Surrealism in Exercising

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Going to the gym and regularly working out obviously have a million and a half benefits. Most of which mentioned tend to be health related like it helps you lose weight, improves your blood flow, combats health conditions, etc. But, one thing I’ve noticed that doesn’t get mentioned as much is the psychological benefits you incur from working out. I know what you’re thinking, “A lot of people talk about the benefits it has on your brain bro”, but I’m not talking about the benefits of stress relief or improved concentration. These are all direct benefits.

What I’m referring to are the indirect benefits you take from the gym and apply in life. Consider it like surrealism in exercising. When you train or work out, you’re creating a goal for yourself. That goal could be to gain strength, look more aesthetically pleasing, or to even find the right girl in yoga pants to workout behind. Whatever it is, when you go to the gym, you’re going with specific goals set for yourself. And, the most important thing is to take that and push it further into your life. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to execute this.

Now, I don’t mean literally. This article isn’t meant for me to rant to you about how form is how you accomplish anything in the gym. I could go all day about that. I mean, thrusting your entire torso up and down while trying to curl 100 lb doesn’t seem like a recipe for success for an insecure gym newbie. Fuck, you see what I mean? I digress.

What I’m really trying to point at is that people may get bigger, but they don’t get or understand the symbolic nature of working out. While, I think it’s important to look and feel healthy for a variety of reasons, if you don’t carry the lessons from the gym with you in life, then what the hell are you doing? 

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our primitive nature is drawn to those in better shape. It shows that first and foremost, you can take care of yourself, you have self-discipline, and that you can fend for yourself physically, if needed. But, do a lot of ‘in-shape’ people you know actually take care of themselves or have any kind of self-discipline outside of the gym?

I guess one easy way you could tell with someone is in the bedroom. And, I don’t mean in the hot and steamy way either. I mean, does that motherfucker have the mental capacity wake up and make their bed every morning? (Plot twist, I’m actually Jordan Peterson) Seriously though, I don’t know how anyone could claim that they have self-discipline when they can’t wake up and spend 58 seconds making their bed (I timed myself this morning).

Like I said, that’s just one example. Do you wake up every morning when your alarm rings to do all the work you need to do to better your position in life? Do you put your work and your future before a good time? There’s a million ways to analyze how much self-discipline you take with you from the gym into your life. Now, that’s not to say that people who don’t workout don’t have self-discipline. They probably have more self-discipline. I’m just trying to relate the ‘real-life’ benefits of working out to those of you who are avid gym-goers or are thinking of going.

To me, working out is as beneficial to tendering my work ethic as reading or studying is. I look at the gym and my life side by side on a Micro-Macro scale. The gym is the micro world to my macro-reality. When I started working out, I just wanted to be bigger overall. But, beyond me not having any idea what I was doing in the gym, I was a total scrub and spent like 45 minutes max in there. As time went on, as you can guess, I saw absolutely no results. In fact, I probably looked shittier.

I then decided to sit down and learn all I needed to on how to get bigger. I learned that form over weight was important so I immediately dropped my ego when I stepped into the gym. I learned that keeping your muscles on their metaphorical toes was important so I started incorporating supersets and lengthening my workouts. I started incorporating all the tips I was studying into my workouts and, with the help of progress pics, I started noticing results right away. 

NOW to bring it full circle, when I started taking the lessons I learned in the gym and applied it to my work ethic in life, it all meant something. While, I’m nowhere close to the position I want to be in, I am a hell of a lot closer than I was a year ago. In that time, I’ve been pro-active and have spent my days and nights completely submerged into Mandalay Social Club. Anytime I feel like stopping or going to bed, I push myself to do one more “rep” and spend another hour reading, writing, editing or studying film. In my case, I can look back at the first music video I made a year ago and look at the videos I’m working on today and it’s night and day. For me, this is my macro version of progress pictures. When you see the tangible evidence of progression in your craft, it’s the same feeling you get from looking at a picture of yourself from a year ago before you lost a bunch fo weight or gained more muscle. 

So, when I’m in the gym, rep count is everything for me. If I say I’m hitting 25 reps, I’m actually gunning for 30 and you best believe my bitch ass is not stopping at 20. I will literally emulate Joe Rogan’s voice in my head and call myself a pussy until I clear out the rep count. So when I think I can’t push anymore in my work, I think back to how I felt with all that dopamine rushing through my body as I pushed past my set goal in the gym. It’s that feeling that I carry like a badge with me every day as I push myself for a better tomorrow.

  • Tristan Chandra (@Youngxgosling)