In a world where most men are afraid of being seen as weak, many miss the obvious opportunity to develop inner strength.
Lifting heavy objects is a powerful way to build strength and endurance, but it’s also a metaphor for how you deal with challenges in your life. By lifting something that feels difficult or impossible at first, you’re learning what it takes to overcome obstacles—and that gives you the strength to overcome adversity and achieve your goals.
Lifting heavy strengthens much more than the body
Lifting heavy weights is a phenomenal way to build strength, but it also has many other benefits. Here are some of the ways that lifting heavy can help you be more confident and powerful:
- Strength training helps you develop unshakeable grit. You’ll learn how to push through difficult emotions and situations with clarity and grace because your body will know what it needs to do in order for you to succeed–it just takes practice!
- Lifting heavy weights improves posture, which makes you feel more confident when walking around or talking to people.
Strength training allows you to feel full of energy without having to rely on sugar or caffeine (which can make you crash) in order to get through your day. Strength training helps you build lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and helps burn fat.
Lifting heavy weights makes you feel powerful within, making you more confident to go for what you want in life. You’ll be able to do things that you never thought possible and achieve goals that once seemed unattainable.
Respect your limits and take on challenges that are just past the edge of them.
As a man, you must respect your limits and challenge yourself to what is just past the edge of them. By doing so, you will learn about yourself and grow as a man, living to your fullest capacity.
If you’re new to lifting or have been lifting for some time but aren’t getting anywhere past what is comfortable for you, it’s time to step out into unfamiliar territory:
- Know Your Limits: There are many ways to do this–many approaches or loading schemes. You can use progressive overload (increasing weight over time), use different rep ranges (high reps vs low reps), try new exercises or variations on old ones, or simply use your body weight in challenging ways–but whatever method works best for you is fine as long as you get results!
- Respect Your Limits: If something doesn’t feel right during a lift (or any physical activity), stop! Don’t push through pain just because someone told you not too long ago; listen closely to your body and trust yourself when something seems off. Lift as much as you can safely lift versus lifting dangerously. Be dangerous, not dumb.
Often our fears are not about the physical challenge at all, but about fear itself or about the anxiety of an unknown future or about something else entirely.
But fear is a funny thing. Often our fears are not about the physical challenge at all, but about fear itself or about the anxiety of an unknown future or about something else entirely. Fear can be paralyzing and it’s important to identify what the fears you have are surrounding a challenge so that you can address them and move forward with confidence. Sometimes, just giving it a name is enough to dis-integrate the hold it has on us.
Lifting heavy things actually help us build up our inner and outer strength over time because each time we do it we’re reminded:* There is always more inside me than my mind believes.* The only way out is through.* We all have the potential within us; we simply need practice.*
Your body can be a powerful vehicle for life and for living with meaning, purpose and passion.
Your body is the only vehicle that moves us through our lifespan. From birth to death, it is the only vehicle we have to maneuver through this world.
The loving masculine challenge of lifting heavy things is about using your physical capacity as an anchor point from which to explore these aspects of your body, your mind, and yourself so that you may express them more fully in your life experience.
This is the essence of the masculine challenge. It is not about having 20″ biceps or being able to bench press 300 pounds—although that’s cool too. It’s about using your body as a vehicle for exploring who you are, what you want from life, and what you’re capable of.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you want to live a life that is full of meaning and purpose. If so, then I challenge you to think about what it means to be a man who finds strength — in part — through lifting heavy.
The body is the only vehicle through which we move through our lifespan–it’s also a vehicle for living with meaning, purpose and passion; love, truth and respect; joy, happiness and gratitude. We cannot separate these things from our physical existence because they are part of being human beings in this world together as men (and women).