Most people don’t think about the emotional benefits of weight lifting, or how exercise can build confidence, when they step into a gym. Yet it is perhaps the most transformative benefit of strength training. Today Matt and Scott share stories of how strength training has transformed their own sense of self-confidence, as well as that of their clients.
For Matt strength training brought him a sense of confidence as a young man, where he struggled as a small, timid late -bloomer in high school. Later in life training became a way to refocus his addictive tendencies toward more positive goals, and gave him the courage to leave his teaching career and pursue a more meaningful path as a coach and business owner. Scott, on the other hand, was seeking a way to get the fire back, to look and feel like the person he wanted to be after years of neglecting his physical fitness. He was also seeking a way to live a more virtuous life, in an Aristotelian sense, applying voluntary hardship to an otherwise comfortable middle class American life to cultivate virtue.
For Sybil, Matt’s 83 year old client who joined the podcast in episode #24, strength training meant regaining the confidence to go and check her mail every afternoon, the confidence to climb sets of stairs without worrying about falling. And the ability to walk without help. For Scott’s young man who completed his first session with a 15lb squat, it’s the confidence to tackle a big challenge in front of strangers even when dealing with social anxiety.
Strength training is not the only thing that builds confidence and cultivates virtue, but it’s probably the most general and approachable thing. Rock climbing and running marathons are certainly voluntary hardship, but Sybil can’t do those. Neither could Matt’s 13 year old daughter. But both can strength train.
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