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    Thread: why do you lift?

    1. Member kimlin85's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 06:35 AM #1
      what do you care most about? strength? health? aesthetics?

      also, have the reasons you lift changed over the years?

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      02-15-2012 07:19 AM #2
      Do I lift? No

      Did I used to lift? Yes

      Why? Because I let myself get sucked into the "bigger is better" thing, wanted to be buff, and let myself get into the whole "I can bench more than you can" thing

      Have I changed? Yes, I don't do it anymore. I slowed down over the years and just reached a point where I wasn't getting any enjoyment out of it anymore. It really wasn't providing anything for me from a health perspective, so I quit. Now I just think how damned heavy weights are and I don't want to be bothered I do other stuff (cycling, walking, etc.) now.

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      02-15-2012 08:55 AM #3
      The gym has just been part of my life for 20 years and I can't be without it. Physical activity is a requirement for my mental health and lifting is just a part of that. In my late teens and 20's I trained exclusively for a physical edge in anything I was doing and that changed once I hit 30. The physical part is even more important now, but now I train smarter and I need it for clarity, stress relief, and the mental edge knowing that I am going to be a step ahead of the next guy.

      I've gone through more phases, trends, diets, and ups and downs than I can count over the years. There is powerful feeling once you are so in tune with your body and health that can't be explained unless you are there.

    4. Member XiaoNio's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 08:55 AM #4
      Habit mostly. I just had a meet this weekend and tanked pretty badly. I realized I'd been training without direction or consistency and it was really obvious once the pressure came on. Now I'm debating my priorities and where I'm going to go. Olympic lifting and even powerlifting to an extent are esoteric sports with relatively little general carryover as you approach limit performance.

      Life was easy when I was was just training for carryover in MMA or to be healthy and look good nekkid.

      As an aside, I've found that as I've progressed I've become less and less motivated when I'm actually in the gym. Maybe it's a strengthened parasympathetic system or maybe it's the relatively slow rate of progress now. Who's to say?

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      02-15-2012 09:02 AM #5
      1) As an outlet for my competitiveness
      2) For mental health reasons (dras summed it up nicely)
      3) To look fit and healthy, which is getting easier to do as I get older compared to others my age, 40.

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      02-15-2012 09:02 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by XiaoNio View Post
      As an aside, I've found that as I've progressed I've become less and less motivated when I'm actually in the gym. Maybe it's a strengthened parasympathetic system or maybe it's the relatively slow rate of progress now. Who's to say?
      That is a completely normal experience for me. I lose motivation all the time in the gym and why it is important for me to get away and focus on other things that I am afforded because I have taken care of myself. Leagues, running, biking, whatever...until I miss progressing at the gym again and get back in.

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      02-15-2012 10:03 AM #7
      To be stronger, and look better than my peers. I'm only 25, but I am watching a big majority of my friends "fall" from their peak. Ironically, I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been.

      Plus, as arrogant as it is, putting in the work and time at the gym, makes me feel better than all the people who I see daily, who are over weight and complain about themselves. Some people want to change things, other people do change things. I refuse to be anything but the latter.

    8. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 10:16 AM #8
      previously: to get skinnier to get laid
      later: get strong
      current - got fat when getting strong, leaning out and staying strong

      also, since started lifting heavy/properly 6 years ago or so, ive noticed its a great way to keep my stress/aggression in check. comissioned sales is very stressful and it helps me vent. it also helps me sleep better/deeper which has always been a problem and it keeps me from being a bored couch potato/bar fly. i also really enjoy being a bigger dude, people give you less ****. i had some guy at a bar apologize to me for talking to my girlfreind when i was in the bathroom and he said he didnt want any problems and he wasnt hitting on her, and new years some drunk dude kept bumping into her on the dancefloor so i gave him a proper shove and he asked if he could pay my tab to smooth things over.
      Last edited by ClockworkChad; 02-15-2012 at 10:20 AM.
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    9. 02-15-2012 10:48 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by kryptonik View Post
      To be stronger, and look better than my peers. I'm only 25, but I am watching a big majority of my friends "fall" from their peak. Ironically, I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been.

