I was at the gym earlier this week and as I was finishing up my last set of squats, I noticed a middle aged guy strutting his way over to the cable machine.
What caught my attention wasn't the old school Oakley sunglasses he was wearing (indoors), the bright yellow string tank top, or the obnoxiously large headphones he was wearing. It wasn't even the fact that he was obviously ogling every female in the place.
It was the fact that he pinned the stack to the bottom of the machine and proceeded to use every muscle in his body (incorrectly) to do 4 hideously ugly reps of tricep pushdowns. It was all I could do not to start taking pictures or laugh out loud.
I think he actually worked every muscle except his triceps. This is not uncommon and happens particularly often in my gym (fuck you, Gold's).
Why Your Ego Rules Your Workout
I get it. As dudes we want to impress people (mainly the opposite sex) by acting cool, looking cool, and lifting heavy things. I have no problems wanting to be on your "A" game and thinking you're the shit.
Hell, there are times that I stroll through the gym feeling like I'm Superman.
The difference is I check my ego before I do any lifting. And I do this for one reason: so I don't get hurt. You see, if I get hurt, I can't train and if I can't train, I feel like shit. I don't like feeling like shit.
But inevitably it happens almost every day; I end up standing next to some dude who is lifting/posing twice the weight I am. Even guys much smaller than me.
And guess what?
I could give a fuck.
I realize that while I may not be as strong/buff/studly, etc as the guy to my right, I'm OK with it. I have an ego like any normal dude but I know my limits and I know what works for me. I know how to get stronger, leaner, and how to stay fit. So I really don't care about the looks I get when I do shoulder flys with 5 lb. weights.
If more guys adopted a similar philosophy, there would be far fewer injuries and more time could be spent on the real reason they're there; to get fit.
Why? Why? Why?
You joined a gym for a reason, right? At some point you were motivated enough to walk your ass into the gym, endured a cheesy sales pitch and gym tour, and signed up. But Why? What was your motivation?
In my experience, most men want one or more of the following:
The good reasons:
- To look better
- To feel better
- To lose fat/build muscle
- To get stronger
- To build confidence
- To feel a sense of accomplishment
- For general health
- To reduce stress
The not-so good reasons are:
- To impress girls
- To impress your buddies/gym dudes
- To be better (or appear to be better) than the guy next to you
- To look/feel like a bad ass
- To inflate your already inflated ego
- To show off your muscles and/or tattoos
- To troll for chicks and/or socialize
What about you? What was/is your true motivation?