T Nation

Why do we train??

Im keen to know what motivates people to train.
How many of us train to look good? How many of us train to perform well? How many train for general fitness? How many of us train for just pure strength?

I will start the ball rolling. I tend to focus of strength over appearance( I have little will power where food is concerned!!!)

" I tend to focus of strength over appearance( I have little will power where food is concerned!!!) "<

And if this is true, you focus on food over strength. Sounds like you’re using the strength over appearance thing as a cop-out due to your poor willpower with your food.

This may sound bandwagon for this site, but at my stage in life, its about looking good naked.

Okay so here’s my motivation and what is not my motivation:

First of all I just celebrated 18 years of marriage to the same woman. We are still in love and very happy (If you need a barf break, I’ll wait). We have more than 3 children.

However the the big thing is I drive a mini-van…A MINI-VAN!!! Tom Cruise and George clooney driving through a redlight district in a mini-van couldn’t get any action. So it really doesn’t matter that much what I look like.

On the other hand…My children are growing up and are very active creatures. Video games are passe to them. two of them swim one spends his life on a skateboard. They camp, hike, run, bike and would like dad to be involved in thier lives. That’s motivation 1.

Motivation 2 is the other part of my family, the dark side. Adult onset diabetes, is nearly epidemic in this country and the top killer in my family. I have lost 2 grandparent, 3 uncles, 2 aunts through it.

Its not that I am afraid of dying. Put a bullet through my head tomorrow if you wish. I am ready. But if I have to go, I do not want to die a diabetic death. This disease, like heart disease, kills you a piece at a time. It takes your sight, your feet, your kidneys and so on…until you finally sit in a chair and beg for death to release you because you can’t do anything else. Not me.

I am nearly 40 years old and I started really doing diet and exercise 2 years ago. I dropped 30 pounds and cut my Chiolestoral and triglycerides in half since then. A freind turned me on to this sight.

I am hardly a body builder, but I think these people may be more serious about health than any other oragnization I have met.

So when I finally do kick the bucket, it will be when the bungee cords fails, not when my pancreas quits.

p.s. Is it possible for a 40 year old to increase in muscle mass? I am very faithful in the gym, but its mostly weight loss and weight maintenence. I am not big, never have been, but would be interested in trying a body building routine.

I train for my sport, I train for brute strenght and power. I traing for just looking good.

Yes to all of the above reasons for working out. As you age, your skeltal frame starts to break down. Muscles help keep you together.

Wannabe, I suggest you give Bryan Haycock’s Hypertrophy Specific Training program a try. With 40 years of lifting in my past, I am sold on it. I just started my third cycle today. After that, I think I will try a month of EDT and then back to HST. You can find Bryan’s website at hypertrophy-specific.com/about.html

Also be sure and check the FAQ site in the forum section. And, yes, you can put on muscle mass at ANY age. Go for it!

wannabee - You can add muscle size well after the age of 40. Check out this reference if you’re interested. I did part of the MRI analysis for this study during my Masters program.

Effects of age, gender, and myostatin genotype on the hypertrophic response to heavy resistance strength training.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2000 Nov;55(11):M641-8

Why train? many reasons, bud
berardi had it right (bastardized paraphrase)-it just seems natural to train the body to get big and strong. I train to foster my ego-to demonstrate to myself that I am the most determined motherfucker that I know. I train to look good naked-hell; I started training in the first place for woman, that’s just as important.
Essentially, I strive for betterment; I train to enrich my soul. It becomes a question of transcending yourself in pursuit of yourself.


Very well put.

I rationalize it all sorts of ways, but ultimately I think I train because I’m insecure.

I used to think it was about building self-esteem, or getting positive feedback in life. Then I thought it was because it was one area in my life over which I had control. Then I started to get off on the attention I got from people around me as I became the fittest-looking 43-year-old they knew.

But now I have to agree that it boils down to what the sage said: “It’s about looking good nekkid.”

I’d like to say that I train to look good for the womens. However, I have yet to meet a girl that cared that I worked out. Still, I guess there’s always that possibility.

Also, I don’t train for strength. Over the yearrs, I’ve realized that the less I worry how much I’m lifting, the better I train, and the more muscle I grow. I do try to consistantly increase the weight I use over time, but I don’t concern myself with the poundages.

So, why do I train? I do it for me! I feel good about myslef when I get my body into great shape. I also do it for the health reasons.

When i started i was 13 short and fat. No athletic inclination whatso ever. I was picked on the whole thing. Then as time progressed it has become the constant one major constant in my life. I now train for functionality as i have taken up jiu-jitsu, kick boxing, and vale tudo at the young age of 26. Also being in the Canadian Military i have to be ready for what my job throws at me also. To paraphrase Henry Rollins “…girlfriends come and go but the iron never leaves you, it is always there for you.”

When I said that I train for strength over appearance I wasnt making excuses or copping out. I was just stating that for me strength is more important.

The whole food comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. I do LOVE eating but I dont sit at hoe buried under a mountain of Big Mac wrappers!!!

I have done the whole six pack thing and been ripped but the effort one must put into looking that good just isnt worth the return in my opinion. I suppose it comes down to ones priorities. When I was younger( and vainer!!) having a six pack was my reason for being. Now my reason for being is to be able to eat a less restrictive diet and to train for fun( which means heavy and low reps for me).

Im happier to stay at a bodyfat of between 10 to 15 percent and not have to worry about every calorie, fat gram and the like.

what else is there to do? really though i do it more for the fact of what would happen if i didnt. What if a steel beam falls on me and it weighs 400lbs and i only bench 399? I need to be able to move things that are heavy.

I train for strength, appearence and soon for sport (when i take up fighting of some sort.)

It’s always good to be strong. If you’re strong but don’t look it then there is also a problem so, you need to appear to be strong. and for sports well skill and strength are the two major factors in involved for any sport.?

also when you have a nice body it helps with the females. Of course the women are hooked in by the look and then i back it with my sweet and charming personality haha ( i havnt had a chick in a while) haha

Naked. It’s all about looking like a stud butt ass naked.




"There’s very little advice in men’s magazines, because men don’t think there’s a lot they don’t know. Women do. Women want to learn. Men think, “I know what I’m doing, just show me somebody naked.”

~ Jerry Seinfeld

I’d vote for TC before I voted for Bush.

I want to be able to flip over a car.