5 Reasons Why I Like Pushing Myself

Pick an activity.  Any activity.  Whether it’s cross training, running, cooking or competitive sewing, if you have people who are passionate about their goal then you’re going to have a positive environment that cultivates results.

Here are five reasons why I love pushing myself as part of the training community we have at Performance360.

Trickle Down Effects

Show me someone that trains hard regularly and I will show you a successful person.  The mere act of committing yourself to a healthy, challenging routine is very reflective of how that person lives their life, in my opinion.  It’s not easy to wake up at 6 am or make the trip to the gym after you’ve had a shit day at work.  It’s not easy to start up a new program after time off or join a place that might look intimidating but successful people make those moves and get it done.

I am a huge believer that training hard for something physically will improve you mentally.  I wrote an entire entry about that here and not a day goes by where I’m not more and more convinced of the positive carry over effects that hard physical challenge has on the rest of your life.

It builds character and mental strength.

How many times have you had a rough day that’s been cured by exercise?  Well how about when you take that daily act and compound it over the course of a full year?  Are you telling me that daily shot of confidence and positive hormones won’t make you happier or more successful overall?

I believe it has a very profound effect on happiness and productivity.

Henry Rollins, he of Black Flag, has some of my favorite training quotes of all time form his 1994 essay The Iron and The Soul.

“…It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything…”

“…I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain…When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout…”

“..I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect…”

“…When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity…”

“…The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds…”

Yeah.  Henry Rollins rules.

It Makes You Part of a Community

The gym can be an intimidating place.  Trust me, I get that.  When I first started training clients three years ago I ran Performance360 out of World’s gym in PB.  Great gym with some of the nicest and most generous owners you can meet and to date the best mega gym I’ve ever trained in.  It’s also where Southern California’s most elite professional body builders train.

It certainly was not the easiest place for me to get broken into the training industry when in your third week you see Mr. Olympia walking around.  It’s definitely an old school gym where you earn your keep by shutting your mouth and letting actions speak.  To say I was a bit of a black sheep having my clients do the complete opposite of body building training is putting it lightly.  I got my fare share of looks and snide comments in my first year.

However, after I put it my time training clients for twelve, sometimes fifteen hours a day I started to garner a little bit of respect from those guys and was able to learn from some of the best trainers in the county.

I learned three lessons from my days at World’s.

  1. Hard work will get you respect in any circle regardless of fitness level or training style.  If you apply yourself, most any group will welcome you.
  2. Support and encouragement make any atmosphere instantly better.
  3. You can learn a lot from surrounding yourself with people who know more.

My favorite things about the classes we run at Performance360 is that  some of the best athletes I know working next to  complete first timers and will make that person feel completely at ease.  It’s not a sales line we use on the website, it’s the honest to God truth.

Nothing makes me feel more validated about our business than seeing our best members stick around after their workout to cheer on and encourage those beginners still working.

I’ve seen a girl pick up 300 pounds in the same workout as a guy starting out with a weightless PVC pipe.

I’ve seen people stick around well after their workout was over to support someone going for a personal best.

I’ve seen the simple concept of physical challenge create an unbelievably tight knit community that’s welcoming, accepting and encouraging to everyone in it.

I don’t know of any other social scene, line of work or place you can go where everyone is truly treated by one another as equals.

Work ethic and the security to put yourself on the line and make yourself vulnerable to a workout earns respect from everyone in the right training community.  Not what you look like with your shirt off.

The gym provides that sanctuary.

You’re Always a Work in Progress

One of the main reasons I opted out of the mainstream fitness experience both personally and for our business is because frankly, I found that environment to be one of “my shit don’t stink”.

There is always something you can improve upon in your fitness and training.  ALWAYS.  There is never a shortage of goals and things that can motivate you to improve, both intrinsic and superficial.

We are constantly re-evaluating goals and drawing up new game plans with our members that seek it.

Achieve a personal goal?  Celebrate the hell out of it, do a back flip and pump your fist like Pauly D, eat the fattest celebratory meal money can buy and then cross it off and write the next goal.

I wanted to be in an environment where everyone brought something to the table and collective learning took place on a daily basis.  That’s what we’ve stumbled upon at P360.

