Tip: Why Do You REALLY Lift?

To be in it for the long haul, you need to come up with something deeper than just getting bigger or stronger. Here's what to do.

The Two Types of Life-Long Lifters

The first type includes those people who truly love lifting and have developed a passion for it. The second type includes those who are able to connect the benefits of lifting to what they truly care about most. For them, lifting supports deeper values. The reason other people stop lifting is that they don't connect their goals to what really matters.

Ask the average gym bro about his goals and you hear words like, "jacked," "ripped" or "strong." Those are fine, but in the grand scheme of life they don't mean much after all is said and done. No one is lying on his deathbed regretting his slightly smaller biceps.

You need to go much deeper and ask the bigger question: "Why do I want to build muscle, burn fat, or gain strength?"

Maybe deep down, what you really want is self-confidence and the ability to attract a mate. And maybe you see strength training as a means for those. When these real reasons become your focus, you won't become another New Year's resolution drop-out stat. Training will feel like more of a responsibility.

Then as life goes on, continue to add reasons for lifting based on your new phases of life. As an example, here a few of my personal reasons for lifting to get you thinking:

  • To build inner strength
  • To look good for my wife
  • To be respected by my kids
  • To have the energy to a play with my kids
  • To be physically able to defend my family
  • To look the part of a trainer so I can put food on the table
  • To set an example for clients and students
  • To care for the body God has given me
  • To increase productivity
  • To have a healthy outlet in today's soft world
  • To defy the traditional expectations of aging

Maybe these aren't things that matter in the context of YOUR life. So find what does. When you connect lifting to what you want and value, the reasons for doing it keep adding up.

Your motivation can actually increase with age as these values accumulate. And you'll find that over time, you'll become someone who loves lifting (the first type of lifter) and this will make it even easier to be a life-long lifter.

Andrew Heming is a strength coach, professor, and former Canadian University U-Sport head strength coach. Andrew helps athletes and skinny hardgainers get bigger, faster, and stronger. Follow Andrew Heming on Facebook