6 Top Benefits of Working Out
Each day we are presented with situations where we ask ourselves, Why? And, most of the time the answer to this question is fairly simple and requires only a quick, one sentence response.
Why do I set an alarm? So that I wake up at a specific time.
Why do I put gas in my car? So the car runs and I can drive it.
Why do I brush my teeth? To have a nice smile and avoid cavities.
Why do I shower? So I don't smell like chicken, asparagus, and protein every day at work.
Maybe that last one is just me.
Our lives are filled with small questions that we don't have to think too much about before answering. Questions such as these would garner similar responses if asked to a large population of people. But, some questions can't be answered so easily. They tend to be more complex.
Related: Improve Your Bench Press Power
These complex questions usually have a number of differing responses. Why did I go to college? Why do I have this specific occupation? Why do I work as hard as I do?
These questions can't be answered so easily. They require more thought, some possible reflection, and produce a wide variety of responses.
One of the most common questions I have asked myself over and over again over the course of the last 12 years is:
Why do I lift?
It's a question that will never have a single answer. The answer changes day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year.
This question produces a near-infinite number of responses from the lifting community. It's a question that will never have a right or a wrong answer because the reasons will always be unique to you as an individual.
Unfortunately, people outside of the lifting community - or lifting trolls - think the answer to this question can be summed up with a one sentence phrase:
He lifts because he's stupid and can't do anything else.
She only lifts because her boyfriend lifts.
Oh, he only lifts because he has a small.
You get the point. it's thoughts like these that produce a negative view of us gym rats who only want to party at Club Barbell.
This article is for all the haters and trolls, both inside and outside the lifting community, who think the question "why do I lift?" can be answered in 140 characters or less. I'm here to tell you it can't, and that's the beauty of the question.
I want to tell you the reasons why I started lifting and why I still lift today. From my first high school weight training class to the intense squat session I just finished up about an hour ago, I want you to understand why my constant desire to lift goes beyond just surface-level.
6 Reasons Why I Work Out
Reason #1 - I wanted to Learn, Get Bigger and Improve My Athletic Ability
So, where did my training start? Why did I decide to start lifting? Even when I was 15 years old I could give you multiple answers to the question Why Do I Lift? For now, we'll narrow it down to the two main reasons why I began to lift.
First, I wanted to get bigger. I wasn't fat, I wasn't skinny, I wasn?t muscular; I was just a teenager who stayed active through playing basketball and surfing. I knew in order for me to get more playing time on the court I needed to get bigger and the solution to that was to start lifting weights.
Second, I discovered I could take a weight lifting class instead of a regular physical education class. Wait, no more dodgeball, volleyball, or "How fast can you run a mile?" Sign me up. I was going to learn how to bench press, how to squat, and how to build a foundation for my lifting future.
I tell you this to show how even as a young teenager, just starting my lifting journey, I could give you multiple answers as to why I lift. The answer wasn't a simple A or B answer. It wasn't back then and it never will be. While I don't lift anymore to get out of a PE class, I do still lift to get bigger. The reasons behind lifting will change while other reasons will stay consistent. Lifting never stops evolving and neither will my passion for it. That's why I lift.
Benefit of Working Out - Lifting helps you to improve athletic performance and builds confidence.
Reason #2 - I Want to Have the Best Possible Body
I think of my body as a product. The gym is my factory and the weights are the tools used to build my product. Do I want to make a terrible product? Heck no. I want to produce the best product on the market. I want my body to be the best it can be.
In the world of lifting I think of myself as a business owner and so should you. You are the president, the CEO, the CFO, and the customer service rep for your body. Not only are you overseeing all operations, but when your body is asking you a question you are there to provide the answers. Why wouldn't you want to do everything in your power to make your business/body the best thing around?
Lifting is how I shape and transform my body into the product I want it to be. That's why I lift.
Benefit of Working Out - Lifting, more than any other physical activity, helps you to look your best.
Reason #3 - Lifting Gives Me Complete Control
A huge reason why I lift is because it gives me control. it's my body, and the only person who has control over the way my body looks and feels is me.
It doesn't matter what else is going on in my life. I will always have of control of how often and how much I want to lift.
If I want to take a day off I can. If I want to train for 3 hours a day I can. If I want to lift heavy for two months straight then lift light for two months straight I can.
While you may feel like you've lost control of a situation or a particular aspect in your life, you will never have that feeling when you're hitting the weights because you are in control, no one else. That's why I lift.
Benefit of Working Out - Lifting is one of the few things in life that gives you control over your own destiny.
Reason #4 - Exercise Provides Me With Stress Relief
As cliché as this may sound, getting in the gym and moving around some weight is how I clear my mind and lower my stress levels.
As someone who works a normal Monday through Friday, 40 hour work week, I need something else to compliment my day that makes me forget about work. That something else for me is lifting. I can put in my headphones, sit down on the bench, and focus on lifting some heavy weight.
There are dozens of studies out there that show how exercise is a huge tool used in relieving stress because it's true. it's a tool you can use to manage your stress and create balance within your life. That's why I lift.
Benefit of Working Out - It's simple, really. Lifting relieves stress.
Reason #5 - There is Always a Next Level
We can all get a little conceited at times and let our egos take the wheel. Sometimes lifting heavy weights can fuel that ego, but at the same time, those same weights can also ground you.
Attempting to hit a new max lift or trying to lift a weight for 20 reps can be extremely humbling. Just when I think I've reached my strongest point or hit a new max there's always going to be more weight to throw on the bar.
Lifting is always going to give you a chance to try a new lift or hit a new max. The top powerlifters in the world know there's always going to be more weight they can lift. The top bodybuilders in the world know they can always get bigger or fuller or tighter.
Even when you think you have achieved your best, lifting brings you back to reality and makes you realize you can always push yourself a little more. That's why I lift.
Benefit of Working Out - Lifting can keep you humble. No matter how big or strong you get, there is always another goal to go after.
Reason #6 - I Take Pride in My Health
I lift because I take pride in my health. I want to live as long as I possibly can while staying as healthy as I possibly can.
While many people think you lift weights only because you want to have big muscles or get shredded, that's not always going to be the case. The benefits of resistance training go beyond just pure aesthetics or being able to brag about your one rep deadlift max and I understand that.
Lifting weights strengthens and improves your cardiovascular system, your nervous system, your skeletal system, and the list goes on. While aesthetics and lifting heavy weight may be one of the reasons I lift now, I understand that's not always going to be the case.
I take pride in my current state of health and strive to do everything I can to maintain that health as I get older. Resistance training is something I know I can do even when I'm eligible to order from the senior menu at IHOP. That's why I lift.
Benefit of Working Out - Lifting provides a myriad of health benefits that help promote longevity and a better overall quality of life.
What About You? Why Do You Lift?These are only some of the reasons why I have integrated weight lifting into my life and refer to the gym as my second home. I know many of you can relate to some of the reasons I provided, while many of you have your own story.
No answer is right, wrong, too long or too short. Put up a picture of yourself on Instagram tell us what comes to your mind when you ask yourself the question, "Why do I lift?"
Add the hashtag #WhyILift and make sure to tag @tigerfitness and @thebrentness in your photos. We want to know why you lift!