Short and simple post.

I’m sure that I am not the only one who believes that there is a lot more to the gym than simply trying to stay fit and look good. There are certain psychological benefits and advantages which I find going to the gym helps with.

Consistency

Going to the gym on a regular basis reinforces the concept of consistency. There are certainly days where the bed is just a little too comfortable and you’re tired. But those are the days where it is even more important to gather some willpower and go.

This practice of being consistent and mastering the ability to create willpower has effects which spillover into other areas of life. Writing is one of them. Coding is another. Reading is another. There are always going to be some excuses, but having the ability to say “damn it, I’ll do it” over and over again allows me to continue pursuing consistency in those areas.

Process Orientation

Working out at the gym is a long term game. No one is going to jump 50 pounds in strength within a day. Reaching higher levels of strength and fitness revolves around the acceptance of focusing on slowly ramping up weight and focusing on good technique. Maintaining a reasonably healthy diet also helps.

This has reoriented myself away from expecting results quickly. Instead, I reflect on workouts and appreciate the slow and steady progress that I am making. The extra rep. The extra 5lbs I can handle.

Looking at other activities through this lens is extremely helpful for my impatient soul. Coding? Every time I go to a hackathon, I always make some huge, time-consuming mistakes and don’t accomplish what I set out to do. Yet in the long-run, I notice that I have not made the same mistakes twice, have built foundational knowledge, and have been able to help and explain to others. It’s a painful process, but rewarding.

Moving Forward

Perhaps the gym isn’t meant for everyone. Yet, I would encourage you to find an activity that allows you to practice consistency. In the long run, this mindset will return significant rewards. At the risk of sounding unprofessional, I look forward to the day where my consistency in the gym lets me look good in a tank top.

Fun Exercise

Pushups are a great exercise to practice consistency and get some exercise in. Just start with one push up on Day 1. Stick with that every day until it’s too easy, then add just one more. Before you know it, you’ll be able to hit 50+ pushups. Worked for me ?