Ease Up, Don’t Give Up: Balancing Life and Lifting
Should I Stop Training?
Is being too strong a problem for you?
Yeah, we didn’t think so. In fact for most people, it’s quite the opposite. The need for strength permeates every aspect of our lives from our day-to-day routines to hobbies to sports. It is the very foundation of health, and to impressing your kids.
After you’ve taken the first step by dedicating a few months to barbell training, you have a couple choices:
One: Keep strength training a priority by making it your main hobby or competitive outlet
Two: Utilize strength training to enhance other activities and values.
OR three: Go back to where you were before you started training.
Obviously, since we care about you, we’d prefer you forget option 3 even exists.
Based on these two truths: Strength being crucial to longevity and quality of life, and; Life not always being predictable, you must make certain choices about what role you want strength training to play in your own life and be open to adapting it to the true circumstances of your life. Because whether you like it or not, strength does play a role.
There is not a single physical activity that increased strength does not make better. This is great. It means that all the work you’ve put in so far has made you more able to do new things or to be better at sports or hobbies you already enjoy.
On the same token, the emotional benefits gained from of the habit of training, like doing the hard thing and maintaining a routine, build mental fortitude that will only make you better able at handling life’s challenges.
What about these times, the times when life gets difficult?
Don’t Stop Training
Going to the gym and training hard is doable when everything else is fine and dandy, but what about when stuff hits the fan? When you’re injured. When you’re moving across the country. When you’re stressed as heck over finances. When your dog gets sick. When you’re going through a breakup. When it’s all you can do to get to the gym and not sob during your warm-ups. We’ve been there.
Should you sacrifice this one thing that is actually an investment against life’s unpredictability? The thing that gives you a routine and puts the power back in your hands? And the thing that is proven to be the foundation for long-term health? We say “no.”
When life becomes a rollercoaster, don’t make it an option to stop training. You can always choose the option to modify training. You can shorten your sessions, train 2 days a week instead of 3 or 4, and lower your expectations to a manageable amount.
Training does not have to be a stressor that causes more stress during a stressful period. It should be a habit and a value, like saving money, calling your mom, brushing your teeth and staying close with your friends.
Ease up on yourself, but don’t give up on yourself. Because you’ve made it this far already.
You’ve put in a ton of work and training has become a part of your daily routine. But it’s okay if the demands of training change from time to time.
If you’re feeling in a funk about training, talk to your coach. They can usually help you adjust your routine and expectations.
Try a new gym or find training partners to lift with. Maybe even get your kids interested in lifting and training. Buy new shoes or get yourself a nice squat bar. Treat yourself like you deserve to train well.
You can even sign up for a meet: Participating in powerlifting or strengthlifting meets is a great way to reinvigorate your training and give you a future goal to help fuel your training. Plus you get to hang out with a bunch of people who understand all the hard work you’ve put in under the bar to get here.
Don’t decide whether or not you’re going to train, decide when and how you’re going to train. Even if you’re not a weekend warrior or don’t see yourself as an athlete, life is a sport and strength affects every way that we interact with our environment.