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Psychology In Weightlifting

The Proper Behavior

Posted by Mcmike - February 4th, 2015

Proper Attitudes: Discipline, Motivation, Determination, Dedication, Courage, and Addiction

Most of the questions I’ve encountered since I entered the GYM are “How long will it take to get in shape like you? How long did you workout in the gym? What’s your training? What’s your diet?”. These are not the questions you should be asking. Don’t count the hours, years, or the time you spent eating well. Fitness is a journey. The correct question should be, What does it take to get in shape The answer is in YOU already. It takes discipline, motivation, determination and dedication; it takes courage, and an addiction to push past your limits while feeling the pain of change! Don’t be afraid of it. Take the chance and make it happen, because whatever you do is important and it's all worth it.


Motivation (Drive To Success)

Motivation is the driving force that keeps us going and helps us stay on track with our goals. It has been shown to have roots in behavioral areas, helps minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can originate from specific physical needs such as weight training, eating, sleeping or resting. Satisfying a need depends upon the person’s willingness to accomplish the intended goal. For example, on some days you may lack motivation to work out. Your performance will not be at an optimal level, therefore you may only achieve a small amount of your goal. This may cause you to experience negative feelings such as inadequacy and failure, which may affect your cognitions.


You start to think you will never reach your goal or satisfy your needs. These negative attitudes affect your self-belief and lower your self-esteem. On other days, you may be extremely motivated which can be seen through the intensity of your work out. You feel a sense of gratification and accomplishment which also affect your cognitions, and these in turn affect your behavior.


The road to success in weightlifting is a rocky one. Most people focus on physical attributes like strength, flexibility, and coordination. But few people focus on psychological abilities or issues. Most people don't realize their attitudes and self-belief as just as, if not more important. These psychological attributes take time to develop, but should not be side-stepped.


I believe there is one basic need everyone shares – to build a stronger, more muscular body.  Your attitude will determine your level of success, not only in the gym, but in all areas of your life. The most important thing to do right now is believe the program you made will bring the gains you desire. Don't quit something when it gets tough and painful. If you keep pushing and staying consistent, your successful break-through is usually just around the corner. If you quit too soon, you will rob yourself of the success that is basically within your grasp. Those with the guts to push through the disappointments, trials, pain, and setbacks, are generally successful in the gym, and in life.


After one and a half years of weight-lifting experience, I have categorized two types of people in the gym. They are the Hermanoids and Hermanites. x-a0ax0-ax0-x0a-x0a-xa0- .Heramanoids are people who limit themselves because they do not have the right frame of mind to succeed. They let negative thoughts such as "I can't do it" or "it's too heavy" stop their progress to become whatever they want to be. Have you ever heard someone make excuses about why they can't lift a certain weight, and say things like, 'I will try'? That's a Hermanoid. Accomplishments may be few and far between with that kind of attitude.


The second category is Hermanites. I would place myself  in this category. My motivation, determination and dedication are contagious! I always set realistic goals for weight lifting which I know I can achieve. I plan my workouts very carefully to reach those goals, which helps me concentrate on my lifting. Everything I do in my work out is aimed at my specific goal. I apply all the energy I have into lifting weights. I do what I "psych myself up" to perform a task. If I fall, I don't give up, I get up and try again until I reach my goal. Hermanites are disciplined, motivated, determined, realistic, and always train hard. In short, Hermanites strive to succeed.


If you have been a quitter in the past, change now. You hold the power to change. Everyone was born for success and designed for accomplishment. It is our own choice if we want to fail or if we want to succeed. If you stay positive, you can achieve any goal you set your mind to. Remember Nation, "Whatever the mind tells us, believe in it, and we can achieve it."!


Motivation Secrets: How To Stay Motivated

I remember the first thing I noticed when I walk into a gym was the massive amounts of weights available. I wondered how those weights would help me turn my body into a muscular GOD. Looking around the room, I saw people with different body structures: endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph. Looking at their expressions and the way they socialized, I began to realize they were not only displaying their bodies, but also their personalities through their behavior.


