The warrior blog headerLook into my “I’s”

By Andrew Oye


Iron training is not easy, nor should it be. Granted, beginners need encouragement to enter the gym, but iron lifestyle devotees occasionally need a push to persevere through workouts as well. We often give ourselves this physical propulsion via mental visualization. This series illustrates how iron, intelligence and inspiration intertwine and, in turn, feed a creative mentality of fitness achievement.

Whether amateur or avid iron lifters, we utilize motivational techniques to endure our gym sessions. Sometimes motivation comes from outside “I’s” — individuals, indulgences or idols — external sources in the form of a trainer/coach, adrenaline-pumping music, or our favorite fitness icon. However, when we look into our own “I’s”, we use intelligence to pull from internal sources of inspiration and harness the power of imagination to enhance physical performance.

The overarching philosophy: Mindset Fuels Gym Sets. Essentially, in the face of serious iron-training reality, imagination transports you to a virtual reality where you embody a character or alternate between characters that drive you to completion. Who are these characters? Upon analysis, we grasp the power of the 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)?



The Warrior.

The Conquest.

The Warrior storms into the gym prepared to defeat an opponent. Depending on which type you identify with, the gym transforms into a battleground where you will wage war. To the classic Warrior, it appears as the landscape of an ancient empire. The primal Warrior envisions the plains of an endangered frontier. To the modern-day Warrior, it looks like the stomping grounds of an urban jungle. The Warrior of the future sees the remnants of a post-apocalyptic terrain. Once the scene is surveyed, you courageously capture your prey — weights, dumbbells, barbells, machines — and the conquering commences.

Generally, you call upon the Warrior mindset when confronted with something you must overcome. Perhaps you have hit a plateau in your training and need to jump new heights to reap maximum benefits. You might have a non-fitness goal outside of the gym that, from a distance, appears unattainable, and you need the boost of confidence that training provides. Accordingly, you become the Warrior to destroy seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In the Warrior’s mind, every pitch of your spear, swipe of your sword, or block with your shield — i.e., every rep, set and exercise – represents a constructive strike toward your mission.

For the Warrior, the iron serves a triple role. The iron is the enemy you fight against and, simultaneously, the iron becomes the weapons you use to fight your battle. And, in a final ironic twist, you use these weapons of iron against your own body, punishing your muscles, with the aim of forging a stronger physique.

Although fitness can oftentimes be an individual pursuit, the Warrior becomes part of a fitness army or tribe of fellow Warriors, encouraging each other with war cries, such as “Kill that set!” or “Slay that workout!” Distinct from the concept of warfare in actual society, being labeled a “warrior” is a compliment within the fitness society, and in the culture of iron Warrior-dom that touts time-honored qualities like strength and bravery.

At last, having fought for a greater cause — in this case, your personal improvement — the Warrior leaves the battlefield, with the vision of a decimated warpath left behind in your wake. Chest lifted, head unbowed, you reemerge in the real world, still proudly cloaked in the Warrior uniform: the sweat-drenched gym T-shirt that proves you earned the gift of that particular day you were given to roam the earth.

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 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.

Visit his website at:

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