Generation Iron The Fighter Dennis Wolf

Look Into My I’s – The Fighter

This is part 4 of the “Iron, Intelligence, Inspiration” series. Make sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


Darn right, iron training is tough. Fitness rookies and pros confront times when we need a kick in the rear to outlast our workouts. Now and then, we draw extra adrenaline from mental visualization. The “Look Into My I’s” Series illustrates how iron, intelligence and inspiration intertwine and, in turn, build a creative mentality of fitness achievement.

Iron lifters, whether they are freshman or seniors in the fitness “school of hard knocks,” use motivational techniques to attack gym sessions. Sometimes motivation comes from outside I’s — influences, incitement or items — external sources in the form of role models, tempting advertisements, or cool new gear/paraphernalia. But, when we look into our own I’s, we use intelligence to pull from internal sources of inspiration and unleash the power of our imagination to enhance our physical performance.

The principal philosophy: Mindset Fuels Gym Sets. Simply put, when iron training gets tough, you can imagine turning into a character or series of characters that help you toughen up. Who are these characters? Further analysis identifies the dominant, primary Motivational Archetypes: The Warrior. The Champion. The Machine. The Fighter. The Hero. Which one(s) are you, and when do you call upon your iron alter ego(s)?

Motivational Archetype Profile


The Fighter.


The Showdown.


The Fighter pounces onto the gym’s doorstep, fists clenched. Your entrance music is whatever plays on the overhead speakers — you don’t really care. The crowd of fans (other gym-goers) watches you enter the arena, as the gym transforms into a combat ring where you will tussle in the main-event matchup. The announcer’s voice in your head calls the opponents for the title match on the fight card: “You versus Everything Else” (i.e., the weights, dumbbells, barbells, equipment). The bell rings. Knuckles up. The fight is on.


Generally, you call upon the Fighter mindset when you suffer a loss that affects you mentally or emotionally. The subsequent workout is your way of “fighting back” against the hits you have taken. For instance, you lost a job or loved one. Someone wrecked your car or stole your computer. Someone denied your request for a loan, opportunity or relationship. Tired of getting “beat up” by life or others, the Fighter attacks his or her workout with the brute ferocity of a heavyweight contender. Every jab, punch or strike — i.e., every rep, set, and exercise — is retaliation, displaying the guts and tenacity of a survivor who rises after tragedy.

For the Fighter, the iron plays the role of the human punching bag, the hulking opponent grimacing at you from across the ring, intent on clobbering the breath out of you. Accordingly, the Fighter trains with added intensity, battling the iron, treating it as the moving target of your frustration and vengeance, which you are determined to defeat with a decisive knockout in the ultimate showdown.


Iron training, also known as “resistance training,” generates visions of opposing something that is imposing its will upon you; hence, it is easy to personify this struggle with imagery from combat sports — a modern MMA fighter in a mixed martial arts cage, or a classic pugilist in a boxing ring. The Fighter views interaction with the iron as a contest, vowing “I’m going to knock out my workout!’ or “I’m going to beat my best (or previous) lift (or performance) on exercise X.” You do not need a promoter, corner man or coach cheering you on. This is your personal fight: “Nor retreat, no surrender.”

As the last round draws to a close, the Fighter does not resort to clinch maneuvers in the final seconds of the bout. The true brawler keeps scrapping, swinging and throwing blows to KO your foe. Suddenly, you unload a vicious combination — left jab, right cross, left hook, gut punch — and the iron is down for the count. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… Victory! Your golden-gloved hand is raised as the ultimate fighting champion. You exit the ring, exhilarated, tougher than ever. Your sweat-soaked T-shirt proves the iron was no slouch and put up a good fight. But, when push comes to shove, it is the pound-for-pound, undisputed and still reigning champ who returns to the real world…and lives to fight another day. Congrats, slugger.

Remember, the next time you face a mirror and look into your eyes for motivation, you can do it (push it, pull it, squat it, lift it), whatever it is, if you put your mind to it.

Andrew Oye
Andrew Oye is an iron enthusiast, a media adviser, a preeminent professional, sports, bodybuilding, and fitness industry journalist. He is also a television, film, and entertainment creative director and writer. You can check out his official Facebook below: