I see it literally every day at the gym. There’s a guy who has clearly worked his ass off to get “jacked”. He’s got the huge arms, the six pack abs, the monstrous legs. He’s worked his ass off day in and day out to get himself like that. Maybe he’s using steroids, maybe he’s not. Either way, he looks like a Greek God and he works out like one. He’s benching HUGE amounts of weight like you and I would pick up a piece of paper. No, he is NOT showing off. He’s doing what he does. He’s doing what he did to get that way in the first place. And, over there? Joe Average. He’s the guy who’s just starting on his journey. He really can’t handle very much weight. He really can’t handle very many reps. He doesn’t have the body of a Greek God, his is more soft. Quite a bit more flabby. But there he is, working out nonetheless.
Then, he looks over at the Greek God. And his hand reaches for his own weights. He jacks that puppy up another 20 pounds and, with all his remaining strength, he lifts the weights skyward. “I can do this”, he thinks. He barely manages his way through one reasonably well-positioned rep. Time for rep two! Once again, the weights head toward the gym roof. He gets them about half way to their goal.
And then he hears and feels a “pop”. His right arm goes dead. The weight crashes down, barely missing crushing his chest. And, just like that, his workout regime is as dead as his arm. He tore a ligament or a tendon. He overworked his already tired muscles. And now, for probably a month or more, he won’t be lifting anything heavier than a scrap of paper. And, even that, with an effort.
Why would anyone do that you ask? Simple. Ego. Plain, stupid ego. Mr. Average looked at the Greek God and thought to himself “Man, I can’t let some other dude show me up like that!” When the reality of it was that “Greek God” wasn’t showing ANYONE up. He was just doing what he does. He was working out to keep the body that he created. And Mr. Average might have had that same body or even better if he hadn’t let his foolish pride get a hold of him. Maybe “GG” was actually having an off day. Maybe he was actually lifting LESS than usual and feeling shitty about it. Or, maybe he was just about to achieve a personal goal and he was personally proud of it. Whatever he was doing, it has NOTHING to do with what you’re doing.
That is a VERY simple concept but yet so hard to get through to some people. Don’t compete with the Greek God. Don’t compete with the perfect, Barbie Doll at the gym. COMPETE WITH YOURSELF! Instead of looking at the person next to you, look in the mirror. Envision yourself yesterday. Envision what you did yesterday. Now, beat that. Ever so slightly, beat that. Don’t go off a cliff beating it. Just beat it a little. Then do the same thing the next day. Beat yesterday’s you.
You know what will happen if you do that? Quite possibly, at some point in the future, you’ll see some guy reaching for his weights and you’ll be thinking “Wow, that guy doesn’t look like he can handle that much weight!” And then, as that guy crashes to the ground in pain, you’ll realize that he was looking at YOU just before he upped his weights to way too high…
Until Next Time – Stay Strong and Focused.