The Bench Press And The Ego
/Are you lifting with muscles or with dick?/
Last Update On November 30, 2011
"Bro...what do you mean by saying benching with your ego?"
The ego can be a builder and a destroyer at the same time. We have some sort of a self-image based entirely on our ego - we have to be strong, we have to lift more than the person next to us, we have to do everything better. However you will never be what your ego wants you to be. I would almost say that the way we see ourselves is more of a illusion than reality.
And when we are talking about lifting it shows. That struggle to prove to the other person or even to yourself that you are better because you can lift X pounds more can destroy you unless you learn to control it.
For example a lot of people may end up forgetting all good forms tips and just focus on lifting the weight by any means possible in order to impress some girls. Do I need to explain why this is stupid?
"Hmmm...but why does this happens on the bench press?"
The bench press is an extremely popular exercise and it's considered part of the big 3 - squat, bench and dead. Since “squats are dangerous for your knees”, “deadlifts may hurt your back” they may be taken out of the equation but the bench press as a much easier exercise will remain part of the main routine. In other words the bench press offers a perfect balance between a big lift that allows you to lift a lot of weight but at the same time is not as draining as a squat or a deadlift. Also the exercise is present in a lot of famous movies and has too much media attention. Nobody asks how much you row. It's not as sexy.
"That thing about the ego you said is pretty interesting. However should people lift like they are 100 years old - light weight and perfect form?"
No. Perfect form does not mean light weight. It just means less weigh. There is a big difference. On top of that your workout will be way more productive because you will be able to focus on the muscles you want to work instead of just moving a weight from A to B by cheating for the sake of lifting 10 pounds more. Also most people don't know how to cheat effectively and safely.
"Would you say that most people involved in muscle building in general have too much ego?"
It depends. You can't drop your ego. It's impossible. It's like your name - your name is fake, it's fiction but it's needed. Technically speaking we don't have names. They were given to us. We came to this earth without names and we are going to leave without names. However we need names because they are practical. The same goes for the ego. We need to form some kind of externally based self-perception but we should always be aware what we really are and that the way people see us is not the most important thing in the world. If a person trains their biceps the most it's obvious why they are doing it - to impress others and feed their ego. So those guys are ego based lifters and are less fascinating. On the other hand training is a way to reach your true potential and I can't see how this can be bad in any way. It's all about how you do it - are you doing it for you or for your ego. There is a big difference.
I remember when I was deadlifting in front of some guys and I was feeling so good that I can lift triple their weight. It felt good. But in reality all I did was show how stupid and ignorant I could be. Don't do it for the approval of others do it for your true self. Internal motivation is the most important thing.
"Does this mean that we should all lift alone?"
No. When you train alone you still have ego even though you may not be ashamed to use the pink dumbbells for shoulder raises. The ego will forever be with you but you should learn to separate the reality from the fake illusions and achievements
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