Motivation in weight lifting is very important. After achieving a goal, some people stop as they are content or satisfied, which can make them less motivated to work out and potentially stop going to the gym. To reduce this type of problem, we must think WHAT’S NEXT? And create new goals to accomplish. The new goal could be further improvement or it could be to maintain what you have achieved. Let's say our goal in the first place is to lose fat, then after 3 months we achieve the target. Those results breed an addiction, and the improvement we see may then lead us to set a new goal like toning or building muscle.


An enthusiastic training partner also helps you stay motivated. I have trained with many people with different personalities. Our behaviors are affected by the people around us. Training with enthusiastic partners made me feel motivated because I adopted their characteristics and I received more encouragement from them. These people tend to be more outgoing and more sociable, and certainly helped me achieve my goals. On the other hand, when I work out with less enthusiastic people, I feel less motivated because of their characteristics. Through my experience and observation, these people are boring and unhelpful. Other ways that help us continue our fitness journey include:


1.) Inspiration   2.) Progression   3.) Motivational Quotes

  1. The Inspirations

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    People enter the fitness world because they want to be fit and healthy, and most of us do so because of someone inspirational. But how do you choose your inspirations? It's not as easy as you think. In fitness, most people choose their inspirations based on a person's physical appearance, which is fine. However, when choosing inspirations we must consider the two most important parts of being a person as a whole, which to me are ATTITUDES and then achievements. The quote “My body does not define me, I define my body” is appropriate here. It shows that attitudes define us first, and the result of our goal relies on our attitudes.

    We should not focus only on peoples' achievements. The people who watch your back and give you great advice should also be our inspirations, as well as people who suffered failures but were still able to, eventually, succeed despite their hardships, like the story of Zach Zeiler. Diagnosed with cancer at age 15, he never stopped fighting and today he is a true fitness motivator to thousands of people.

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  2. Track Your Progression


    Tracking your progression (before and after pictures) is another way to keep you motivated.Most weight lifters do this as their driving force – to be better than they were. We may fall short of our ideal goals, or fail to reach them within a specified time. But don’t be upset of the result you made. Progression, whether big or small, is still progression. A great friend of mine from SHF told me “Fitness is a journey, you don’t have to rush with your goals and you must enjoy it like a part of your normal life.
  3. Read Motivational Quotes

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We can also be motivated by reading some inspirational quotes. If we apply it to our personal life, we might realize something like we didn’t realize before. The quote above is a great example and very motivational. It's true! We cannot achieve our dream body just by wishing for it. In order to get it we must work hard for it and not wish for it! The theory of equivalent exchange states: “To achieve a particular something, one must give up something of equivalent value. One must sacrifice present happiness in the future. It is the way of the world.” Fitness is the same: “To achieve the dream body you want, an equal value of pain must be applied.”

What I said about motivation is true and very important to our fitness journey, but keep in mind the true key to success is not only strength and hard work, but attitudes as well. We should “ NEVER GIVE UP ON SOMETHING THAT WE’VE STARTED”. Instead we should think of “WHY DO WE TAKE THIS COURSE IN THE FIRST PLACE?” We know our own limitations, but in the fitness world…LIMITS DO NOT EXIST. You must love what you are doing and never doubt yourself if you want to achieve something that you’ve never achieved before. Don't be satisfied with one accomplishment. If we work hard and always give our all, only good things will happen. Don’t let tough times get the best of you.

Discipline (Self-Control)
Another important factor for success is discipline. All your potential strength and hard work will do nothing without having discipline. Discipline is the ability to do a task even when one does not want to do it. That is the key to obtain both mental toughness and physical improvement. Temptations are all around us, whether we are working out or sorting out our eating habits. Either choose out of a workout or changing workout routine or eat bad food will always be a challenge. We aren’t born with great self-discipline skills, therefore the challenge will be to teach yourself self-control.

Changing Your Workout Routine

Most people I know always ask “Why are my biceps not growing?” Oh c’mon! The reason behind why those muscles won’t grow is because you have no self control in your workout routine. Every day, every week we find a new workout and decide to give it a try. We change our workout routine too frequently (every 1 or 2 weeks). Then we wonder why we haven’t seen results after a month? Frequently altering our routines is a major mistake. Our muscles grow due to workout adaptation. Most people don’t realize that this adaptation will take 2-3 anywhere from 2-6 months before we see results. The best thing to do is stick with your workout routine for 2-3 months before changing it. You will be amazed with the results of your discipline.


