Yung Totoo, Bro?: Are You Working Out for Looks or for Strength?
More people are signing up for gym memberships across every major city in the country. Gyms, both big and small, are seeing more members today than in the last few years. People are finally recognizing the importance of fitness, but are they doing it for the right reasons?
When these gyms sell themselves to people, the most common tag line they use is "better yourself" or a variation of that line. It's a simple and appealing message that gets to the core of what people want to achieve at a gym. But, the marketing never addresses the reason for why you should "better yourself".
Most people will say health, but that really is just an excuse for those who are ashamed to admit their vanity. Washboard abs aren't necessarily a sign of a healthy body (i.e. you can get abs by not eating until you look so frail and are literally just skin and bone). It's probably high time many of us own up to the real reason why we're so desperate to sweat it out - to look like a Men's Fitness model.
Now, there's nothing wrong with working out for the sole purpose of looking good. Arnie pumped and posed his way into becoming an international icon. We're just saying that if you're not aiming to become a Mr. Olympia titleholder yourself, it's going to be hard to motivate yourself to keep going.
The Fire's Out
Don't take our word for it. We came across this story of a rugby player, who upon being forced into retirement by an injury, eventually lost his love for training as well. a rugby player forced into retirement by an injury slowly losing his love for training. Case in point, it is the love for competition and presence of a concrete goal behind training that make it worthwhile for athletes.
This makes sense. Achieving a goal or a win is the fastest way for someone to prove that the mind-destroying grind they go through in training is all worth it. It serves as added motivation to work even harder, and get better results. When the end goal for exercising is a vague desire to look good, it may not be enough to keep at it.
Think about it. Gym memberships significantly spike in the months of January and February. But, actual visits drop off as early as late March. When you join a gym solely because you want to look good, you could end up signing away your hard earned money when your motivation runs out.
More Goals, More Motivation
What kind of goal can we set up for ourselves if we're not athletes whose pay checks depend on performance? Joining a sports club - even for recreational purposes - is a good start. But, there are also other goals that you can attach to workouts that don't involve competition - like travelling.
Hiking and trekking are two things that are quickly becoming favorite outdoor past times in the country. However, these activities need people to have a certain level of stamina before they can even think of buying new hiking shoes. This bucket-list item is more than enough to serve as motivation to push through the chore of improving your cardio.
Again, we're not saying that wanting to look good isn't a good enough reason to work out. But, why limit yourself to trying to achieve just one goal with your workouts? Keep adding goals and keep motivating yourself to reach for something higher.