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Barbell Logic

Feb 15, 2022

Fear, doubt, it's a part of life & certainly a part of self-improvement, strength training, & nutrition. Find some inspiration and practical ideas for how to overcome your fears and doubt.

This isn't just for beginners. Doubt is typical as we begin anything new, as the unknown can overwhelm us. There are known unknowns but also unknown unknowns. We might be afraid of embarrassment or looking silly. We might fear getting injured or failing. 

Let's acknowledge that change and new things can be intimidating. There's a lot to learn, and you're trying to build confidence and knowledge and capability all at once. It's a lot to handle.

Hard is scary. Discomfort can be terrifying. The avoidance of the uncomfortable is a self-defeating pursuit, as discomfort and suffering are a part of life. You have some control over what discomfort you face. 

We know you can train. You can get stronger. We've trained all demographics with countless challenges and obstacles. Very few people have the reality that barbell training is contraindicated. YES YOU CAN.

If you're overwhelmed, shift your fear to curiosity. Enjoy the process of learning and improving. Start slow, start easy, start with something you know you can do in an environment you feel comfortable in. 

If you fear looking stupid, getting made fun of, getting criticized, or embarrassment, this is a real fear. Begin with controlling what you can control. You might begin to lift at home, listening to your favorite music, with exercises you know you can complete. Look to free how to videos to ensure your form is passable. Build the habit and develop the supportive environment. 

You can also control your reactions to others. If someone comes up and explains how you SHOULD do something, tell them you have a coach. Maybe lift with headphones. Fake the confidence. A coach or at least a lifting partner you trust who can support you makes a big difference here. 
More advanced lifts, or lifters who may have a history of training and are coming back to it may have other fears and concerns. If you've dealt with injury, you may have a very tangible fear of reinjury. Similar to being afraid of driving after a car crash, you fear a reoccurrence. 

Similar to a novice, start with something that doesn't scare you. You may adjust exercises to avoid the specific exercise. You also need to address whether you want to push that exercise again, or whether you'd rather work around it (at least for now; priorities change). Again, having a competent coach really helps here. 
Similarly, if you see a picture of yourself from an earlier time, how do you react? There's really two considerations here.

One is, you may be confronting the reality of who you are, what your body is, and some limitations. For some, stubborn fat seems to always be there, despite intense efforts and even achieving lean bodyfat percentages. 

The other thing you're facing is your recent choices. You might realize that you're not happy with what you've done the past 6 months or 6 years or 6 decades. You can't change the past, but you control your decisions now. Don't let this discomfort cause a spiraling downward, but embrace the discomfort and help it motivate you to change. 

You can do it. Control what you can control. Begin with a support environment, with things you know you can do, but begin. 
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