Eating Habits

When it comes to eating habits, Self discipline is very important. We all know that if we have self-control over the food we eat then we can achieve our goals. We must be strict. We have to be. It’s time for us to stop eating junk food and making poor food choices. Eat as clean as possible. I know most of us here try to eat clean, but cravings still occur. I know, it happens to me too. We need to fight these urges by disciplining our minds, which isn’t easy, I know! But I do have a self visualization that keeps me away from those crap foods and alcoholic drinks. Example: I always wonder what would I look like if I eat those crap foods and drink those alcoholic drinks?

A.   If I eat wrong                    B.   If I eat right


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Improving Self-Discipline–Visualization

Visualization is a powerful tool to develop your self-discipline. Believe it or not those people who are already successful in life have great visualization behavior. The images you have in your mind should provoke you into taking action to reach your goal. Whatever images you have, they must be strong enough to motivate you to workout and eat right when you don’t feel you can’t do it.


Learn To Make Sacrifices

Making sacrifices means giving up something so you can reach your goals. The core of self-discipline is dealing with the temptations that surround you. There will always be more desirable things to do than training. Your discipline will face challenges every day. See them as a daily test of your will. If you are striving for a better body, you can’t continue making bad food choices. Just a little indulgence can lead to major slip ups. I’m not saying we should live a boring life of eating foods we don’t like, but we have to stop lying to ourselves when we tell ourselves it’s OK to have junk and processed foods. It only takes a few undisciplined meals to send you into a downward spiral. When you avoid bad food choices and alcohol, don’t feel like you’re missing out. Instead, see it as a gain, a gain you have made with your inner strength built upon each victory you made as you distance yourself more from those who are weak.


However, sometimes we are bound to make poor food choices. But let's say, you can’t help yourself, you just have to eat your favorite food which you consider as unhealthy. Well, why not cook your own food! Be resourceful! Apply your creativity! Learn how to make it healthier. Research recipes, use trial and error, and discover that we can still eat our favorite foods, but through healthier versions. This takes a lot of discipline, and you may get little support or understanding from those around you. Counter attack that by finding joy in what you are doing. Learn to love hard work. Passion and a strong work ethic are an unbeatable combination. If you possess both, you are on the way to reaching the next level. We don’t have to sacrifice something that we love to do or eat completely, but we do need to make it a rarity.


Work On Your Weaknesses

We all know what we suck at. It doesn’t take much thought process. We pretty much avoid doing what we aren’t good at. In the past years, I had a lousy chest and arms. When I went to the gym, I did a lot of benching and curling. I rarely trained my back or legs. And when I did, it was some lat machine pull-downs and a couple sets of leg extensions. “The wimpy stuff”.


Training your strengths is normal. It’s easy and very enjoyable. However, eventually you will stop making gains. The worst part is when we fail to challenge ourselves. We don’t attain new knowledge or learn anything about our character. It is never good when one stops learning. A stale mind will lead to mental and physical regressions (returning to a former or less developed state).


If you want to reach a new level, you must force yourself to work on your weaknesses. For most of us, our flaws will be our bad eating habits. It doesn’t matter how hard you train. If you eat crappy food, you simply won't see the best results. So stop fooling yourself and thinking that occasional cheat meal isn’t affecting your gut. It is—big time.


You must always refuse give up. Quitting becomes an acceptable pattern full of logical but lame rationalizations. Once you get into the passive mode, it is very difficult to get out of it. So once you make the commitment to eliminate your weakness, there isn’t any turning back. The ultimate goal is to turn your weakness into your strength. I know this is hard to believe, but let's say that those who hate to train heavy with their legs, if they do it a lot and really put 100% effort into it, they just might love it. After a couple months of squatting, you just might love the results you see. When you learn to convert your weakness into your strength, there won’t be anything holding you back.


Self-discipline is about learning how to activate your will to pursue your goal. In short—you train when you don’t feel like it and you don’t eat junk food when you crave it. You need to have self-discipline 24/7. Back up your talk with actions. Get aggressive and relentless as you pursue your goals. Write your goals down (workouts and meal plan). Seeing them on paper will hold you accountable for your actions. Most people rely on others to help them get things done but it is much better to learn how to depend on yourself. This way you can visualize yourself with a stronger body and mind. And you know damn well there isn’t anything that will get in your way of accomplishing your goals. Now Hermanites all over the world...Train harder!


