Part One - Building Self Confidence through Weightlifting
1. Training for Marathons.
In theory you could do both, but lets explain why both of these activities are good for boosting confidence.
In the case of Marathon Training, running long distances does two things: 1. You see a noticeable increase in endurance, and that in turn boosts your confidence. 2. Long distance running releases a cocktail of endorphins and hormones into your bloodstream which act like drugs and produce what is known as "Runners High". The combination of progressively building endurance while being rewarded for your efforts with Runners High is a surprisingly effective way of building confidence. Actually running a marathon and then being able to say "I did it" is a bit like climbing a mountain, it is an incredible boost to your sense of self worth having accomplished what you set out to do. Doing multiple marathons, perhaps improving on your time as you progress means that you can see marked improvement as you get both faster and become a more efficient running machine. Unfortunately Runners High is also addictive, so be warned not to overdo it. (Anything over 100 km per week is considered to be an exercise addiction.)
In the case of Weightlifting the boosts to your confidence are multi-faceted.
- You still get a release of Endorphins and Hormones while weightlifting, although not to the same degree as Runners High does. The result is that many people who get really into weightlifting will experience an Endorphin High. Note - It isn't a high like being drunk or stoned. It is more a rewarding feeling of euphoria.
- After exercising many weightlifters will report feeling "unstoppable" for approx. 45 to 60 minutes after their workout because they are "so pumped up". This is a combination of both the endorphins and the feeling that they are physically bigger immediately after a workout.
- As time goes by your strength and endurance increase, and mentally you feel more capable and more confident about your physical capabilities. Be careful you are not over-confident however, that leads to foolish accidents.
- It is true that many weightlifters like to admire themselves in the mirror. Some perhaps a bit too much, but they are doing so because they are liking the results they are seeing. The confidence is there, building. Sometimes it might be over-confidence, so try to focus on staying humble.
- Use your strength to help people during your daily life. Suddenly helping someone carry a baby carriage down a flight of stairs doesn't seem so difficult and you feel good about doing it. Feeling stronger in your daily life will boost your own sense of self worth.
Tip #1. Be careful not to over-train. Over-training causes you to lose muscle mass and become weaker over time, because you are overdoing it. If you feel worn out, exhausted, completely out of energy after a workout then you might be over-training. A good way to prevent this is to take regular breaks, hydrate and to focus on a moderate amount of repetitions with a moderate amount of weight. Trying to do lots of repetitions and lift ridiculous amounts at the same time is just going to exhaust you, causing more harm than good. You will know you are over-training if you feel exhausted each time, and actually feel weaker as time progresses.
Tip #2. Keep a journal of how many exercises/repetitions you do each workout and focus on leaving the gym feeling pumped up instead of leaving the gym feeling exhausted.
Tip #3. If you are feeling ill, tired due to lack of sleep or less-than optimal on a particular day, try reducing the weight between 5 to 20 pounds and focus on building endurance instead of strength today. It is okay to have an off day.
Tip #4. Once in awhile, like once per week or once every two weeks, you should try lifting a new personal record. Each time, even if it less than you were hoping, you should write down your new personal best in your journal.
Tip #5. Eat healthy! This is perhaps the most important thing you can do. You cannot build a weightlifting machine by feeding the engine doughnuts and coffee filled with sugar and cream.
#6. Maintain Proper Form and Posture. Form is more important than weight or number of repetitions. Bad form leads to sports injuries. Good form builds muscle faster.
Part Two - Maintaining Self Confidence while Weightlifting
To explain this next part I am going to turn you over to the lady in the video further below who has multiple tips on how to maintain your self confidence by asking yourself several questions after your workout is over:
What did you do well?
What would you like to change or improve?
These questions are really geared towards making you a better weightlifter over time, but they also have the benefit of allowing you to evolve as a weightlifter and become better at it - and as a result it helps to maintain both your confidence and your motivation to keep lifting.
There are other tips for staying focused and staying confident while exercising. These tips include things like: Giving yourself a sports day once/week where you can go enjoy a fun activity outside instead of staying cooped inside in the gym all the time; Give yourself something to think about while you are exercising, like a mental puzzle or a mystery - this keeps your brain active on a task while doing the physical activity. eg. I like working on ideas for future projects in my head (whether they be woodworking, writing, artistic or even poetry) while I am weightlifting; Lastly, listen to music. A few good songs that make you feel excited to exercise certainly help keep you focused and enjoying what you are doing. Need more help? Hire a personal trainer.