The Only Thing That Matters In The Gym

When you step in the gym, what’s the first thing on your mind? How crowded it is? That chick with the big booty on the stair master? Your job? The fact is that most guys bring a whole shit ton of mental baggage with them to the gym. And that violates the exact purpose the gym should serve to a man.

The gym isn’t a place to show off. It isn’t a place to let your insecurities consume you. It’s not a place to pick up girls either. No, it’s a place to turn off your mind and put your body to the test. It’s been dubbed “the iron temple” by some, and that’s quite the fitting name. When you walk into the realm of the iron temple, there should be only one thing on your mind: can you do better than your previous best? Have you grown stronger?

Here’s why:

It builds character


Arnold Schwarzenegger said it best: “The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” When you step under the bar for a set of heavy squats that takes you to your physical limits, you have to put it all on the line. It’s not comfortable. It’s not easy.

I don’t know of another activity where your progress can be so accurately measured. Growing stronger in the gym embodies the same cycle of development and improvement that you’ll face across all areas of your life. By training yourself to always push past your previous best in the gym, you ingrain this notion as a habit in your consciousness.

If you acknowledge this fact and begin to view the gym as a place to test your wit and push your limits, your newfound desire to improve will surface across all areas of your life. The same way you’ll grow a burning desire to hit the gym again and see if you can complete an extra rep on the bench, you’ll also begin to bring this same mentality to your other pursuits, be it attracting women, building a business, or otherwise.

It guarantees results


The second reason you must always strive to get stronger is more tangible: getting stronger guarantees a bigger, leaner physique. If you’re gaining weight and getting stronger, this is a sign that your body is synthesizing new muscle tissue. Your strength increase is a direct result of additional muscle mass on your body.

If you’re losing weight and getting stronger (or at least maintaining your strength), this is a sign that your body is shedding fat and holding onto the muscle. When you lose weight and don’t focus on getting stronger, you’ll undoubtedly get weaker.

This is a result of the fact that you’re consuming less energy than your body needs to maintain its current weight. In this state it can either use muscle or fat as a source of energy. If you don’t lift and focus on getting stronger, your body won’t have a reason to discriminate between the two. As a result it will burn both fat and muscle. This is the reason it’s common to see a friend drop 20 pounds yet still look the same. Yes he lost 20 pounds, but because it consisted of both muscle and fat, his body fat level either stayed the same, or barely dropped. He’s gone from fat to skinny fat.

So there you have it: you must get stronger in order to build a better body, and also to foster a mindset of personal growth.

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Read More: The Biggest Mistake A Man Can Make

80 thoughts on “The Only Thing That Matters In The Gym”

    1. And remember that “gym” means “naked.”
      If the neighbours object piss into a bucket and tell them you’re a fountain.

    2. I like it like that too. Solo training sessions at home. Zero distractions. No big dudes looking at me with contempt for being small, no lousy music nor gross smells.

        1. Yeah man, like I am of a lower class for being small-framed…what´s up with that attitude? i only play with the cards I have been dealt to.

        2. If it was the opposite case and I was blessed with a strong, big frame and I´d see a small skinny dude trying to gain some muscle I would definitely encourage him…but some dudes they have this power trip going, this superiority complex…like “I could crush you in a second”. Fuck ´em, I am training alone.

      1. “Dudes looking at you with contempt” should motivate you. It has been said many times by many different people but I will say it once more, “the best way to excel at something is to surround yourself with the best”.

  1. How is it that Arnold S. showed great disclipline in
    the gym, but poor discliplne when it came to keeping
    his hands off his ugly housemaid? He couldn’t do
    any better then her? Me thinks, the character building
    benifits of the gym are over hyped.