      Plus, as arrogant as it is, putting in the work and time at the gym, makes me feel better than all the people who I see daily, who are over weight and complain about themselves. Some people want to change things, other people do change things. I refuse to be anything but the latter.
      yeah i'm 26 and i literally feel like half my friends went from 25 to 40 overnight.

      i noticed that i'm excited to get older while i feel a lot of people are terrified of it. getting older means i lived to see another day and that's another day i can make some progress, so bring it on.

      tldr, people are really starting to look like **** and that's pretty much all the motivation i need.

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      02-15-2012 12:06 PM #10
      Because it's tax season, and my career is in corporate tax. If I don't use it as an outlet, bad things may happen.

      Plus I've been doing it for 16 some-odd years, and yet I still learn new things every week. My current goals are to look prettier when I walk down the aisle in May... kinda defeats the whole "to get chicks" thing though.

      And its still nice to be able to deadlift and squat over twice my weight, when I feel like it.

    11. Member scandalous_cynce's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 12:19 PM #11
      As someone new to lifting - I started as an alternative to cardio in order to lose fat and gain muscle. I always avoided exercise because I hated cardio and was never educated on the benefits of lifting in order to improve physique.

      Now that I've seen the benefits and the changes, I do it mostly now because I truly enjoy it and I'm excited to see physical changes in my body. It's also neat to see and feel myself getting stronger.

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      02-15-2012 12:42 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by tweezy! View Post
      yeah i'm 26 and i literally feel like half my friends went from 25 to 40 overnight.
      For those of you in your mid-20s and seeing the changes in your friends (for the worse), welcome to my club. I used to get **** all the time because for some reason it was dumb to take care of myself. Fast forward 10 years and they are miserable sacks who are overweight, depressed, and look like crap. I think a lot of guys are highly motivated in their early 20s and then lose it. My word of advice is find a way to stay motivated because you will thank yourself in your 30s when your friends look and act 20 years older.

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      02-15-2012 12:43 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dras View Post
      For those of you in your mid-20s and seeing the changes in your friends (for the worse), welcome to my club. I used to get **** all the time because for some reason it was dumb to take care of myself. Fast forward 10 years and they are miserable sacks who are overweight, depressed, and look like crap. I think a lot of guys are highly motivated in their early 20s and then lose it. My word of advice is find a way to stay motivated because you will thank yourself in your 30s when your friends look and act 20 years older.
      Very well said.

    14. 02-15-2012 02:10 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dras View Post
      The gym has just been part of my life for 20 years and I can't be without it. Physical activity is a requirement for my mental health and lifting is just a part of that. In my late teens and 20's I trained exclusively for a physical edge in anything I was doing and that changed once I hit 30. The physical part is even more important now, but now I train smarter and I need it for clarity, stress relief, and the mental edge knowing that I am going to be a step ahead of the next guy.

      I've gone through more phases, trends, diets, and ups and downs than I can count over the years. There is powerful feeling once you are so in tune with your body and health that can't be explained unless you are there.
      That pretty much sums it up for me too. I started when I was 13 in grade 9 because I didn't feel like playing Euchre with the losers or smoking out front with the cool kids at lunch. Like you, had more phases than I care to remember (incl aspirations of being a world class shot putter, rugby player, the next Schwarzenegger, then got into the science of it in university etc etc). Now, I still have goals and aspirations but bottom line is I need it to live.