I’ve crossed off more physicals goal than I honestly thought I would care about yet all l I seem to do is want to create new challenges and get better in new areas.

Learning and improving is addicting.  Once you see those first results carved through your own hard work and sweat, training sinks its hooks in you.

We learn from our members and they from us.  Sure, we bring guidance, knowledge and safety to the process of getting results but I also soak in as much as I can from those in our membership who are stronger than me, know more about therapy and biomechanics than me or just plain have a good idea to help the gym become a better place.

You can always learn and get better and if you think otherwise then you’re stunting your development.

It Puts You Around Motivating People

Have you ever had a job where you wake up in the morning and think, “Wow.  I just really don’t want to go to fucking work today”.  Then, you hop in the shower and pull the old lean up against the wall with your head resting on your forearm move?  You despise the people that you work with and when you see Peggy from HR in the kitchen peeling hard boiled eggs you want to roundhouse kick the microwave until it explodes and burns down your office?

We meet again, morning.

Yeah.

That doesn’t happen in a good training community.

Typically speaking, in any training environment worth its salt you have people all seeking some degree of the same thing.  They are all working hard towards a common goal and that interest and level playing field makes the process enjoyable.

Imagine that.  Enjoying the act of squatting until you feel like your legs are going to melt into margarine.

The community we have at P360 is unlike any I’ve ever been a part of.  We’ve had people go from strangers to workout buddies to friends in under a month.  We have members who’ve met their girlfriends and boyfriends in our gym and even some who have made what are sure to be life long friendships.

All from picking up a barbell a few times a week?

Yes.

Positive, unselfish people create a positive unselfish training environment where it’s not hard to get and stay motivated to achieve results.

I’ve seen some pretty remarkable transformations occur over the course of the past year.

I’ve seen a 52 year old woman improve some serious health issues, lose 48 pounds and achieve a deadlift of over 200 pounds.  Did I mention she is a grandmother?

I’ve seen people train in wheelchairs and a 70 year old with a six pack.

(c) GymJones.com

The picture above is from Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah, a gym that is on my bucket list and one that I respect greatly.  The man in the picture is Sergeant Rob Jones who lost both of his legs after he was struck by an IED in Afghanistan and all he did after was win the Mixed Double Skulls in the 2012 World Rowing Cup.

Do you think the people who train with him are not busting their ass until exhaustion when they line up next to him?

When you are around motivating people some pretty amazing things can happen.

It’s that simple.

I Like Results

Let’s not forget about the nuts and bolts of what training does for us physically.

This one is pretty simple.  Training in a group with others is just plain more motivating than going to a huge gym by yourself and logging workouts in a notebook.   Throw on some loud music, get ten to fifteen people in a room and I guarantee there’s going to be some serious effort put forth.

I talk a lot about mental fortitude and the challenge and all that stuff, and what we often forget is that the journey produces some pretty decent side effects.

“I’m not just the owner, I’m also a client!” (thumbs up with cheesy smile)

In the last twelve months I’ve been consistently following the programming I write for our members (novel concept).  I am substantially healthier, have, have more energy, can run faster, jump higher and pick up heavier things faster and more often.

Nothing that makes me some kind of world beater but that’s not what I am after.  It’s improvement for me and the exceeding of my own personal expectations of what I thought I was capable of that I’m after.  If you are always comparing yourself to others, you lose track of progress, reach for things you shouldn’t and end up disappointed.  There will always be someone better than you, so focus up and do you.

I should not be in better shape than when I was a college athlete, but I am.  I am 29 and my playing days ended after college.  I realize I am not technically training for “anything” but that’s not why I like to push myself.  I like to because it improves my life and brings me a little bit closer to those old school roots I feel we have completely lost as a society.

I owe that exclusively to immersing myself in a motivating community…and also not going to Sheetz on Broad Street to get Shmiscuits and Beast Light four nights a week.

You can sub the experience I am privileged to partake in daily with many other around the country.  Find an environment where everyone works hard, supports one another and shares the common interest of self improvement and I guarantee you’ll find yourself wandering into some pretty remarkable results sooner than you think.

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1 Comment

  1. We should all be so lucky to have coaches who understand the mental game of health and healing like you Dave. What a great post, really inspiring and I cant wait to share it!

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