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The 4 Lessons You Wouldn’t Expect To Learn At The Gym

It seems as though we are living in the age of the ‘fitness influencer’. For those who use Instagram, you will almost certainly know what it’s like to be bombarded with photos of guys who are insanely ripped – to the point where their physiques look unbelievable. Our perception of these athletes is unrealistic. A lot of them will post only their best photos from the time they were in their best shape… and not to mention using lighting and angles to make themselves look superhuman. Despite the unachievable physiques they possess, there is a lot to be learned from people who take fitness seriously.

Have you ever seen a super successful looking business owner, entrepreneur or CEO who is insanely jacked? They are few and far between, however they certainly possess and exude a dominance and presence that is unmatched by your lanky, Steve Job’s type executive. As the saying goes, ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’. By pursuing fitness seriously and taking control of your own health and physique, you will be able transform in every area of your life. Here’s why.

Self Esteem

Sadly, the majority of our self-esteem originates from when we were little kids. So whether we like it or not, our parents basically shaped us into either the confident, or not so confident people that we are today. It’s no secret that to produce any kind of result in life, you need confidence. How do you expect to walk into a board meeting or business deal nervous and shaking, and expect a good outcome? Studies have shown significant increases in confidence and self esteem after just 6 weeks of physical activity – imagine what can be achieved after years of training. The more energy you put towards taking care of yourself will manifest itself into newfound confidence for 2 reasons; one, it shows yourself that you’re committed, and two, once you start to see the results of training 5 days a week, the progress in how you look will excite you and bring about a new aura of confidence you never knew you could have. Like a lot of other things in life, confidence is transferrable – if you’re confident in one area, you can be confident in another.


As mentioned earlier, how you do one thing is how you do everything. To get in great shape takes enormous amounts of discipline (unless you’re in the 1% who are born insanely ripped). As Will Smith said, “Self discipline is the centre of any material success in this world”. Like self-esteem, by practicing discipline in one area of your life, you’ll be able to be more disciplined in another. We all know that if you want any kind of success, whether it be material or physical, discipline is required to do the hard things when no one’s watching.  Personally, fitness and the gym have changed my life. As a teenager, my low self-esteem coupled with a scrawny build and average looks, I found solace in the gym – It offered me an escape in which I could train both my body and mind. Like a lot of other guys, I initially got into fitness in attempts to get a 6 pack so I could impress girls – 7 years later and I’m still training as hard as ever, but for bigger, more purposeful reasons. Without the discipline I learned in the gym, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.


Did you know that if you got up an hour earlier each day, you’ll have an extra 365 hours a year. That equates to 15 days, or just over two weeks – you can acheive a lot in this time, which is why I made getting up early a priority in my life. Drive can be defined as energy and determination, it’s what gets you out of bed at 5am on a cold morning to get to the gym. It’s what pushes you to do the last rep. Drive is what pushes you to achieve things that you never dreamt possible. I learned a lot of my drive from constantly pursuing improvement in the gym, which has given me the energy to relentlessly pursue any goal I’m chasing. For those who do train, you know what I’m talking about – other people might ask you: “man I don’t know how you can do all that stuff, like workout, get up early, eat healthy… that’s way too hard”. In reality, it is easy to do, but just as easy not to do. We are the bearers of our own fate, we choose how we look and feel. The more you realise that, the more you’ll invest into yourself.


We’ve come to believe that the concept of equilibrium and staying the same exist, when in reality they don’t. Like anything in nature, whether it be a tree or a flower, we are either growing or dying, improving or getting worse, pushing forward or moving backwards. As Tony Robbins famously says, “progress is happiness”. We as humans must constantly strive for progress, as fulfilment comes from the progress and improvement we see when working towards a goal. In order to achieve these goals, we must fall in love with the process, not the results. In any endeavour, whether it be going to the gym or building a business, we must not do it because we love the result, we must do it because we love the process of getting better. As the saying goes ‘trust the process’. Jeff Olsen, author of ‘The Slight Edge’, discusses the concept of success being a matter of mastering your daily habits and processes. Rather than trying to write a book in a day, start with 1 page, then 2, then 5. Then before you know it, you’ve written a 250 page book you thought would never come to fruition. This process is applicable in nearly any area of life. By falling in love with the process, the results will eventually take care of themselves.


In my own personal journey, I have learned tremendous amounts from practicing the daily discipline of exercise. It doesn’t matter if it’s lifting weights, running or even swimming – the practice of daily discipline through exercise is a huge factor in what sets people apart in life. Like many others, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if I had never stepped foot in the gym. Always remember that how you do one thing is how you do everything – so always strive to be the best, no matter what you do.

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Lewis Schenk
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Writer, Entrepreneur & PR/Branding Expert. Seen on Thrive Global, Buzzfeed, Disrupt & Medium. Passionate about sharing empowering stories in entrepreneurship & business.

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