Williams: The gym is more than just a physical motivator

"You should always be wanting to improve yourself, everyday, no matter if you are 100% that day or not." - Staff Writer / Braijon Williams

As a student, I have made it a part of my everyday schedule to go to the gym at least five times a week. I do this because I feel like the gym gives me a sense of peace and mental strength.

Between the REC Center and the gym located on Victoria Street, Rowan students have plenty of options to get over to work out for free.

A lot of people will tell you “The gym helps them get stronger physically and build muscle.” Yes, that is true, but I like to think that the gym tests your resilience, perseverance, and mental toughness. In reality, it doesn’t matter how many sets or reps you do, or even how much weight you’re lifting– it is all up to you and what you are capable of.

My gym buddy and I always make sure to say “push yourself” to each other before we work out. Two words that you can keep telling yourself every time you feel like you want to quit. Two words that can push you past your mental and physical limit. It’s two words that mean a lot to our mental push because we both know we are about to go to war– not against the weights, but against ourselves.

I usually do about four sets of twelve reps of any workout. It sounds straightforward and to the point, but the mental fight that goes on through every rep is uncanny. Reps 1-6 are always the smoothest, but I sit and tell myself, “You better get ready for the next six.”

Rep 7 and 8: “This is nothing to you Brai, you’ve done worse. You’re a king.”

Rep 9-11: “You’ve only got a few more, just keep going! BREAK THROUGH YOUR CEILING!”


Of course, it varies from workout to workout, but that is the jist of it. Just because I tend to yell at myself internally, doesn’t mean you have to do it exactly the same way I do. If you know what motivates you and doesn’t, I would take this and make it your own. I’ve seen men and women at the Rec slap themselves into the grind (very brutal, but if it works for you then it works for you), or even do a little dance to get themselves amped for the next set. Make it your own.

I truly believe that all the problems that people feel when they go to the gym, from body dysmorphia and lurking eyes to the fear of not knowing what to do, go away as long as you focus on improving. Hone in on it and grind.

Of course, these techniques aren’t only for the gym, you can use these in all aspects of life. If you don’t want to do your homework and you’re a huge procrastinator, motivate yourself to get it done.

I like to tell myself, “If I do this now, then I will have time to do something else that I really want to do.” Maybe that can work for you as well.

The rewarding feeling that you get after you do something you did not want to do at first, is such a sublime discovery. You should always want to improve yourself, every day, no matter if you are 100% that day or not.

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