    1. When Arnold started out, he was, as he says, “a scrawny boy from Austria.”
      He needed tons of discipline to become a strong, and to become famous around the world.
      Once he was jacked, a movie star, and governor of one of the most powerful states in a country HE MOVED TO he was in reward reaping mode- he didn’t have the same edge.
      Not a complicated situation. Watch Rocky III if you need a refresher course in “eye of the tiger”

      1. Quote: “Once he was jacked, a movie star, and governor of one of the most powerful states in a country HE MOVED TO he was in reward reaping mode- he didn’t have the same edge.”
        Perfect surmise right there. Whereas adversity and struggle can build character, the opposite is also true. Once life becomes easy then one tends to regress and make bad decisions as a result of forgetting what gave one their success and edge in the first.

      2. “tons of discipline” lol
        lmao @ natty fags thinking they can get big with “discipline”
        keep hitting the gym every day, starving yourself and eating unappealing food for years on end for minimal results and watch with envy as guys using steroids for 3 months steal your thunder completely

      1. Even with steroids, you have to bust your ass, especially to get as big as most body builders get.

    2. Sure he committed a mistake having a child with his ugly housemaid , so what? , it doesn’t take his credits of being : the most influential man in the fitness industry , a multimillionaire action-star , the Governor of California . The character building benefits of the gym are obvious there! however it won’t prevent him to commit mistakes. Despite his great achievements he’s also human.

    3. It takes more balls to be a superstar and risk fucking up your life with a house maid that being a weight lifter and running for senator.
      Don’t take life so seriously. When you are that rich and powerful you can do whatever fuck you want. I’d fuck the maid just for the sake of it.

      1. the thrill of the forbidden huh ? perhaps you should do a few lines of coke and hit the local gay sauna…. the same logic applies….

      2. Sadly, he was hit with the truth that he actually couldn’t do “whatever he wants”. Karma is a bitch.

        1. Don’t see how. What happened to him that was so bad?
          He did it, he’ll own it and that’s it. In the end he is still a rich a powerful man.

    4. hahaha… well said….. i can see the discipline half way through a 100km cycle ride, or coming down a mountain in deep powder, but in some stale air conditioned room that smells of rubber mats and sweaty buttholes…. i find it hard to get motivated for much beyond heading to the parking lot and going home.

  2. I find the key is to reward yourself. If i burn 500 cals i allow myself a big mac meal, 1000 calories a cupcake on top. But i always feel embarassed in gyms so prefer to work out after 24:00.

    1. me too, I usually eat pizza as pre-workout to stimulate my body and alpha mind. Then I squat 2 series and reward myself with a good latte venti

  3. Like someone else wrote on another article, you need a good exercise & diet plan, but unless your genes are great, you’ll only have a sexy body if you have extra “help”.

    1. Anyone in the peak of the bell curve can achieve Michelangelo’s David, only leaner, and without even ever having to leave home.
      You will have an advantage if your home has a chin up bar and a walker in it. No other equipment is needed and even those aren’t strictly necessary.
      You want to look like Ronnie Colman? Than yeah, you’re going to need “help.”
      Of the “professional” kind, as they say. The results of body dysmorphic psychological disorders are not sexy.
      Stop looking for “help” and start looking for the knowledge and discipline. Your body makes all the hormones it needs to build the body of a Greek god, just as it did for the models of the statues of the Greek gods.
      Disclaimer of Bias: My genes suck. I have an enzymatic disorder that puts me to the wrong side of the curve peak.
      And I can do it, it just takes longer. So what? You’re not going to get there and quit, are you?

      1. You are right, anyone can be fit. I’m not sure but I think Hawkman may have been referring to issues like bone structure and concentration of fat storage. Not too many people will look like Michelangelo’s David, there are a lot of different body types and some folks are just too squatty for the “golden ratio”. Some guys can have sub 8% body fat and still not have great abs that pop, doesn’t mean they aren’t fit though. It is silly to worry about looking like a “Greek God”, just get stronger as the article said. If you have shitty genetics as you stated, you should really get the whole “anyone can build the body of a Greek God” thing out of your head, it will only discourage you.