Determination (The Need To Achieve)

Determination is a theory of motivation that includes enhancing performance, persistence, and creativity. We set our own goals which need to be achieved in a specified time. In goal setting, it must be specific. The reason why some people fall short of their goals is because they are making goals which are difficult to achieve. You know yourself best, and you know your capabilities. Don’t set goals which are clearly too high for you. Set small goals and take things step by step.


A good example of a goal I achieved involved my weight. My first goal was to gain muscle within a year. Faithfully,I went to the gym with one purpose in mind; to gain muscle.


After three months, I had gained the muscle mass that I strived for.Accomplishing this made me feel more confident and determined. Thus, I credit my achievement to the realistic goals I set myself. Because of my own success, I have assumed people who set realistic goals usually become successful. Like what I said earlier “Never be satisfied by a single accomplishment” because it will make you less motivated. Think of the next thing to do in order for you to maintain your determination to push over your limit. When we are motivated to train, we are determined. It enhances our workout performance to a level we didn’t notice in ourselves before. It means no matter what it takes, we will continue trying until we succeed. And when we are determined we become creative. We find ways to make bad things good.


Dedication (Aggression)

For me, aggression is just an expression of our dedication. When we are aggressive in the gym, it doesn’t mean we are going to hurt someone or become hostile. Being aggressive in the gym helps build confidence, gives you a positive mental attitude, and gives you pride in developing strength and discipline.

Some weight lifters show signs of aggressive behaviors, for example, by slamming weights on the floor and swearing at themselves. This is occasionally seen in the gym we go to. I often wonder what causes this type of behavior within a person. The answer may lie within the lifters themselves. They may feel so frustrated and stressed sometimes, which may spill over to their gym life.


Aggression & Weightlifting

Before attempting to lift a weight, I sometimes think certain thoughts to make myself become aggressive or angry. These certain thoughts become the links for my strength. For example, try to clear your mind first, then when you feel you are ready, begin letting images of aggression enter your mind. By this time, you can imagine that you’re in a fantasy world and the weights are your enemy. When you feel the time is right, swear and curse at the weight.


At this particular moment, while highly aggressive, your main focus is lifting the weight. After lifting the weight, whether successful or unsuccessful, this aggressive attitude is still with you and begins to fade away only when you counteract this feeling with pleasurable thoughts. This is an example of how we change our personality to become more aggressive. It takes a while before these thoughts become linked with your emotions. Thinking certain thoughts help us to be more confident to do something impossible. I use aggression as a source of psyching up to accomplish a task. Once you put aggression or dedication in your mind, your strength can be limitless.


Courage

Courage is doing whatever you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scare so don't feel bad if you do get scared. I tell all of my friends that, if you don’t enjoy and be afraid of failure, you will never succeed.  Failure is fun on some level, and all of us will experience it in some measure. The extent of what each one of us perceives as failure must differ, as it should, but I believe everyone should pass through some stages of failure before they succeed. So don’t be weighed down by failure; relish and cherish the experience, and learn from it. By accepting it all and experiencing it, you will experience success.


As I said before, sometimes certain things happen and we cannot avoid it, like when we fall short from our ideal goals. We often experience failure in our fitness goals. For me, failure gives me an incentive to greater exertion and harder work, which invariably leads to greater success in most cases. Failure is an amazing teacher, remember that! With failure, we learn, we acquired new knowledge and it makes us a better person tomorrow.


In weight lifting, “if you don’t fail, you will never learn. And if you don’t learn, you will never grow.” When you are ready to gain muscle or to get something you’ve never had before, your body type doesn’t matter (ecto, endo or meso type), your gender doesn’t matter, and your age doesn’t matter. Weight lifting is difficult and complicated but all it takes is strength and courage to know what you can achieve. I know and you know it too that when we are in the gym, there’s only one enemy we have in common…the weights! 


