Anyone who follows my Twitter feed (@colamuscl) knows that my favorite time of day is when I can get my workout clothes on, head down to my favorite gym that day (yes, it differs!) and start pushing some heavy iron to sculpt my physique. All too often, though, I've run into people who view the gym as truly a torture chamber.
Now I'm not going to pretend that I don't torture myself everyday during my workouts (and with some gleeful satisfaction, my training partner). But I am a bodybuilder and we have this really weird attraction to pain and breaking the body down. Most of my clients aren't bodybuilders; they're just looking to tone, get in shape and live a healthy life. And still, some of them look at the gym as a way of punishing themselves for being "bad" with diet and not sticking with an exercise plan. Those clients are also my least successful until I can change their way of thinking.
You should never view the gym as a torture chamber to exile yourself to for the sins of doughnuts past (yes, the "HOT" sign was on at the Krispy Kreme; yes, there's an unwritten rule you have to stop in and buy a dozen when that happens). The gym should be a symbol of joy for you. Think of it this way: you decided to make a change for a healthier you, and this is place that will help make that change become real! Getting a better physique, getting healthier, getting more energy because you come and work here - how is that a punishment? Those sound like awesome rewards to me!
Where else can you go, have an opportunity to push yourself past your limits, and have the results displayed in a fitter, healthier body for everyone to see? That's not saying there's no work involved - you'll work harder than you probably ever have. Anything of value in life is the result of hard work, and exercise and fitness is no different, but the rewards far exceed the cost!
For me (again, the weird bodybuilding thing) I know that the pain I put myself through is temporary. The effects on my physique are long lasting, and if I maintain a healthy lifestyle, those sacrifices and that hard work will continue to show physically. The diet, the workouts, all of it culminates for me when I step on the stage. I see it daily in the mirror, and hear it daily from coworkers and friends. All from those little hour and a half trips to that wonderful little building. It's not a torture chamber, it's a gateway to a better, fitter, healthier you.
So the next time it's time to head off to the gym, instead of thinking of how much a chore it is to go, think of how rewarding the work you do there will be!
Lift heavy and stay hungry!
Wayne is a former “IT” guy who decided to take his love for fitness and turn it into a new career. Now a personal trainer by trade, Wayne spends his spare time hitting the weights and learning all he can about bodybuilding and nutrition. He stays true to his IT roots by staying active on Twitter and several online games.