Training is an interesting thing to me; it is extremely multifaceted. How so you may ask?
Let’s conduct a thought experiment together. Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to lift something heavy? Very simple, I think we all have been there. Next, have you ever found yourself needing to overcome something difficult mentally? Maybe you had a loved one pass away or your girlfriend dumped you. If not, something like this will happen and you need to be prepared. I'm sure by now you are thinking, “What the hell does this have to do with the gym?” Well, more than you know.
Working out is as much of a psychological training session as it is physical. In five years of training I've experienced tremendous growth physically, but the thing no one can see with the eye is the growth I have made in the ol’ noggin. It takes as much physical strength as it does mental to squat 700 pounds. I look at the gym as training for life. I think the greatest thing about training is the ability to push past what you thought you were capable of: learning to achieve goals and growing your confidence. This is often times overlooked.
People get too wrapped up in the rat race of everyday life to take a step back and look at what they have created. If your goal is to be strong, I challenge you to not only be able to lift heavy weight but be strong in the mind as well. You know the phrase, “Mind, Body, Spirit?” If you can master all three you are closer to becoming a complete human.
So how do you train your mind in the gym? Well that is simple, but not easy. It is for you to decide, but the best way is to do things that suck. Push yourself and when you think you don't have another repetition in the tank, do it anyways. Your mind is always going to try and get out of doing the hard work. It's up to you to take control and make it happen. Find a training partner who will push you past what you thought you could do.
The one thing every single person can improve on is self-discipline. The gym to me is step one. Choosing to go to the gym is the basis of self-discipline. You are actively choosing to do something that is difficult and challenging. I've often heard people say the hardest part of going to the gym is getting to the gym, and what they are referring to by that is the discipline it takes to go. How many of you have found yourself after a long work day not wanting to go get after it in the gym? I think we've all been there! The thing I have developed from training is the ability to starch that little voice in the back of your head saying “you can take today off”, because that is the voice of excuse. You see, excuses are really just lies. If you can develop the skill of shutting that voice down you will be much more powerful than you think. When you are wanting to have a cookie and you have the skill of shutting that voice off, you just got one step closer to your goal. It’s that simple, but not easy. It takes time, and guess what? You are going to make mistakes. You will stray from the path but the trick is to take ownership of the mistake, learn from it, move on, and don't make that mistake again.
One of my favorite quotes is by Jocko Willink. It is very simple, but very powerful; “Discipline equals freedom.” Training translates. If you are disciplined with your diet and exercise you can translate that to your job or your spending, which allows you financial freedom. If you are disciplined with your sleep schedule you have more time to get things done during the day, which gives you some extra free time, AKA some freedom. See how that works? When you know one thing broadly you see it in all things. Think about it.
The thing about training is it isn't just going and getting your arms bigger, or getting a six pack. Grow your mind, cultivate your discipline, and grow your spirit.
I know this might seem a bit overwhelming at first but I'm going to break it down into a step by step program for you to follow if you choose to do so.
Step 1 - Wake up in the morning and DO NOT go on your phone immediately. Wait until you've gotten up and gotten going.
Step 2 - Make your bed. Do the little things. If you can't do the little things right, how are you gonna be able to do the big things right?
Step 3 - Have your shower and at the end turn the handle to cold. Yes you read that correctly, turn it cold. Not to mention the physical benefits, the mind strengthening you will experience is legit. Start with 30 seconds and build to three minutes.
Step 4 - Prep for the day, have a plan, and plan for contingencies. Pack a solid lunch and get ready for the challenges the day will present.
Step 5 - After work, come home and debrief the day with yourself. Then go get after it in the gym, even if it’s 45 mins. Go get some.
Step 6 - Once the day is done and you've trained, go home and read a good book for 30 mins. The best way to grow the mind is to learn, straight up. Read books.
Step 7 - Before bed, meditate. You don't need to go to the top of a mountain and go on a spirit quest. I recommend the app “Headspace.” It's a great way to check in with yourself and become calm before bed. Debrief the day, think about what you need to do the next day, and also find a moment of peace and quiet.
That's it. I challenge you to do it for 90 days. If you stray from the path, don’t worry. It’s gonna happen. Just make sure you get right back on that path. Build momentum and setup your own success. Now go!
Written by: Billy Buhler
Podcast: Power Chat