Fear leads to hesitation. Hesitation leads to procrastination and/or lack of intensity. And those things lead to a lack of progress toward your fitness goals.
Fear is a topic that we don’t discuss often when it comes to lifting weights, but it shouldn’t be, because all of us deal with it in some form or another. Fear is debilitating in that it prevents you from pushing forward, and it therefore halts your progress. I want to try and help you dispel some of this fear over the next few days.
When we are fearful of lifting weights, or any form of exercise really, it is usually related to one of the below:
Fear related to ourselves (fear of injury, irrational ideas, lack of confidence in our knowledge of the exercises and how to perform them, bad info from others).
Fear related to how we are perceived by other humans.
Fear puffs up like an animal trying to avoid being eaten, and it wants you to think that any obstacles you may encounter are bigger and badder than they actually are. So, if we can throw a little logic in the fear’s face, it just may shrink down to size so we can manage it. Here’s my first throw:
We have to do some physical things in everyday life. You already know this, although where you work and live probably dictates what these activities are and how frequently they occur. When you move to a new home (or help someone else do so), lift the lawn mower up into the truck, pick up a large object, take a giant load of clothes to a laundromat, pull yourself up from a ledge when you get pushed off a cliff, or push your broken-down car, these are things that happen in an uncontrolled environment. You don’t always get to choose the weight of the objects that you are interacting with or the angle at which you may approach them. They are what they are, and you have to adjust accordingly. Because of this, these situations are much better candidates for causing injuries than are performing proper squats or bench presses.
A gym is in direct contrast to the aforementioned situation. In a gym scenario, you are in control of the weight and the technique. You can take as much time as you like, learn the movement patterns, and then progressively load them with more weight as you grow stronger and more comfortable. You can take long breaks or short breaks, experiment with different grips and variations of exercises, and take days off when you don’t feel well. These workouts, as a bonus, also make you stronger and more injury-resistant when it comes to those other real-world scenarios that you can’t manipulate.
Injuries do happen in the gym or course, but they are not nearly as common as many people would have you believe, and they are typically a result of poor technique and form or a lack of adequate rest.
I want to help you put some practical strategies to use to shrink this fear, but for now, dwell on the fact that when you are in the gym, you control the variables. You can choose how this works. So find a solid plan and give it a try! If you need help doing so, let me know. I live to answer questions.