CrossFit · Fitness · Olympic Weightlifting · Powerlifting

You Might be a Hardcore Lifter If…

  1. You have gone to a friend or family member’s house, opened the fridge, and asked, “What do you have for carbs?”
  2. You’ve been accused of abusing supplements or stimulants.
  3. Training for 2+ hours a day is normal.
  4. You go shopping for jeans, excited about how your new body will fit in them, only to find that not a single pair the oh-so-helpful salesperson brings fits your quads, hamstrings, or glutes. You end up asking if they sell any tights, to which they reply, “No,” and you leave disappointed and meet your friends for a beer in the same Virus tights or training shorts you left the gym in.
  5. Your shins and hands are effed.
  6. The only math you’re really good at is calculating percentages of your best lifts, adding in plates, or working in kgs. Perhaps also working in g of carbs, protein, and fat.
  7. You’ve eaten a whole chicken.
  8. You’ve slept at the gym.
  9. You are out visiting people and are offered food. If you aren’t cutting weight, you probably just say yes, because, food = fuel! If you are not so lucky you quickly assess your macros for the day to see if what they are offering fits. It doesn’t, so you politely ask with your best smile, “Do you have any, uhh… meat?”
  10. You own a singlet.
  11. You track your water in a 4L milk jug with markings on the side indicating how much water you should have consumed by a certain time of the day – either before competitions, or all the time.
  12. You need a picture of yourself for an event, and go through your photos realizing all of the recent shots of you are under a barbell. You wait until your next rest day to do your hair (and makeup) and put on regular person clothes to take the picture (OK, you are probably still wearing gym clothes, and it was probably taken at your training facility, but you look kind of normal).
  13. You think you can date someone who doesn’t lift, until you try it once. Not gonna try that again.
  14. People have said things to you like, “I wish I could look like you!” and then motioned to or looked at your arms and said, “well, maybe not quite like you.”
  15. OR they may have said to you, “I hope I never look like you,” to which you can reply, in the words of Arnold, “Don’t worry, you never will.”
  16. You video your lifts, not just to post on Instagram, but to watch technique or send to a coach, or maybe to send to that guy or girl who also lifts…because, 1) lifting is sexy and 2) as already established, you can’t date a non-lifter.
  17. When you do share about your training, your social media posts involve hashtags like, #moreplatesmoredates, #lesstwerkingmorejerking, or anything to do with #gainz
  18. The only time non-lifters ask you about your workouts is when they want to make jokes about how heavy your snatch is now, or how many times you could deadlift them.
  19. You get invited out for a function and you haven’t shopped for anything but gym clothes and lifting shoes in months, so you end up contriving ways to “dress up” your workout clothes. You’re sure that belt or scarf will have everyone fooled. You get to the door and are now confronted with the footwear crisis. You cringe inside as you put on a pair of leather boots or shoes and wonder if you can just go to the gym instead and put on your lifting shoes. “No,” you scold yourself; “you must go out into the real world sometimes.”
  20. You retire from playing the sports you used to love because they are interfering with your training, or leading to injuries that prevent you from training.
  21. People ask you if you are paleo, and you laugh and suggest you go for ice cream after your training session.
  22. Others feel the need to confess their inactivity to you, “I am just really busy with my career, so I don’t have time to workout,” as if you are the “holy person” of fitness. You are not this, so you offer the fastest, polite response possible, of course prescribing a barbell.
  23. You’ve been involved in a conversation about “how to eat more.” It might involve a statement like this: “You need to cut up your food before you start, bro. You only have a 20-minute window.”
  24. You have, more than once, had a massage therapist, chiropractor, tattoo artist, etc, comment on “the density of your back.”
  25. Your training sessions have the ability of making or breaking your day. You realize how each day of training has shaped your life. You are not the same person you were before you were a lifter. You are stronger – in every sense of the word. You have learned to push your limits. You have learned that we all set limits on ourselves that are much smaller than that of which we are truly capable. This realization has moved into all areas of your life. You no longer settle for a career that is less than the one of your dreams. You only choose the relationships that build you up. You embrace experience and opportunity over the status quo.
  26. You do not judge others based on whether or not they lift, but you are concerned when they are inactive, because you know the importance of movement for health. You admire the yogi, the gymnast, the marathon-runner, or the mom or dad who still makes time for exercise, for you know that they, too, have learned to push their limits – they just chose a different path. You chose to lift.

Pictured: Kanako Macdonald

Photo Credit: Chad Benko of Synergy Strength and Conditioning Saskatoon.

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