Go Ahead, Do a Little Ego Lift
I used “ego raising” as an insult. Some dude load all the plates onto the bar and do deadlifts with a rounded back? Bend and put your hips in it? He’s clearly doing it wrong, making me the best, even if I can’t get off the ground even half of his deadlift.
But now the situation has changed and I may be raising my ego. I love to do heavy gram exercises. I’m happy to show some cool stuff that doesn’t reflect how I train most of the time. And the more I see the term “ego rise”, the more I catch myself thinking: good , and what’s wrong with that?
What is ego raising anyway?
In simple terms, raising your ego is when you are trying to show off at the gym . This is the term people will use to describe your climb if they think you are trying to impress them but they are not.
According to his critics, the disadvantages of ego lifting are that you are using “too much” weight, that you can hurt yourself, and that your shape is not perfect. They may criticize that you would build more muscle if you used a different exercise or better form, thereby forcing your ego to raise a combination of useless, ineffective, and dangerous.
But my more cynical side sees it differently. Of course, there are people in the gym who do unreasonable things. But there are also people who look at a big lift and try to derail it because they feel insecure or jealous. It helps them feel better about their place in the universe if someone stronger than them is doing it wrong, or if someone bragging is not worthy of attention.
Any of these people can tell you the disadvantages, so let’s look at the positive aspects of raising the ego. Maybe you have ideas for your next workout.
Good to try
Sticking to the same exercises you’ve always done with the same weight is safe and comforting. But when you step out of your comfort zone, you learn a thing or two about yourself.
If you’ve ever squatted only five reps, someday load up a little more weight and see how much you can actually squat if you don’t have to do four more reps after that. If you see someone making an unusual or steep climb, give it a try. Maybe you can do what you thought was impossible.
Or it may not work. This is fine. But when you try, you learn something about yourself. The first time I did the 135 deadlift was because my husband asked me to try it. “No, I can’t,” I said, and he said, “Prove it.” I grabbed the bar and was shocked like no other when I pulled and it rose . I no longer shy away from problems; Since then I have pleasantly surprised myself dozens, maybe hundreds of times.
Many of us can lift a lot more than we think, so put a fucking weight on a barbell and see what happens.
It’s good to do what you’re proud of
There is nothing wrong with flaunting. Every competition is an invitation to people to brag, and I don’t mean just weightlifting or powerlifting. Professional basketball players brag about playing in front of a crowd and not in a local park. We just went through a whole damn Olympics where people were bragging about the amazing things they can do, and we rallied behind them and honored them for it.
You, too, can do what you are proud of. If you’re in a race, post a picture of you smiling at the finish line. If you’ve gained strength in the gym, show us what that strength is for. If you’ve mastered a skill, show us all how your hard work has paid off. I love it (I’m serious, tag me on Insta , I want to see it!)
I have had people tell me that my social media posts about weight lifting inspired them to try weightlifting, or do whatever aspect of fitness they thought they would enjoy, or told me that my antics brightened their day. In the same way, I feel about the achievements that I saw in my friends and acquaintances, as well as in athletes that I have never met.
It’s nice to do what you are proud of. It’s fun to work on something that you want to be proud of. After all, this is the nature of training. You are pursuing a goal. And it’s up to you to decide if your goal is an official competition, or trying to 1RM in front of your gym friends, or something tricky but silly like doing a Turkish kayak suit .
How to use ego lifting forever
So how do you reconcile these benefits with criticism of ego-raising? Simple: we pay attention to whether we are meeting our own needs before thinking about how we communicate our achievements to others.
Don’t confuse training days with testing days.
A satisfying ego lift is what you do to demonstrate the strength you have acquired, but it is not primarily a substitute for building that strength in the first place. If you increase your bench press to maximum weekly, then pretty soon your bench press results will stabilize.
Prioritize the long term over the short term. Most of the time, you should just do boring work that makes you stronger. And sometimes you can raise your ego a little as a pleasure.
Do what you trained for
People like to criticize anyone who does one rep and is not in perfect shape. But as you know, if you’ve ever tried one thing, one rep won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. Harm themselves in the gym a lot harder than it is done by the coaches in their seats.
But all bets will not be accepted if you are doing something that is radically different from what you were training for. If you’ve never squatted in your life, don’t overload the bar with max leg press and expect to be able to get out and squat. Be sure to try new things, but be careful how you approach them.
Be honest with yourself
If you’re going to do a big squat but are so afraid of failing that you don’t even try to break the parallel, that’s not an impressive squat, is it? Consider if you are proud of your accomplishments before deciding that they are worth celebrating with others.
However, it’s up to you to decide what to be proud of. If you’ve struggled with depth squats, you might want to show the world heavy squats that are a little high. Just make sure you prioritize your goals for yourself over what you want other people to think of you.
Recognize your jealousy and use it productively.
Ironically, raising the ego is perceived as attention-seeking behavior, and yet we use it for careful introspection. But I think it makes sense. Ego uplifting is ultimately about you, and it’s important to think about what accomplishments you value and why.
If you find yourself competing with someone else – maybe he’s doing the deadlift a little more than you – it might be great if the other person pushes you to train harder and dream big. It’s not great if you just see someone doing what you wish you could do and then simmer in jealousy.
It’s up to you where you attach your ego. If you’re fixating on other people’s accomplishments at the expense of your own learning, it’s time to find a new way to focus your work and your goals. But if filming yourself doing big climbs is a way to challenge yourself, connect with a community of friends and teammates, and forge healthy relationships with your opponents, then I’m saying, do it.