As we see the weights that we’re going to lift, there’s a time we think “I might get hurt with this”, “Thisweight is too heavy for me”, or “I can’t do this!”. Blah blah blah. You will not able to get the body of your dreams if you don’t have courage to do something you’ve never done before. If you are not brave enough to lift those weights then why don’t you just go home? The gym is a place for people with courage. A problem I see with many lifters is they always make excuses and first, instead of trying first before making excuses.


I believe one has to fear failure to get the courage to succeed. That, my fellow hermanites, is what I call the success of failure, and being scared enough to be courageous. When I entered the gym and I was scared of all failures that might happen. But I realized that with failure we learn more knowledge, and more experience to pave a way to the road of accomplishment or success. This is my theory of the management of high-rising failure to convert it into success while understanding the measurement of fear. In simple terms,‘‘If at first you don’t succeed, reload and try again”.


Addiction

“When you start to lose control over a behavior — when you find yourself routinely exceeding a pre-planned limit or repeatedly spending longer than you intended doing it — that’s a key sign you’re addicted,”

Addiction is the last tool to go over our limit and what makes us unstoppable! There’s no denying that most us are legitimately addicted to fitness or exercise. Yet few people (myself included) fully understand what this "health" mania is.  Health has quite literally controlled our life for the past months or years. You know it, don’t deny it!

Sometimes we forget to have fun on vacation, we may alienate family members (especially our partners), and get some serious injuries. That’s because we turn obsession into addiction. I know you’re agree with me! We feel like our entire world will implode if we don’t complete a workout or we miss a routine one week. Very true indeed!


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Turning obsession to addiction requires proper behavior (discipline, motivation, determination and dedication) which result from achieving a happier state. It wards off tension and it dampens the impact of stress at work or school. These benefits make us to begin avoiding other ways to manage unpleasant emotions, feel okay about yourself, or find the motivation to work towards non-fitness goals. You may also notice that you’re regularly canceling plans with friends to stay longer at the gym, or because you’re devoting so much mental energy to planning your next workout routine.


How To Become Addicted To Fitness

  1. Select a type of exercise best aligns with your interests.

    Do what makes you happy to help motivate yourself more. I know most of us here have the same interest in weight lifting. So what are your interests when it comes to exercises? Do you prefer to do outdoor exercises like biking and running? Aerobic exercises? Or, the most common one, weight lifting? Don’t force yourself to do some kind of exercises that you have no interest in at all. Which side are you on?

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  2. Look for a friend or someone who will spot you at the gym and will exercise with you.

    It's nice to have someone by your side to support you all the time! A person who will listen to you, who has the same exercise interest, who will give you some tips and good advice, and who will spot you when you are doing heavy weight training. You can even make a friendly competition with your gym partner which can motivate you to go back to the gym to see your gym partner and have some 1 on 1 workout with them.

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  3. Keep yourself entertained while you exercise.

    Music is the form of entertainment that makes us focus and enjoy our workouts. Make a playlist that features your favorite songs or choose upbeat types of music that will keep you motivated throughout your workout. And always remember your headphones! :)

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  4. Make time in your day for your workout.

    This will help you adapt to having exercise as part of your daily routine.Remember, have discipline to follow your daily schedule! You must! We usually make time to watch movies, or go on dates with our partners and friends. So we can also make time for our workout schedule. Make your own calendar and mark your workouts!

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  5. Create fitness and training goals for yourself that need to achieve in the future.

This is the most important thing to do; it will help you become more addicted to gym or workout faster if you are focused on meeting a specific goal. As you set your goal, start an exercise journal or list that keeps track of your exercise routines as they improve over time, as well as your body measurements, weight progress, fitness goals and your meal plan as well. You may become more addicted to exercise if you see you are making progress on your goals after a month of hard work.

Addict or not, it doesn’t matter. Exercise undeniably makes everyone feel better. Spending one or two hours of physical exertion at the gym improves physical strength and endurance, reduces depression, improves our mind, dials down anxiety, makes us less angry, and relieves bodily aches and pains.


Someone said that being unable to keep exercise out of your mind during non-fitness engagements is a sign that our behavior is bordering on unhealthy. Well, here’s my answer: It all depends on you now! How you will behave during fitness and non-fitness activity. Do I consider myself 'addicted' necessarily? No, but I'm definitely going down that route. The more gains I see in my body, the more obsessed I become, and I think as I get bigger, it's going to get worse...and turn to addiction. All in all, I’m still on a steady level..plus, I have work to worry about which balances things out for me.


