How to Increase Your Lifting Longevity

1. Learn That Not Everyday is a #FULLSEND Day

If you’re following a proper program you should have quickly figured out by now that lifting is a cyclical process. Your training intensity should come in pretty predictable waves of lower intensity lifting slowly ramping up to higher intensity effort, then back to lower intensity to rebuild and recover.

Not only is this a solid general basis for good program design, it’s also going to help ensure you don’t completely burn yourself out in the gym.

While it would be badass you can’t keep the pedal to the floor every single training session and expect good things to happen. Something is going to give. Whether that be mentally in having to try to maintain an unrealistic level of intensity every day, or physically in the form of gym related injuries this simply isn’t a sustainable form of lifting.

Learn early on that your max effort training sessions and your lower effort base building sessions hold just as much importance to each other and neither should exist without the other.

2. Get Outside of Your “Comfort Zone

Most lifters have some sort of predefined label for themselves. “I’m a powerlifter“, “I’m a bodybuilder“, “I’m a Strongman“, “I’m a CrossFitter“, and so on. This is fine.

However, don’t become so attached to your “label” for yourself that you forget all of the other options you have available to you for training. A lot of lifters may find that over time the same training sessions they tend to know and love are only becoming increasingly more mundane day to day. You’ll see this happen a lot to powerlifters who don’t get to see much variation in their training programs aside from squat, bench, and deadlift.

If your training is becoming so boring to you that you’re thinking about dropping off altogether just switch things up! Try a style of lifting you’ve never done for a month and see if that doesn’t give you enough of a breathe of fresh air to come back to your “normal” lifting refreshed and ready for more.

I’ve seen too many lifters quit because they got bored of their sport and couldn’t see outside of the box to try and pick something else up. Some training will always be monumentally better than no training.

3. Understand You’re Probably Going to Hate Lifting at Some Point

Finally, if you’ve been lifting for long enough there is probably going to come a day where you just outright find yourself hating training. You don’t want to go to the gym like you used to, training isn’t super enjoyable, and at best you kind of slump your way through your workout sessions. This is completely normal.

A lot of lifters don’t believe this at first because of how much they love the sport in the moment and how important they consider it in their life, that they can’t really see themselves hating it at any point in their life. But, if you stick with this long enough you’re going to have that “why am I even doing this?” moment.

Getting through this is a make or break point for most people to determine if they’ll actually continue lifting or not. For many they decide it’s not for them and just close this chapter of their life and move onto something else. However, if you can ride this point out in your lifting journey for long enough to where you actively enjoy your lifting again, I can almost guarantee you’ll be in this for the long haul.

Beating the “hating lifting dilemma” generally comes down to the individual taking a step back to answer the question for themselves why they are actually training, and switching from relying less on extrinsic motivational factors to more intrinsic based motivation.

 

Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.