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Gym Life Lessons

Top 5 Life Lessons the Gym will Teach You

The gym is more than just a place to lift weights and do cardio. It's more than a social gathering or Instagram pic backdrop. The gym is special, maybe even spiritual. The gym is the school of life.

I for one am grateful for what the gym has taught me and how those lessons translate so perfectly into the 'real' world. Here are my top 5 life lessons learnt in the gym.

1. Goal setting

Setting goals is paramount to ultimately achieving those goals. Without knowing where we are trying to go makes it hard to get there. This is true in the gym as it is in life outside the gym.

In the gym we are constantly setting goals. On a micro level we are setting target reps and sets for an exercise, setting weight targets to hit today, next week and a month from now. On a macro level we may have physique goals. We may want to trim down 10lbs, bulk up 5lbs or maybe even grow those impossibly stubborn calves!

This goal setting mindset ignited in the gym isn't confined to within the gym walls. It converts outside too.

2. Failure is sometimes necessary

On the surface failure is an ugly word and something most fear. The truth is, failure can be the stepping stone for future success. Failure shows we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and push towards something difficult. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If we do only what we know we can certainly achieve, how can we ever push beyond those limits?

In the gym however, failure is often part of training. For many it is actively sought on a regular basis. Pushing to failure and beyond in the gym can stimulate new growth and the same is true outside the gym.

3. Dedication

Continual dedication to training is the key to improving and reaching our fitness goals. Regularly skipping workouts can set us back but setting concise goals can help our pre-defined workout patterns become habitual.

To the casual eye, maintaining a regular workout pattern may appear to reduce productivity from our outside work and activities but in my experience it couldn't be further from the truth. Some people believe they 'don't have time to exercise' or 'are too busy to get to the gym'. However once the mindset to workout dedication in firmly in place, productivity and dedication to outside assignments skyrocket.


4. Patience

Good things come to those who wait, certainly when it comes to the gym. Achieving that physique you've always wanted isn't an overnight process. With dedication to training we can monitor small changes that accumulate over time into big changes. The same is true for almost everything outside of the gym. Time and patience is the secret sauce when it comes to so many things in life be it careers, family or friendships. Improvements in these areas may not always be as easy to monitor as it is with fitness. The ability to continuously monitor and physically see improvements from the hard work in the gym can make us all believers in patience when it comes to all aspects on life.

5. Accountability

Training with a partner or in a group is great. It can push you harder and further in workouts but at the end of the day, only you are responsible for your effort. The gym teaches us to be accountable for ourselves as the results we see are directly correlated to the effort and dedication we have applied over time. Our bodies don't give us a free pass to results if we make excuses to skip training or don't give total effort in our workouts. Not holding ourselves accountable to the standards we set will inevitably lead to those standards falling and our results diminishing. This is as true for work and relationships as it is for the gym.

Ultimately, life is like the gym. You get out what you put in. It's up to you!

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