T Nation

Lift to Relieve Social Frustration


Hello. Does anyone experience problems when in social settings with other people, and do you turn to lifting either to replace socialising, or to channel the anger/frustration you feel towards something productive and self-improving?

In the movie 'Pumping Iron', Mike Katz would speak about how he'd leave parties early, resolve to 'show them all', and run laps of an oval or lift weights. I feel much the same way as he felt, and I virtually never attend social events (virtually never get asked either). Last night (Friday night), while people were partying and having a 'good time', I was in my garage, doing overhead presses to failure. Does anyone else do anything like this?

There are various reasons why I'm not skilled socially, the foremost being that I'm hearing impaired and find it hard to talk and listen to people in a loud noisy party setting, but whatever the cause is, I'm most comfortable lifting weights than socialising. Sometimes I harbour a 'me-against-them-all' attitude, somewhat similar to what I imagine Mike Katz would have felt, and I try to use it as motivation to get bigger and stronger.

Does anyone else feel or act like this?

It's Saturday night, and while all of my 'friends' have gone out, I'm going to head into the garage again and force out some more presses (I did deadlifts and presses this morning, and I'm too tired to do deadlifts again!).


That's not very healthy...I think you should see someone who deals with social anxiety issues.


Yeah man, do this.


dude, if you'd really rather lift than party, then uh, i'd say go for it whatever makes you absolutely happy is all that matters.

But if you are in the position, which it appears like to me, where you want to party but are shunned by others. I would say that isn't very healthy man.

I wouldn't lift for the sake of showing others you'll get the best of them, turning things into a vendetta can often take the fun out of something and give you motivation for all the 'wrong' reasons.

ofcourse we're delving into philosophy here, but i'm gonna have to side with the argument, that vendetta agenda's(nice rhyme there), take over your life and by the time it's all over(which it rarely ever is), you realize

  1. you wasted your damn time
  2. there is not much sense of accomplisment
  3. you now are in a position where youre like "what the fuck was all that for?" and you now need a new vendetta.

it's a vicous cycle.

Why don't you talk about it, maybe the T-goers can help you out?

My suggestion is try to figure out who you are.
this isn't easy but any effort will be one step in the right direction. After four years i still have no real idea of who i am, but i do see some of the physical laws that govern my life.


This is not a particularly socially healthy way to behave, HOWEVER, it is not necessarily bad, either.

One of the problems might be the people you are friends with don't do the kinds of things you want to do, socially. Having fun at parties, loud music, drinking etc.. these are OK but not for everyone. You don't have to enjoy that kind of setting. You probably need to meet a new bunch of friends, but again, that is not necessary either.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to workout instead.

However, going to work out, to "show them", is not really a healthy way to behave either. You should workout because you love doing it, not for some act of vengeance or showing off. It is rarely the act, but the intention, that is at fault.

Then again, there are probably many successful athletes who have done just that.

But is that the way you want to go about your life?

When I was young I had similar feelings at times, lots of parties that were OK but not great, very frustrating at times, but now I realise that was just because the people at those parties - although really good people, and friends, just weren't that much fun at times. But with a different group of people it can be a completely different experience.

Whatever you do, make sure you find a gal who is like minded.

Also if you feel you are socially inept, it is better for your own growth to develop social confidence rather than some other way of dealing with it. Loud party + bad hearing is NOT a good combination and if that is your main social interaction then you are going to be one pissed of fellow.

Vengeful training won't fill that human need for social interaction, but training with a group of people might.


I used to be very anti-social, for various reasons that I don't want to get into right now.

Looking back, I do have some regrets.

Although I still have no desire to become a full blown "social butterfly", I would have benefited from being more social.

Remember, there are different shades of gray, rare are things in life that should be black or white.

Good Luck


Anger can sometimes fuel a workout better than Spike. The best workout I ever had was right after I had gotten into a fight with my family.

That said, this particular use of anger agaisnt everyone is not healthy. You need to go out and have some fun making friends.


Being a cave man, thawed from a glacier just last month, I also have trouble in social settings. Just last yesterday, instead of waving back when a girl said "hi", I clubbed her on the head with my fist. I felt so awful about that.


Do what makes you happy, regardless of the status quo. Don't feel bad for being yourself.

Though, Marghe may have a point, that you just need a different group or setting. Everybody fits in somewhere; it just takes more time and effort to find a place for those who don't typically fit in.

Even then, nothing lasts forever. There's been times in my life when I had a scene, and times that I hadn't. Of course, those are the times that seem to go on forever. Oh well.

Keep the faith.


have you ever thought about liftinng with other people?

You don't have to talk about your feelings or be gay, but pounding out a few sets of pushpresses in between the lifting(HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA okay okay).

yea seriously though why don't you try lifting with others who have similar goals, it's still socializing even if you arent talking.


Lance Armstrong said that he used to keep a piece of paper with names on it of people that have doubted him and he would use that as motivation in races and training.

Tupac said in one of his raps "revenge is the sweetest joy next to gettin pussy." Whether working out in your garage as opposed to going out partying qualifies as revenge or not, it may signify something like that.

I'm a little bit of the same way, not a complete social butterfly but when social experiences suck or don't go the right way, I feel that hitting the weights helps relieve some of the anger and frustration that could arise from the particular situation.

This makes me think of smoking weed. I know some people that do it regularly to help relieve their tension and "forget their problems". For me, I find that a ball-busting squat workout has the same problem-forgetting effect while being more productive as opposed to sitting on a couch watching Cheech & Chong movies.

So to the original poster, this attitude can be normal, just not to the extent that you're experiencing it. Find some new friends that like to do different things.


ya theres something about mike katz that makes me feel really sad for him. he seems so broken or something. im being serious, im sad for that guy. like everyone must have made fun of him in school and the only reason he wants to be huge is to be respected. i imagine him crying while doing benchpresses.


Garage Dweller

How old are you? You don't have get yourself in the market for a wooden shack out in the woods just because you aren't the most social right now. I was never that social when I was younger but I gradually grew out of it. I am by no means a social butterfly however.

I think you might want to give this a read:



I can understand your problem because I'm hearing impaired also. It's frustrating at times when there alot noise but I try. Another thing that helps it to let others know about your diffulty. most people are understanding and if not they are real friends.


I was a very social person before I turned 18 and then I went through some things that caused me to be a bit of a recluse for quite a few years. I have worked through those things and I am back to being a pretty sociable guy now. I used to use the weights to take out my aggression and mask loneliness. Unfortunately it doesn't work very well; being big and strong doesn't translate into being better with people. You might want to talk to someone about what?s going on with you, and like another T-Nation member suggested try finding a social outlet that suits you, and is not just the stereotypical loud music and drinking sort of thing.

Also, how old are you? If you are still young than this could just be a phase in your life that you will grow out of.


LOL Nice one.


Lifting helps me vent anger too.


Exercise/Physical Activity is only ONE dimension of health.


Is that you, Ted Kaczynski? Is this me?


I can agree with you on a smaller scale mate. I don't enjoy parties #1 I don't like large crowds #2 I can't stand alchohol and dumb shit people puking and laughing about the dumbest bullshit.

I actually prefer to stay at home during the night time - watch the tube play some video games so that in the morning I am not hung over - not still stoned not still sick and able to jump up at 6 AM eat take my first dose of Carbolin 19 go back to sleep till 8 pop up go lift.

After im done lifting though i AM social at the gym, why ..well #1 i work there #2 similiar interest man, thats what its all about.

Anyway i dont really find you to have a problem you just need to find people with similar interest.