The 4 Motives To Why Do You Lift

Fitness & Training Tips
By Marek

About Marek

I believe that I haven´t reached my full CrossFit potential and have plenty of room for improvement, as an athlete and as a coach. Becoming a part of Ignite brings me a step closer to fulfilling my dreams and I’ll do my best to help all of you to reach yours.
What is it that motivates you to join the gym and lift weights?
I believe there are four different motives to why, and someone can approach lifting weights from any one of them.
The first motive is one of compliance.  This person believes they “should” lift. The “should come from the outside the person (doctor, family, friends..) For this person lifting is a sort of moral choice, they believe they are being good or bad by lifting or not lifting. Someone who lifts because of a “should” is doing so to avoid disapproval. Therefore this person will probably lift only when someone is watching and will tend to get out of workout when not under watch of the author of the “should”. Someone with this motive to lift can be identified as someone saying things like “I’m glad that’s over. Now I can say I worked out today.”
Lifting weights as a means to an end is the second motive. I “have to” lift. The lifter who lifts for this reason does so because of the following contingency: I “have to” lift in order to get what I want. This person is goal oriented. They want something and lifting is a way of getting it. Lifting is the price one has to pay. The “have to” lifters probably don’t like lifting and continue only as long as doing so seems to bring the goal closer. Once the goal is reached, this motive no longer serves. The key to understanding the “have to” motive is that the lifting is not done for itself, but for the attainment of something else.
In the case of the third motive to lift, lifting is done for the experience itself. This motive is I “want to” lift. Lifting  is done for the pleasure inherent in the act itself. It is a process and this lifter enjoys the process of lifting weights. This third motive to lifting weights is an intrinsic motive. It comes from inside one’s self and is based on the fun and good feelings which attend a workout. The person who lifts from this motive may lif for a long period of their life and is likely to look forward to training sessions.
The last motive for lifting weights is lifting weights as “a path of personal growth”. This motive is less common that the others. By “personal growth” I mean more than physical development. I mean growing which includes the entire being, this includes areas distinguished as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Using the lifting of weights as a medium one can explore one’s self,come to know one’s self more intimately, confront fears and conflicts and grow beyond these points. It can be a way of encountering one’s self at many levels and even confronting and working with unresulted psychological issues.
The four motives to lifting weights are, then, “I should,” “I have to,” “I want to,” and as a “path”. Each one reflects a more highly developed consciousness than the previous one.
These four motives for lifting weights do not always operate in pure form. It is not uncommon  for a given person to lift out of some combination of two or more of these.