We don’t have to look far to find a program, supplement, or new technology that claims it will give us an edge in fitness. Search ‘diet and exercise program’ in Google and you will find thousands of pages of well researched, scientifically sound, programs that are getting people results. Which begs the question, why isn’t everyone strong, fit and happy?
I consider myself lucky because my journey in fitness started at a young age. As a young man, my competition life put me in front of men that I respected who helped me build character through training and competition. I didn’t realize it in my youth but each training session was about much more than the reps and sets.
Then, an achilles injury cut my football career short and my world was upside down. You may be reading thinking, 'boo hoo. poor football player can’t play anymore’ - and you’re right football isn’t important but I defined myself as a football player and suddenly that was gone. So I did was most ruined men do, I drank, lived a toxic life, and gained an unsightly 30lbs.
I was able to turn things around and now experience the benefits of exercise beyond the superficial. I want to share those benefits with you.
You don’t need a lifetime of training to feel the benefits of exercise beyond the superficial. Exercise is a tool that satisfies our emotional needs. You may not be using exercise to meet these needs for yourself, but it is extremely important to be clear about how you satisfy two or more of these needs if you want to be happy and have a transformation that lasts.
Exercise makes us happy because it gives us certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection and love, and growth.
EXERCISE CREATES CERTAINTY
We can’t always be in control of the outcomes in our lives and that can be a challenge. Exercise is a sure way to get out of your head, take control, and be in the present. String a few workouts together and you also boost self esteem because being consistent builds trust in ourselves. Over time your confidence allows you to take on bigger challenges in fitness and other areas of your life.
EXERCISE CREATES UNCERTAINTY
They say variety is the spice of life. When it comes to exercise, we have a literal glut of options. Apps today make it possible to do any style of workout in any location and for any duration. The possibilities are endless. All you have to do is look.
EXERCISE CREATES SIGNIFICANCE
When confidence is low we need to start small. If you decide to start working out also be sure to commit to a specific action before leaving the scene of your decision. In that moment you are accomplished. You can build yourself up further if you write down why exercise is good for you and what it is costing you to not exercise. Get leverage on yourself by asking questions and you will start to shift out of apathy and into action.
EXERCISE BUILDS CONNECTION AND LOVE
Here we are talking about connection with and love of self. Consider the situation where you meet someone who you fancy. In one case you encounter zero resistance to connecting with this person and in the other case there is massive resistance- they play hard to get, make you sweat to earn their affection. Which feels better afterwards? Chances are you feel much more release and excitement from the hard to get pursuit. The struggle exercise creates is the same and it may be why so many people compete in gruelling fitness events. The feeling of accomplishment after real struggle is undeniable. Try a vigorous workout and you won’t be disappointed afterwards.
EXERCISE CREATES GROWTH
Everything about the New Age Gents community is related to progress. Doesn’t life feel so wonderful when we are progressing and terrible when we are stagnant? Working out is all about growth. The body responds to whatever stimulus we give it and change is inevitable with exercise. You also experience mental gains because new habits require powerful belief backed by emotion in order to become real. Each bout of exercise strengthens belief in your subconscious that you are a fit strong man who can do anything.
We are living in a time of incredible understandings and advances in exercise and health but there aren’t as many voices speaking about the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is that outcomes will never make you happy.
Who you become as a result of pursuing your goal will make you very happy or very sad depending on how you approach your goals and what you do with your life.
I invite you to focus less on the physical outcome and more, much more, on how you can be your best in the moments leading up to having it.
Kevin Maynard is a Personal Trainer living in beautiful Vancouver Canada. He's passionate about human potential and will do his best to help you change your game and have the body you want.