    15. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 03:02 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dras View Post
      For those of you in your mid-20s and seeing the changes in your friends (for the worse), welcome to my club. I used to get **** all the time because for some reason it was dumb to take care of myself. Fast forward 10 years and they are miserable sacks who are overweight, depressed, and look like crap. I think a lot of guys are highly motivated in their early 20s and then lose it. My word of advice is find a way to stay motivated because you will thank yourself in your 30s when your friends look and act 20 years older.
      i suppose im lucky that my closests freinds and girlfreind realize how important it is to try to stay active/healthy. either that or people that are watching 6 hours of tv a night and are lazy arent interesting enough for me to maintain a friendship with.
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      02-15-2012 04:03 PM #16
      I've been lifting for about 15 years and just can't quit. Right now I can eat just about what ever I want without gaining too much weight which is probably the biggest plus. Everyone keeps saying when you get to X years you won't be able to eat like that but it seems like if I keep lifting I can keep eating

    17. 02-15-2012 04:07 PM #17
      It's fun. That's pretty much it. Sure there are health benefits, but when I can actually train the way I want to, I surpass the point of it being healthy.

    18. 02-15-2012 05:17 PM #18
      I have been asked this and asked myself this many times over the years.

      I'm extremely competitive, so I look at the gym like this. for about $20-30 a month ANYONE can be in shape, in fact, ANYONE can lift heavy and be really strong. We all spend about the same amount on food so eating right and dieting isn't something reserved for certain people.

      The point is, physical fitness is something that damn near everyone in America has access to, and in many cases, it takes less time and money than peoples' other hobbies.....and yet, most people NEVER go to the gym or eat right. I love it because it's something just about everybody has the opportunity to be great at and yet only the strong willed and strong minded do it.

      It makes me feel amazing, it keeps me motivated to constantly be hitting new goals, looking great, and testing my body's limits and most importantly I get to look down on all the sorry saps that let themselves go day after day and complain about it.

    19. 02-15-2012 06:13 PM #19
      What dras and kryptonic said.

      What you all said about guys looking old, fat and depressed.... Multiply that by 1000000 for women.

      I am 42 and in really great shape because I never really lapsed out of shape. I had ups and downs but am always motivated to be healthy inside and out.

      A lot of my peers look like **** now, complain all the time about their weight and their looks. I do NOT want to be like them, ever. Never. They blame it on work, stress, relationships, etc... Well, guess what, I have those stresses too and being strong helps me deal.
      Last edited by Katie-S; 02-15-2012 at 06:16 PM.

    20. Banned Chilledman's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 09:40 PM #20
      1. Its Fun.
      2. Stay in shape
      3. Able to eat what ever I want.
      4. Keeps me sane
      5. Helps me sleep.

      The cocky reasons.
      1. People dont bother you at all.
      2. You know you can pick anyone up and toss them if needed
      3. What others struggle with , I can one arm it
      4. My arms are bigger then your legs
      Last edited by Chilledman; 02-15-2012 at 09:42 PM.

    21. Banned Chilledman's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 09:41 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Katie-S View Post


      blah blah blah blah blah blah
      I am 42 and in really great shape because I never really lapsed out of shape.
      blah blah blah blah

    22. Member im easy's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 09:50 PM #22
      1. Helps me reliever stress
      2. I feel more comfortable with myself, have a much better confidence.
      3. I work at a gym so I have to stay in shape.

    23. 02-15-2012 10:21 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by im easy View Post
      3. I work at a gym so I have to stay in shape.

    24. Member kimlin85's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 06:16 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by ::xander:: View Post
      I have been asked this and asked myself this many times over the years.

      I'm extremely competitive, so I look at the gym like this. for about $20-30 a month ANYONE can be in shape, in fact, ANYONE can lift heavy and be really strong. We all spend about the same amount on food so eating right and dieting isn't something reserved for certain people.

      The point is, physical fitness is something that damn near everyone in America has access to, and in many cases, it takes less time and money than peoples' other hobbies.....and yet, most people NEVER go to the gym or eat right. I love it because it's something just about everybody has the opportunity to be great at and yet only the strong willed and strong minded do it.

