There is No Strength Without Struggle

Hey everyone! Today, I am going to talk to you about a phrase that, when I myself train, I like to keep running through my head, and, as an instructor, I like to keep running through the heads of my clients:

Without struggle, there is no strength. This phrase really resonates with me because it allows me to take what I feel during my workouts – struggle – and instead of allowing that struggle to have a negative effect on my efforts, I discovered that it can actually FUEL the fire. In our workouts, and in our lives, we encounter resistance. We encounter periods of difficulty and we are forced to struggle. By changing how we think about struggle, by embracing it, we can use it to our advantage to become better, stronger, and more resilient.

So how to we apply this phrase to our workouts?

When we begin to get tired, when our muscles begin to burn, when we begin to suck wind it’s easy to put on our victim hats: “Poor me,” “why is this so hard?” “Why am I so weak?” “I’ll never be able to finish.” With an attitude like that toward struggle, you are eliminating your confidence, draining your inner power, and working from a negative perspective. If you act like a victim or allow yourself to work from a place of negativity, struggle will make you weaker.  HOWEVER what if we thought about struggle differently? What if instead of becoming a victim because of the difficulty, we approached struggle from a positive point of view? Struggle has the ability to change us for the good! The repetitions in our workouts that are the toughest have the most effect on our bodies. When we begin to struggle, every single rep we do, every single second we stay in it is our opportunity to challenge ourselves further and gain more strength.

  • It’s not “poor me,” it’s “yay me! Look at how I am able to challenge myself.”
  • It isn’t “why is this so hard for me?” it’s “this exercise is so challenging and look how I am able to fight for it. I know that something this challenging can only make me stronger!”
  • It isn’t “I am so weak,” it’s “I am becoming so much stronger that I was before.”
  • It isn’t “I’ll never be able to finish,” it’s “I want to see how far I can really push myself today, and if I am able to finish – I will make it even more challenging the next time.”

So starting now, lets change our perspectives. Embrace the struggle, embrace the burn, embrace each challenge that life throws at you. Don’t let struggle beat you down, let it inspire you to hang on and fight harder. Allow struggle to strengthen you, not weaken you. The reps where there is struggle – that’s where your workout really begins and that is where you earn your strength both physically and mentally.

There truly are no gains in strength without  struggle.

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