aspire to without trying to bend the weightroom to your will. Want it, aspire to it, become it. Find that inner beast.
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