Every afternoon after school was a sacred ritual. I would kick off my shoes, grab a snack, and sit on the sofa mesmerized watching my favorite shows: Dragonball Z, Batman: The Animated Series, and other anime.
I looked at their physiques and strength and knew that’s what I wanted to achieve. I had grown up seeing my dad lifting weights on the rusty, makeshift home gym outside on the patio and getting up at the crack of dawn to go on runs to stay fit for the military, and under his guidance, I got my first glimpse at the world of training and physical development.
I’ve now been training for many years. For strength, for aesthetics, for martial arts, for sports, to correct injury, for health and for well-being. Along the way, I’ve seen firsthand the power of lifting weights in our lives. It has certainly changed mine, and I have witnessed time and time again how it has helped the countless individuals I’ve worked with transform their bodies and lives as well.
I may have started out in my quest to go Super Saiyan, but what are the real great reasons to start lifting?
In the notebook of the celebrated Renaissance polymath, Leonardo da Vinci, there is a drawing famously known as the Vitruvian Man. This drawing depicts a man in two extended positions enclosed by a square and a circle that demonstrates the ideal human proportion in all of its glory.
Proportion? Yes. Mathematics. Glory? Art. Beauty.
From Leonardo’s sketch to the classical Greek sculptures to modern-day bodybuilders and athletes, it’s hard to evade the sensation of awe provoked by the simultaneous display of grace and strength that the human body is capable of. The body is a moving, ever-changing work of art that can be sculpted with attention to proportion, balance, and symmetry.
Attaining these aesthetics works wonders in the social arena. They emit signals of strength, confidence, security, and vitality. This will boost your self-esteem and increase your power everywhere from the boardroom to dating world.
It is a work of art to take pride in. Anyone can go to the store and pick up a new pair of shoes, jacket, or watch. But to have a strong, visually-pleasing body…that’s something money can’t touch. An aesthetic physique is a testament to the character and dues that its beholder has paid in – and OUT – of the weight room.
2. Mental Fortitude
An aesthetic physique does not come without a price. To reach the pinnacles of physical development, one must put in the time and effort required. Aesthetics require impetus, commitment, and determination.
To train your muscles is to train your mind. To break past your barriers and achieve a new PR, to stay on track with your diet goals, to show up consistently to put in the work. You will develop patience, learn the value of responsibility, discipline, consistency, and self-control.
You will learn that it is your mind that controls your body – not the other way around. When you are tired and push forward despite your body’s every aversion to the contrary – it is because of your mind. When you are tempted and led astray but stay firm to your goal – it is because of your mind. When before you rests that heavy loaded bar that is determined to break your spirit, it is your MIND that sends the signal to your body that you CAN and WILL move that weight.
Don’t let appearances fool you. Lifting weights is a mental sport above all else. Lifting weights will strengthen the mind in far more ways than you can imagine. Let’s utilize this potential.
3. Unleash the Beast
Inside of us all dwells a beast of unimaginable power. It must be trained and wielded wisely. For the majority of the time, we must keep it on a short leash to avoid damage to ourselves and others, but there are times in which we can let it loose and give it free reign to frolic in the fires of its frustrations, lusts, and fury. Rather than let it burn a hole inside of us and destroy, we can channel that power for good in the weight room.
When you put yourself under that bar & let loose, you unleash that beast and incinerate all of your frustrations, worries, fears, problems, stress, and tension within. You transform like a civilized man into a rabid werewolf upon the sight of the milky full moon and run wild, attacking that workout with fervent force. You leave that gym feeling like a champion. You leave feeling like a new man. And in a way…you are. You are transforming your body and your mind.
Not to be overlooked, the primary and most important function of the body is proper movement in our surroundings and the carrying out of our tasks in the world. Thankfully, we are not living in the world of Wall-E…yet.
Unfortunately, the nature of modern society has made it such that most of us don’t have that proper base responsible for living and moving the right way.
Lifting weights provides the ammunition to feel better inside and out, move better, correct that posture and ensure strong tissues, bones, and joints when programmed correctly. If nothing else, this is the single most important function of training that should never be jeopardized or neglected – for life. Take care of yourself.
5. Learn the Body
Your body is your temple, and you only get one. It is the portal through which you experience and live your life. You build that temple. You decorate that temple. You care for that temple. Lamentably, however, far too few of us have grown to learn this magnificent marvel that’s at our disposal.
Looking to maximize your results and performance in the gym will take you down the path towards knowledge of the human body in ways that you would have previously never attempted. To build it, you will study its anatomy, its kinetics, its maintenance, and its upkeep via the avenue of proper nutrition.
Furthermore, lifting weights will position you to learn your body on a much more intimate, personal level. You will form that mind-body connection and learn to listen to what it’s telling you. The body is no longer a distant enemy. It is your ally and best friend. It will speak to you. You will build that relationship and form a tighter bond with this precious machine you’ve been granted with.
The benefits of lifting weights are numerous and varied. If you aren’t hitting the gym regularly already, why not? What’s holding you back from reaping such incredible benefits? Get inspired and make the change.