        1. ” . . .some folks are just too squatty for the “golden ratio”.”
          And back in the day all the ladies used to talk about how Burt Reynolds looked like shit, right?
          He used to joke that he could stand next to a guy 5’4″ and wear the same pants.
          Like this guy who was about 5’4″:

          A sexy body does not have to be an ideally perfect body. Anyone within a standard deviation (which is, by definition, most people) is “good.”
          In any case, as he invoked “help”, I don’t think ideal proportions was at all what Hawkman was talking about. I assumed he meant what what everyone else means when they talk about “help.”
          “. . .it will only discourage you.”
          I’ve already got one.

        2. Oh shit, I didn’t realize you had the body of a Greek God, my bad. That is really impressive considering that you stated you have below average genetics (considering most “average” people are fat themselves). Of course I would love to see some transformation pics to prove this (not that I don’t trust you, it’s just that people sometimes lie about accomplishments over the internet). I have no problem deferring to someone that walks the walk and if you really are a “Greek God” then I’m sure you won’t mind proving it.
          Let me guess, I’m gay for wanting to see your transformation pics? Come on Thor, let’s see how awesome you really are.

        3. “if you really are a “Greek God” then I’m sure you won’t mind proving it.”
          Pics do not exist. I am an athlete, not a poser. I make my proofs against time and distance.
          Perhaps you can stop by the NYS Senior games sometime.
          “I’m gay for wanting to see your transformation pics?”
          No, just rather “youthful” in your manner of high school locker room taunts.
          “Come on Thor, let’s see how awesome you really are.”
          Thor is not Greek.
          This is what he looked like:

        4. Of course I knew you wouldn’t put pics up, that would be silly. Almost as silly as bragging about having the body of Hercules on the internet (is he greek? I don’t really give a shit so… u can look it up).
          Anyways, just out of curiosity what events do you compete in?

        5. ” . . . bragging about having the body of Hercules on the internet (is he greek? I don’t really give a shit so… u can look it up).”
          It seems your intelligence protects you from the charge of lying, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice; I guess.
          ” . . .just out of curiosity what events do you compete in?”
          Ironically enough, I am now concentrating on The Race of Truth.

        1. Ah clever. Although you probably don’t even need that (i.e. press-ups, stairs, handstand press-ups etc.).

  4. Never lose focus… Not if Jupiter himself were to rip open the heavens and dangle his c**k from the sky.

    1. I dunno mate – if Jupiter was hanging brain for all to see I might look up by mistake……….unless it was in the middle of a set

  5. Captain Obvious is starting to majorly influence ROK! Then again, most people haven’t become acquainted with him yet.

  6. Brilliant article – also include that in its precepts a man can find:
    Conviction – to shirk almost anything to achieve a goal
    Fortitude – to see through their goals to their end

  7. I find it hilarious that guys respond to articles like this by making excuses and splitting hairs. The bottom line is that the vast majority of American guys my age (mid-40s) are fat, ugly, no style, no class and and no morality / ethics (as well as having no game, of course). Quit bitching that you don’t have perfect genes or the perfect metabolism or the perfect frame; simply get stronger, dress a little better and learn how to approach and interact w/ women — that triad will improve your life 1000-fold, even if you’re still a little flabby or a little short or a little ugly. Character and muscle are always golden on a man, regardless of anything else.
    Arnold had a great frame, excellent genes, an ability to innovate, access to the best steroids and tremendous determination / discipline — but he’s also an immoral fuck with no class and no ability to understand appropriate social limits. You also have to be a certain type of dialed-in sociopath to lift up to 6 hours a day (double shifts), 6 days a week like he was in his prime, and that mentality certainly benefited him in Hollywood and in politics. He’s not my hero in the least, but I respect his accomplishments and drive to be the best. It’s interesting that one of his top goals many years ago was to speak perfect English w/ no accent whatsoever, and it goes without saying that he was a miserable failure at that, as well as other areas in his personal life.

