Physical training for the mental benefits

By 29th December 2017No Comments

Recently, I received a message from someone who had been training in our gym. What this person told me in this message meant more to me than any other result I have got with anybody through training.

They wanted to let me know and thank me for how much me, the gym and the people that train with us in this gym have affected them mentally.

Before this person came to the Training Cave they suffered from anxiety, self-doubt and body image issues. But after spending some time with us they realised that they could let the stabilisers off and train themselves for the first time.

I have always believed that the benefits of exercise go further than aesthetics or physical accomplishment. Before I started training other people I never considered that exercise might also effect other people the same way that it effects me.

I don’t train for a ‘holiday’, a ‘season’, ‘six pack abs’ or any other reason apart from the fact that I love feeling fit and strong. By this I don’t mean just physically but also MENTALLY fit and strong.

I have been physically active since before I can remember. I have always been encouraged to train or take part in sport. One thing has never changed with me is that physical training makes me feel better. If I don’t train, I don’t feel my best. I don’t like how I feel when I don’t exercise.

As crazy as this might sound to some people, physically pushing my body to its limits helps me to manage my emotions. Bad memories, good memories, arguments, conflicts and knockdowns are all channelled to help me to deal with the physical pain of training. Sometimes I can be dealing with the loss of someone who was close to me, or I can be thinking about the good things that I have seen people achieve in the gym.

“The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength.”

– Henry Rollins

All my mental emotions can fire me up in different ways. One thing that is for certain, is that once I have finished my session, I always walk away from it feeling accomplished. I always have a positive mindset after I have trained.

I’m not using this blog to try and talk you into training and my aim isn’t to tell you how to train in a different way. All I am doing is using this piece to explain to you what drives me and some of the people that come in this gym to physically push themselves each day.

Many people will know what I am talking about. People that don’t train may not understand what I mean but there are facts out there. There are studies to show that working out makes you feel better. As a trainer, I don’t always follow studies and the ‘rules’ of exercise. I like to see what works in the real world, right in front of my eyes.

I can say through experience that when you regularly push yourself to higher levels physically and mentally during training, you become accustomed to ‘hard times’ and some parts of life don’t seem as daunting.

‘When you have confidence in the physical side of things, you become more confident in the non-physical’

– John Kavanagh