I can still see her sitting there on one of my plyo boxes. For what ever reason, she wanted to watch me train.
I guess it was one of those fun things to do in the initial stages of courtship – watch the object of your affection do what they do best. I blazed through my workout schedule with rare intensity. I was definitely showing off.
But I trained even harder after she suddenly broke it off. I would kill all of the lights in my gym, crank the most aggressive music I could find, and then picture her sitting on that damned plyo box. My pain was purified in the gym. Then again, perhaps it was just magnified.
The Dark Side Of Motivation
Having goals that focus on practical health concerns are all well and good. Yes, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help reduce your chances of getting a host of ailments from diabetes to cancer. But does that fact stir a force inside that is barely controllable and makes you want to bludgeon an old tire with a sledgehammer until your hands cramp, your lungs burn, your body quakes, and you can’t see straight?
Wanting to look good for a beach vacation or fit into that little black dress can be motivating. But does it bring out the primal beast that longs for an exertion level that is normally reserved for killing your next meal or saving yourself from being the easy diet plans?
In my experience it does not. In my experience, it is the real Darth Vader dark side shit like anger, frustration, jealousy, envy, and pain that fuels training intensity of other-worldly levels. And sometimes, like when you are stuck at a plateau, that extra intensity is the difference between progress and stagnation.
It is not without some trepidation that I suggest this. I acknowledge that there can be negative mental and emotional results from relying on the dark side of motivation. And I know that many will disagree with my recommendation of this tactic.
And on that note my recommendation comes with this disclaimer: choose wisely here at gymjunkies. If you turn every session into an exercise of emotional turmoil you will rot your soul and eventually devoid all enjoyment from your training. But if you strategically use the fuel of negative emotion as the occasional burst to obliterate your comfort zone, you may find training results that you previously believed were not possible.
What are your thoughts on fueling your workouts with negative emotion?
What do you think about to bring maximum intensity to your workouts?
Let me know in the comments below.