    1. quit bagging the guy! He accomplished many personal goals, not all of them, but many and he did it like a man AND he fucked his maid and whoever else 😉

    2. I’ve been in Europe for the last two weeks and one thing I’ve noticed is I see more chicks chilling with betas.
      In fact the over alpha American dudes trying to overdo it and get their attention don’t seem to have any particular advantage.
      I don’t know who’s fucming who here but overall its been a way more chill atmosphere. And the girls are overall better looking. Particularly if you’re into euro girls.
      My 0.02

    3. He actually speaks perfect english, but chooses to use the accent since hes recognised for it. Just saying.

  8. Many of the people I see in the gym are not using 100% of their time to lift, or focus purely on exercise. Many are fucking with their phone, maybe going through different play-lists, but most likely dicking around in between sets. Others are chatting in groups of 2 or more. I really laugh at it. Why the hell do you really go to the gym? To socialize? Not me.
    My estimates are only about 10% are there entirely focused on lifting. I don’t even wear ear-buds. I put in ear plugs in fact to block out 30db of ambient noise, including people’s conversations, laughing, shitty gym music, etc.
    About 5 years ago I met a 70 yr. old guy who was a competitive body builder with more muscle mass, and leaner than most 25 yr olds. He won 2-3 titles at that age. This dude was fuckin ripped, if you removed his head in a pic, you’d swear his body was that of a 25 yr old competitor, and shockingly strong for his age.
    I asked him if he had any general tips. He said: “When I’m in the gym, I’m not somewhere else, not mentally, not spiritually, or physically. I’m here living in the present, and no other time or place, period.” He takes in his surroundings, yet remains entirely focused on himself.
    I’m confident when I enter a gym, I’m outputting as much effort as anyone else there. the most notable result it’s brought to my life is my ability to be extremely determined, and it’s definitely translated into the rest of my life. Good article.

    1. it’s because you are aspie and need to excuse your social retardness and anxiety at the gym by saying that “you are there to lift” lol, like losing 2 or 3 minutes building some sane rapport with people would impair your gains. Don’t say bullshit, I’m like that too.

    2. I agree. I work at a gym and it amazes me that a LOT of people go there to feel better that they said or posted to the internet that they went to the gym.These are the people that are constantly on their phones texting, instagramming,facebooking changing their workout playlist,taking selfies etc.. and they’re the ones that are morbidly obese. They’re probably posting selfies on a machine when they havent done one set. I looked in through the windows during a yoga class, a place for solitude and a good workout.The only one laying like she was taking a nap was some 400lb fat lady on her iphone. I realize you gotta start somewhere but since 90% of the gyms’ money is made in January when everyone flocks to the gym under the guise of a new years resolution,theres no wonder why these people dont see results when they quit a month later.

  9. I decided on getting my own weight lifting equipment and turn my apartment into my personal gym so that I can focus. That way I’m not conscious of others watching me, thinking I’m lame because I’m not as strong or athletic as they are.

    1. “That way I’m not conscious of others watching me, thinking I’m lame because I’m not as strong or athletic as they are.” << If you will realize significant benefits working out at home, do it. But don’t let what someone else thinks of you chase you out of a gym. As a recovering fatass I eat a lot of humble pie every time I go work out in public, but I earned that bit of humiliation and I’ll put up with it. Some people are fine, some judge more than they should. An instructor at my fit club who has never even said one word to me kind of gives me a look, and one time actually “wandered in” to check the numbers on my weigh-in when he had no business doing so. He probably thinks I’m lower than an insect but I laugh it off. I’m making rediculous progress because I’m implementing a solid plan – some stranger’s judgment can’t touch that.

      1. I’m a dick and even I respect a fat fuck who is trying to lose weight. Keep at it.

    2. Bro, go to the gym. Whoever is stupid enough to judge you is an outright twat and their opinion shouldn’t concern you. We all make mistakes, more experienced people in the gym can, and often will, help you. With the right diet/mindset/routine you will make progres fast. Ask yourself who will look more stupid. You for making progres or the people (who probably haven’t made any progres) judging you? Remember: we’re all going to make it.

