How going to the gym makes you stronger

screen-shot-2012-01-29-at-3-19-33-pm-2712236The reason for going to the gym is clear, it always seemed to me. You head there to lose weight, to gain muscle, stay healthy or else. Over time I realised one thing though.

There are triggers far more powerful than gaining a bigger biceps to motivate you to go to the gym.

In fact, developing a habit of going to the gym will make you much stronger as a person, not at all physically speaking. Here are a few thoughts on why I believe having a weekly gym routine is one of the most important things.

Having more than one thing every day to excel in

If you are fully focused on building something awesome with your startup, it is easy to stop doing a lot of other things. And that’s fabulous. It gives you a much sharper perspective on things.

At the same time, having one other thing, next to your startup endeavors, can make a huge difference. Tim Ferriss, put it much better than I could ever write it:

“If your entire ego and identity is vested in your startup, where there are certainly factors outside of your control, you can get into a depressive funk that affects your ability to function. So, you should also, let’s say, join a rock climbing gym. Try to improve your time in the mile. Something like that. I recommend at least one physical activity. Then even if everything goes south — you have some horrible divorce agreement with your co-founder — if you had a good week and set a personal record in the gym or on the track or wherever, that can still be a good week.”

It is this idea of being able to have a good day, no matter what, that will provide you with a huge amount of new energy.

Developing your weekly routine: Hitting the gym – no matter what

At the same time, your gym sessions can become the strongest pillars in your weekly routine. This is that has given my life a lot of structure and focus.

I am hitting the gym every other day. No matter what. Every other day, I am in the gym, doing my session. Every other activity is planned around this. A day of work builds up towards this gym session. I can structure all other tasks much more easily this way I found.

Once you have developed this routine, you are like a train that has left the station. Even if you have minor technical breakdowns along the way, the tracks to move forward are already there.

When I recently moved to Hong Kong, the first thing I did, was find a gym and go there, every second day. Whilst everything around me was new, shiny and needed adjustment from my side, I had this solid daily activity of going to the gym I could find strengths from.

It gives you something that puts you into a comfortable environment, no matter what else happens around you.

To get going with your weekly routine, here is a guide on how to get started.

Lastly, you get buffer, lose weight or else

Only as the very last point I want to mention that going to gym makes you stronger in this most obvious sense. You go there, partly, to gain muscle, lose weight, stay healthy or else, you name it.

Especially when you are starting out, having one of these things as your goal can be hard. It takes weeks to see the effect of any of them.

If you neglect these points, and rather focus on either getting a great weekly routine or having something else to excel in, you might just be a lot more successful keeping it up.

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