GO WITH THE FLOW NATION! The Hermanite Way.


Attitudes/Behaviour Concept: Overview

To reach the “G” word (Goal) we must first have the proper attitude to get it. The statement above completely explains how attitudes are connected and play an important role in our fitness life style. I hope that this article will help my fellow Hermanites stay on the right track to reach their goals. Have a nice day NATION! Always keep motivated and train harder. #HTH

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MEMBER COMMENTS

jcgadfly

I'd love to have someone to train with but I have yet to find someone who is willing to join me before light is in the sky.

Scott_Herman

I thinking working with a man would best fit you @crood.  It's hard to find hardcore ladies like you!

FaithBramlett

I wish I could work out with Crood!!! I'm not a quitter!!! Lol

Mcmike

What's going on here?? ahahhaa


hur1coco

Great article, Mike. Two things really stuck in my mind:

"Limits do not exist." and

"We all know what we suck at."

Thanks for reminding me, I will think of that later in the gym 


Aaaaand wth is my picture doing in your inspirations-collage??!!?? 

Mcmike

Thnaks to you all! NOoooo!What kind of friend do you think I' am?... that's the way to put your motivation back. ahahaha

Scott_Herman

yeah @mcmike, @hur1coco needs to be taught a lesson to never leave us again! haha

Mcmike

Kick ass workout!

spide319

This is indeed a great article! I love the pics bro plus the calendar haha it looks pretty familiar! So when are we going to have a 1 on 1 workout again? :) I just can't wait bro!!!

Mcmike

ohhhh shooot! ahahahha

spide319

Let's do it!! :D

philflorey

Hi Mike (@mcmike), this is a great article! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it. I just have a question: by developing an addiction to exercise, do you mean make on ongoing commitment? I'm not sure that addiction is the right word here, as it refers to doing an activity almost to the exclusion of everything else. This can be a really a dangerous frame of mind to be in, whether it's an addiction to drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex, cleanliness, etc. I'm just wondering if it could be better to refer to making, and sticking to, a commiment to keep training an important part of a balance life. 


Just a thought, that I don't want to detract from a great article. The importance of motivations really spoke to me.


Cheers

philflorey

Unless, of course, you meant addiction! Then don't change it on my account!! =)

Mcmike

Okay my friend whatever you say. yes addiction! addiction to workout not to drugs! ahahaa

spide319

I am addicted to Fitness but it takes discipline to balance LIFE! :)

SavvvyD

@mcmike Wow...I feel like you've read my mind with this article. This is my favourite so far because I can relate to it 100%. I've been very positive for the past two years and extremely motivated with my fitness. Recently I've been struggling with motivation mostly due to other non fitness issues that have spilled over into my fitness goals. 😒 It's that dominos effect! Thank you for this, it's bumped up my motivation and I need all the help I can get right now lol.

Mcmike

I'm so happy that it help you a lot @savvvyd. Everyone just need a push to keep on going and everytime I feel so down, I just read this article to bring my motivation back 

Mcmike

And again...thank you.

heyhay5212

Great article. I always like hearing about what motivates people. Keep the inspiration coming!

Mcmike

Thank you so much @heyhay5212. Well, I definitely agree with you.. In goal setting, we need to build a good fundamentals with regards to behavior, the result of our action will all relies the way we behave and who inspired us.What makes us stronger is because of the inspiration around us and with appropriate attitudes... damn there's nothing could stop us.I'm glad you like it! For sure the inspiration will keep flowing in this community.

Scott_Herman

Such a great article @mcmike, you are very inspirational!

Mcmike

A big thanks to you Scott. Cheers!

crood

Like it, Mike. Speaks completely for my own believes :) *thumbs up*

Mcmike

Thank you so much @crood! cheers!

JoeHurricane

Agreed @whisper! Lots of good information in there Mike!

Mcmike

Thanks @joehurricane . I hope that this is a good read to start weight lifting. =)

Whisper

Nice article Mike! Long but worth the read :)

Mcmike

Thanks TL @whisper, I know you really work hard to make it short. Again, Thanks! ahahah

>>>>>>