What it means to be stronger: a client's perspective on motivations to train
My amazing online client, Paola, has been working with me since late November, 2017 (so only a few months at this point). She recently sent me an e-mail, sharing some realizations she's had about training - and her motivations behind it.
I'm sharing her e-mail (and my response) here because I'd love for others to take note. Training isn't just about looking good. Even though many people start working out because they'd like to change something about their physical appearance, in my experience, the people who continue training long-term are those who train for other reasons (with aesthetics as a bonus benefit, of course).
Here's the e-mail she sent, followed by my response:
Today I realized I am getting stronger. My left knee always used to give me problems. Thanks to the type of exercises we’ve been working with, I feel it’s now almost at the same level as the right one, and that is a HUGE improvement. I can really feel the difference; it would normally hurt a lot. My lower back also always kills me but lately it’s been way less painful; it feels stronger.
Anyways, just wanted to share my experience. I think we don’t really grasp what it means to be stronger and the benefits we get. I seriously just imagined a gun show, but now I know it’s beyond that.
Thanks so much for your message! This really is amazing. Not only in that you’re seeing strength gains already - it really hasn’t been that long - but because so many more reasons and motivations to train have opened up to you! And honestly, many people never get to the point where they train for something other than aesthetics. Getting to that point usually requires a certain level of consistency that most people just don’t get to (cynical as it might seem).
I’m not saying we shouldn’t train for aesthetics (hey, we all want to look awesome!), but I feel there are so many more empowering reasons to train, including what you’ve mentioned - being strong, being functional, and reducing chronic pain.
This actually reminds me of an article I wrote a while ago, called Women, body image, and training: 5 ways to stop worrying about your looks and train for other, more sane reasons instead.
So, this is awesome! You should be proud of yourself. We all love a good gun show, of course, but training goes so much deeper than that!
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