      It makes me feel amazing, it keeps me motivated to constantly be hitting new goals, looking great, and testing my body's limits and most importantly I get to look down on all the sorry saps that let themselves go day after day and complain about it.
      this above, and what dras said to a T.

      but for me i would have to say aesthetics and health are tied for first in importance, and strength has become less important over the years. as i've gotten older i have seen some sickness and pulled muscles so i value health wayyyy more than i did when i first started lifting and eating right.

      x is right, it's cheap and it doesn't take much time to lift. food costs arent much different, if anything it can be cheaper if you buy in bulk at BJs or sams. i think mentally it does a great deal as well. most people complain about the lack of time, but a bunch of ppl on this forum work full-time, attend multiple classes simultaneously, and are able to maintain relationships and friendships. there really is no legit excuse not to be in shape, outside of a medical condition that prohibits you.

    25. Member kimlin85's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 06:19 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Katie-S View Post
      What dras and kryptonic said.

      What you all said about guys looking old, fat and depressed.... Multiply that by 1000000 for women.

      I am 42 and in really great shape because I never really lapsed out of shape. I had ups and downs but am always motivated to be healthy inside and out.

      A lot of my peers look like **** now, complain all the time about their weight and their looks. I do NOT want to be like them, ever. Never. They blame it on work, stress, relationships, etc... Well, guess what, I have those stresses too and being strong helps me deal.
      maybe its just new england, but i think american women are getting fatter mcuh younger, these days.

      katie-s, pics or it didnt happen.

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      02-16-2012 10:18 AM #26
      to get in better shape, like others have said i hate cardio, i think the reasoning behind that is that in any sport i played running was always a punishment for something, not a reward. im trying to overcome that now though, i usually run a mile or so after my workouts and im working on increasing that as i get in better shape. ive also never really been in shape, always been overweight, great for winter, not so great for summer when lifeguarding is my job.

      tl;dr

      1. keeps me sane while unemployed
      2. never been in shape
      3.wanna look good nekkid
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      02-16-2012 10:42 AM #27
      I was thinking about this question again last night, and also realized that I lift because those 60-120 minutes, 4x a week, are the most mind clearing, stress free minutes of my life.

      The second I walk in the gym doors, I no longer have money worries, job stresses, the girlfriend nagging me, any other day to day bull****.

      Sometimes I think I take even longer in the gym, just to avoid getting back to the real world for a bit longer.

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      02-16-2012 11:33 AM #28
      I'll answer even though I haven't lifted consistently in about a year (but am about to get right back into working out at a local hole-in-the-wall boxing gym this coming Monday)

      My reasons are:
      1) I am 45 and want to maintain my strength and stamina
      2) Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease run in my family, and exercise is a proven way to delay or avoid the onset of these illnesses entirely
      3) I want to set a good example for my wife and kids - I want my family to know that I care enough ABOUT THEM that it's important that I take care of myself
      4) I want to be able to keep up with my kids on the football field, basketball court, etc.
      5) I want to continue to wear the same size pants I've worn for 25 years!
      6) Being in good physical shape makes me more confident in all aspects of my life
      7) I don't want to be embarrassed to take my shirt off at the pool / beach*

      *It amazes me how comfortable some people seem to feel in their own flabby, out-of-shape bodies. Cover that !sht up, put down the cheeseburger, and take a damn walk! It's not that hard.

    29. 02-16-2012 01:15 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by kimlin85 View Post
      this above, and what dras said to a T.

      but for me i would have to say aesthetics and health are tied for first in importance, and strength has become less important over the years. as i've gotten older i have seen some sickness and pulled muscles so i value health wayyyy more than i did when i first started lifting and eating right.

      x is right, it's cheap and it doesn't take much time to lift. food costs arent much different, if anything it can be cheaper if you buy in bulk at BJs or sams. i think mentally it does a great deal as well. most people complain about the lack of time, but a bunch of ppl on this forum work full-time, attend multiple classes simultaneously, and are able to maintain relationships and friendships. there really is no legit excuse not to be in shape, outside of a medical condition that prohibits you.
      you're right kim. In fact, EVERYONE I know spends more time watching TV than I do at the gym. On thursday you could skip jersey shore and hit the gym instead. Especially these days with DVR there is no excuses...which makes me feel even better about myself.

