In a world of to-do lists, too much information and daily stress, escape is necessary. I lift weights—the heavier the better—and the sense of peace it gives me is well worth the effort.
I’ve never been athletic. In high school, I could barely run a mile and I hated synchronised swimming. After peaking as a goalie for the HS JV team, my athletic career ended with me on the bench for the entire basketball season. Now, I gladly wake up at 4.30am to lift weights. People think this is insane but it’s actually what keeps me going!
After a devastating breakup in college, I went from zero to 100 very quickly. I was working at a gym and it was an easy distraction. Whenever I needed to take my mind off things, I’d go for a run; but after a year my knee had had enough. In the beginning of my senior year, a friend taught me how to squat. I remember how heavy the 20kg bar felt on my shoulders, but also how exhilarating it felt to be able to squat 20kg! And, I’ve never looked back.
Here are 3 things I’ve learned from this experience:
Consistency makes a difference
Weight lifting has tested my willpower and determination, especially when I was preparing for my first powerlifting meet. Mental barriers are normal but being consistent means getting over them and making the best out of a bad day.
How much did I want to beat my PR (personal record)? The PR is only worthwhile if I’ve put in the work. This means being focused and disciplined with training. If training is the last thing on my to-do list, it takes a lot of willpower to go to the gym. Consistently stacking 1.25kg plates leads to a big win.
It’s easy to be consistent with something you love doing, and the hard training also helps with daily challenges like saving money or performing well at work.
Developing muscles go beyond aesthetic purposes
With weight lifting, I’ve experienced negative comments about being bulky. This is actually a blessing as it’s made me more patient and proves my hard work is paying off. Weight lifting has positively changed my metabolism and I’m able to consume more calories without worrying too much about gaining weight. This is great for foodies who want to be toned!
Carrying anything heavy is no longer a problem, and I know in a tough situation, I can get myself out of it. At the very least, conquering body weight is a necessity, especially as aging is not a kind process.
Age is not kind
The body’s ability to adapt and recover declines with age. Muscles build a lot slower and degenerate faster, which results in posture regression. Weight lifting helps slow down the rate of disintegration by inducing higher bone mass density and strengthening muscles.
Weight lifting stabilises the muscles around fragile joints of the knees and shoulders, which are common preventable injuries in older people. It preserves confidence when movement and daily activities can be carried out easily. The moral of the story is—start weight lifting now to reduce the effects of ageing.
These reasons barely scratch the surface of all the benefits of weight lifting; and there’s no better feeling than knowing all your hard work will pay off for a lifetime.