    3. Believe it or not, most people at the gym have more important things to think about than how “lame you are”. Get your own home gym by all means but also I think you address this negative self-talk habit you have developed.
      You are superior to most men simply by virtue of the fact that you have decided to improve your health.

  10. What I understood when reading what OP thinks about the gym:
    -The gym is a place where he lets his insecurities consume him,
    -The gym is a place to pick up girls.
    -The gym is a place to show off.
    And it’s fine, because it doesn’t matter how much you deny it to yourself, it’s like that

  11. The gym is one of the few pleasures I have in life (aside from learning to play the piano and learning another language.)
    Whenever I go to the gym my brain stops thinking and I just go on autopilot. For 1-2 hours of the day, I have the time not to give a shit about anything and just do my own thing. When I’m done I’m too tired to give a shit about how bad my day was or how some girl pissed me off and so on. I just pass out.
    I’ve tried a few times to hit on some girls but stopped because I didn’t want to bring drama into the only place I see as a complete release from everyday bullshit.
    Let the mind rest in the gym and let the body go on autopilot. Also remember Arnold’s rule of Muscle: if you’re big and strong people will know without you having to take off your shirt. Leave the shirtless days for the pool and the beach.

    1. if everyday in your life is shit and bad and women piss you off every day maybe you should just kill yourself instead of perpetuating the pain @gym

  12. Some guys are short or are losing their hair, etc.
    You can stress out about that shit or instead concentrate on things you CAN control. Get a gym membership. Lift weights. You’ll start to love feeling tight all the time. Your broad shoulders and small waist will give you that nice “V” shape and your arms will start to fill in your shirts.
    You’ll improve your health. You’ll get more attention from females and dudes will give you more respect. It’s a win win win situation.

    1. Never understood the idea of going to a gym, buy the weights yourself stay home no one to interrupt or distract you from doing what you need to do?

      1. Going to the gym gets you out of the house. Sure, anyone can buy some dumbbells and a bench, but that will get old fast. You need variety to continue muscle growth after you hit the plateau.

  13. Well said but this idea of your body using less energy than it consumes thus causing fat loss is a gross simplification of what happens with your metabolism. Its important to understand this because otherwise people can be led down the wrong path.

  14. I know 0 people who go to the gym that are not lame assholes.
    Why not take up a proper sport? Football, swimming, even tenis? Building up strength and muscle should be a byproduct of your activity, not your only goal.

    1. I lifted weights because I thought that gaining weight would help me improve in playing soccer. Idiot

  15. Pfff, I did the whole buffed thing and it made me feel ridiculous. It kind of sucks being the only buffed guy in an engineering department.
    Looking good in a suit…now that is really hard when you have a broader frame.

    1. Why stand out when you can be part of the Herd(TM) , Herd (TM) three piece suits now available at Nordstrom.

  16. What’s going on in the comments? Men complaining about how men that lift are lame and being buff made them feel ridiculous? WTF! Brutal! Just lift, lift for this reason. That’s what your body was made for. Lift because, everything in your life will change. Your shoulders will de-slouch, you’ll stand straighter, The day will pass without fatigue. Eating better because that’s just the next step that you’ll want to take. There is no down side.

    1. heh, even in the manosphere, whining and refusing to take personal responsibility is still easier than working and making yourself better.

  17. Thanks for sharing!How to build muscle as fast as humanly possible…That’s what we all want to know.Most of us don’t have the genetics of an NFL running back or pro bodybuilder.So it’s not all your fault.I was mixed-up until I got this plan,see my review of it:>bestfitnessandmusclebuilding(dot)com/tmd<

  18. When you lift and get stronger and then every thing from climbing a 150ft structure ,pulling a transmission from a car to sitting on a toilet and even watching TV is physically easier and more enjoyable. ( a working man can appreciate that) All of these things are very noticeable past 50. Lift, you don’t have to be a ripped male model. The strength of physical capability I find is more enjoyable that the physical appearance alone.
    All positive and masculine for a man today.

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