    30. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 02:11 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by ::xander:: View Post
      you're right kim. In fact, EVERYONE I know spends more time watching TV than I do at the gym. On thursday you could skip jersey shore and hit the gym instead. Especially these days with DVR there is no excuses...which makes me feel even better about myself.
      i really dont get why they dont just waddle their ass down to the gym while they are catching their nightly garbage tv and watch it from a treadmill, most of the cardio barns have tvs everywhere now anyway.
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      02-16-2012 02:59 PM #31
      I feel like I don't lift enough now to even post in here, but what the hell.

      It's the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way for me to lose weight and keep it off - with proven results.

      And it's fun to challenge myself and see my strength increase.

      Also, I've never been very athletic (sports wise), so it's nice to be involved in something somewhat athletic that doesn't require me to have years and years of experience under my belt to be good at it.

    32. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 03:11 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjunkie View Post
      I feel like I don't lift enough now to even post in here, but what the hell.

      It's the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way for me to lose weight and keep it off - with proven results.

      And it's fun to challenge myself and see my strength increase.

      Also, I've never been very athletic (sports wise), so it's nice to be involved in something somewhat athletic that doesn't require me to have years and years of experience under my belt to be good at it.
      oh good god im so far from athletic. i just wished someone would have taught me how to lift when i was 10-11 instead of making me play baseball,football,lacross, etc and just hating it.
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      02-16-2012 10:53 PM #33
      1.) continual rehabilitation of my right arm, had elbow problems then two surgeries, and am still working on getting it equal to my much stronger left arm. Hard to do with limited range of motion, but Ive been at it hard the past 4 months and have seen huge improvements.

      2.) get stronger, especially upper body, my legs are awesome from running and offroad motorcycle racing, but my upper was always weak sauce

      3.) look better neykid

      4.) put some weight on my skinny ass frame, went from 160 to 175 in 5 months, want to get up to 185-190 and have it be muscle

      5.) stress relief and it just feels damn good to burn up your muscles, if I don't go for a few days I get antsy
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    34. 02-16-2012 11:15 PM #34
      I lift because it's a physical activity that easily fits my schedule. If it were up to me, I'd surf and mountain bike to stay in shape. But this whole job thing really gets in the way of spending a whole day at the beach. The gym is right across the street from the office.

      The gym doesn't cost me anything (company pays for my membership), and I don't need expensive equipment to participate. And I can definitely see the direct results of lifting.
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      02-17-2012 11:16 AM #35
      I lift because I'm curious. I want to know what this body is capable of doing and I'm down to put in the effort to find out.
      I lift because I've always had back pain since I can remember. I used to baby it, but now I'm finding that if I really work it and stress those muscles, they get stronger and it feels better than ever.
      I lift because I hate being idle. Lately I've had nothing to do besides work, and it really gives me something to look forward to. I dread off days.
      I lift because I'm an engineer. I look at others around me in the office and they're mostly (not all, but most) fat slobs who eat horribly. I vowed to myself I wouldn't become like that, yet I know most of my career will be behind a desk.
      I lift because I'm really into modifying stuff. I change stuff on my car, my phone, my computer, my bike and all my other toys. I figure, hey, why not modify myself?
      I lift because I'm sick of people effing with me. It doesn't happen as much as it used to, but if I can avoid the situation altogether then great. If it's unavoidable, I want to be able to defend myself or whomever.
      I lift because it clears my head. It literally forces me to block out all other thoughts because I need to focus on absolutely nothing to move this hunk of metal up and down. For the hour or so that I'm there, nothing and no one else exists.
      I lift because if anyone is going to kick my ass, it's going to be me.

      I lift because of no one of those reasons, but all of them together. There may be others but I gotta get back to work now
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