I take my exercise workouts seriously.
Ever since reading the book Spark by John Ratey my mindset around exercise and health completely changed.
Previously I entered the gym just to work up a bit of a sweat, maybe build a bit of muscle. I also worked out because it was a chance to socialize and connect with others.
I knew that working out was good for my body, but now I have a deeper understanding of how that goodness directly enhances my mind as well.
To me, the build up before going to the gym is just as important as the workout itself. It’s a chance to get myself mentally prepared to perform. It is a chance to feel gratitude for having an opportunity to improve myself physically and mentally.
Before my workout, I have a cup of coffee and a banana. I put on my headphones and start pounding into my ears a mix of motivational music and speeches. Here is an example of the type of music I listen to when I am in the gym.
When I make that walk into the gym, I feel as if I am entering my sanctuary. This is my own “championship game.” I am a prized boxer walking down the runway about to enter a war against myself and my self-imposed limits.
During my workout, I focus on positive thoughts and repeat in my mind affirmations about all the great things that are occurring in my life. I repeat in my mind, sentences like “I will not give up”, “Everyday I am getting stronger and stronger” “I have what it takes.”
I focus on working out as intensely as possible so that I make the most of the time I have in the gym. My usual workouts last no more than 40 minutes.
The gym is also the place where I train myself to become grittier and more resilient. I don’t work out just to work out, I work out to push myself past my self-imposed limits. When I can’t lift no more or when my body tells me that it’s time to give up, I force myself to lift one more time. In a way, I feel that if I quit in the gym, this quitting mentality can quickly carry over into the rest of my life. I train myself to push past pain and failure.
My measuring stick of success is not how I look or feel after the gym. I measure myself purely on my effort. Did I work as hard as I could? Did I quit a weight set when I could have pushed myself further? Did I leave the gym with less physical energy but with more emotional and mental energy?
Like everyone else, there are days I wish I didn’t have to go to the gym. There are days I rather sit around and “relax”. It’s easier to give up. It’s safer to quit. It’s easier to sit on the sideline and make excuses. But I don’t want to walk the easy path. On days where I don’t feel like working out, I know I have to work out even more because being complacent in one area of your life can quickly carry over to another area.
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BONUS: Need a bit more motivation to exercise? Read or listen to the speech by Elliott Hulse about the “Transcendent Rep”
So, there's something you've got to understand about training, it is not just the body that's at work, there's an integration of mind, spirit and body at play. There's a threshold that you have to cross in order to access the power of the mind and the spirit in your training. Training is a transformative process that makes you a stronger version of yourself instantly, if you cross this threshold. Most people are scared to cross this threshold.
When you cross that threshold you're breaking through a fortress and within that fortress there are jewels of untold value that will instantly turn you into a brand new person; a type of person that wherever you go people will know you're not the same. People will recognize the new found power in you simply by approaching training from the spiritual perspective. That power is only found beyond the threshold, that power that's within that fortress, that transforms you instantly, that makes you a stronger version of yourself that everyone sees, knows, respects, can appreciate it is found in one place. There's a single opportunity in your workout to access this gate, to move through and transcend yourself.
It's found in the last rep, it's called the transcendent rep.
Everything that you've done up until this point leads to this single sweet spot, and it is here you grow stronger, it is here that champions are born, it is here that you become the strongest version of yourself. Everything else is just a warm up.
You can't be in the flesh when you approach the transcendent rep, that last rep that your body doesn't want to do but your mind and your spirit have already done, the body just hasn't lined up yet. But when you cross that threshold, not only does you body grow stronger because you did that last rep, but there's an alignment, a unity that happens between your mind, your body and your spirit; only, when you're courageous enough to cross that threshold, that transcendent rep.
When you put every ounce of effort, energy, commitment, discipline into executing that last rep, you'll transcend and you will be born again, you become a brand new person, you're resurrected in strength and everywhere you go from there on out, people will recognize that there's a new found power within you. They can't see you the same way, they won't talk to you the same way, they won't feel you the same way because you're brand new. You will breathe different, you will walk different, the look in your eyes will be brand new, stronger, more direct, more focused, more confident.
They will all know, there is a brand new, stronger you.