5 Ways To Create An Edge In The Gym


By Eric Martinez

March 2012-

The gym can be an overall intimidating environment for many people. Big fancy machines, heavy weights, no idea what they are doing, competition, guys screaming and slamming weights, the list goes on. Those are some of the reasons people don’t join gyms these days, it’s also why people prefer small studios, boot camps, or small group training, there is a sense of fear and intimidation in them for some reason when being in a mainstream gym setting. A gym is not meant to scare people, it’s meant to help you achieve your health and fitness goals and live a healthier productive life, too many people quit to frequently, and usually the excuses are very lame! In this article I will be sharing my 5 ways to create an edge in the gym, these 5 tips will help you go a long way with your health and fitness goals and the word “Quit” will no longer be in your vocabulary.


1.)  Have a Plan: When I say have a plan, I mean have a map that pertains to your health and fitness goals before even beginning your journey in the gym. If you want to shed fat, gain muscle, get stronger, ect. You must have a plan of what you want to achieve in the gym, I can’t tell you how often I see people just wandering around the gym lost going from machine to machine or just chit chatting. Have your workout written down in your workout journal before hand, this way you will know what you need to get done, and always track your progress(reps, sets, and how you felt that day) this will help you go a long way trust me. A gym is not a social scene, it’s a place you should take serious and get work done for your benefit. I can’t stress how important it is to have a plan before starting the gym; most trainers will help with this, if not than hire a true professional. So map out a solid plan that you know is realistic and dig deep and attack it!

2.)  Mental Toughness: Mental toughness is something that takes time to build up; it doesn’t happen overnight, it comes through hard work and perseverance. Mental toughness comes through punishing work and with that, perseverance can be taught. Without mental toughness, you are always susceptible for a breakdown no matter how big you are or how good you look. Knowing you can overcome adversity is the greatest strength of all. Mental toughness is not for sale, it is not given to you either, you have to earn it! Mental toughness can take you a long way, both in and out of the gym, I highly suggest everyone to get mentally tougher, especially in these tough economical times. The more mentally tough you are, you will have more fight in you, have more pride, and you will be able to accomplish more overall in the long run.

3)  Intensity Level: The intensity of your workouts may be the most important tip. When I say intensity level, I mean when you are in that gym for 1-2 hours a day, you better be going all out, level ten status, through the roof intensity baby! The reason why I stress intensity so much is because why not get the most out of your workout and challenge yourself, why go through all of the trouble of eating clean, setting up your plan, and taking time out of your day to go train if you are not going to give it your all when you are there? I see so many people at gyms going half ass on their workouts, and I just don’t get it. You have to have that mind set of “I am going to outwork my competition today, no matter what.” By outworking others, you create an edge and earn respect, than you gain a physical and mental edge as well. Another great tip to use to get your intensity level up is if you are having a bad day, week, or just life experiences overall, than use that to get you fired up and work your ass off! Get mad at the weights!

4.)  Train Intelligently: This tip can go a long way and is very important to use. By training intelligently you should know when it’s time to quit during a workout. Many people over do it in the gym by lifting way too heavy and bad posture. Check your ego at the door, understand that results take time in the gym, they don’t happen overnight, be smart about the type of training you are going to do. If you can’t hit the amount of weight you want to, then save it for next week, the weights aren’t going anywhere. As for proper form when doing a particular exercise, please do it right, don’t cheat yourself because half the time you aren’t even training the target muscle you want. Don’t go into the gym and start lifting the heaviest weights, dynamic warm-ups should be performed first thing for no less than 15 minutes. You have to get your blood flowing and muscles loose, the last thing you want to do is get injured. Also, please work on your hip, ankle, scapulae, and thoracic spine mobility from time to time. This will only benefit your mobility in the long run. So train intelligently folks and I promise the results will come, patience and hard work is key!

5.)  Love the process, not the product: Embrace your journey to your goals, we often want things “now”, but they always don’t come now. Sometimes it takes months, years, or many years. So we might as well enjoy the ride. Find joy in the process, love the process, and be ready to take on any detours that come your way. Never, ever give up in the gym, look back on the mental toughness tip and you won’t want to quit, you will want to succeed. If you are healthy and have no deficiencies in your health, quit your bitching and do work! It’s all a process ladies and gentleman, it’s a matter of how bad you want it and everyone is capable of achieving in the gym. 

“Live a Dynamic Lifestyle”