Three Life Lessons From a Platform

You can talk as much shit about deadlifting as you want. – “It is bad for your back”’, “It is too hard to coach and learn”,  “I am not allowed to perform this lift at Planet Fitness”.  I will take my chances building lean muscle mass in the posterior chain, increasing the contractility of that musculature so that I have the ability to lift and move objects located on the ground, learning how to breathe diaphragmatically and brace properly, and I will continue to stand fully erect until the day they bury me in the cold hard ground.  Lifting weights does more than build muscle.  It creates denser bone mass,  increases your power output and strength, builds self confidence, develops posture, improves body composition, as well as prevents injury (I could keep going…)  On top of all of these great benefits, weight training teaches kids and adults life lessons!

 Lesson 1 : Embrace the process 

  In the military, they require soldiers to make their bed first thing in the morning.  Making your bed starts your day by accomplishing a task with the idea that daily productivity will snowball from that simple task.  The same thing can be said about punching the clock in the gym.  Getting up, getting off your butt, and venturing to the gym can switch your day of lounging on the couch into attacking the laundry list of tasks you have to accomplish head on.  Working out teaches us not to drag our feet and procrastinate but start being productive.  If you want to become financially more stable, have a better relationship with your spouse, or become stronger,  work is required!  The takeaway is that lifting teaches us to embrace the process of dumping your energy and effort into what you want to achieve.  You have the ability to handle the challenges that come your way and it all starts with taking the initiative to handle business in and out of the gym.

Lesson 2 : Honesty  

This lesson is gold.  No one is coming to save you.  You can either deadlift the weight loaded on the bar or you cannot.  In a world that needs honesty more than ever,  It is good to face the cold hard facts.  A barbell does not care that you worked 80 hours last week.  It does not care that your favorite snuggy was not washed so you only slept 5 hours instead of 8.  It does not care about you at all.  You have to be able to apply enough force into the ground to break the barbell off the floor and then wedge your hips in between your shoulders and your knees.  Sounds easier at the bare bones level than it is.  The barbell does not want to hear your bullshit excuses or tell you something you want to hear.  It teaches you honesty.  You can not sweet talk it or smash the easy button.  

Lesson 3 : Patience  

Most “overnight successes” took place over the 15 years no one ever talks about.  Americans want more and we need it yesterday.  You might have a honeymoon phase with that barbell where you are progressing very rapidly.  This will not always be the case.  You will hit obstacles.  You will sometimes feel like you are beating your head off a brick wall.  It will force you to seek more information, improve your quality of motion, try alternative methods, do things you do not like doing (unilateral work, pause work, etc).  It will teach you to claw at something.  If you want it bad enough,  it will make you rethink staying up all night playing video games or shotgunning that 15th beer at your charity golf event.  You must be patient and keep chipping away at your self development.  Sometimes you will take 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards.  Grit your teeth and regain traction.  All good things take time to develop including wealth, health, and of course strength!  Stay patient and keep moving forward.

Program wisely and stay STRONG,

Frank J Donley