Strength Comes From The Struggle

personal trainer, men's health, strength, motivation, fitness

What defines strength?

A young trainee asked me recently “What defines strength?  Where does your strength come from?”

I told him very simply that “My strength come from my struggles.”

He was very perplexed!

He wanted to know about physical strength.  Like how to bench press 250lbs or deadlift 450lbs.

But what I told him is what I will tell you.  Having physical strength is a great thing, but it is only half of what strength is.  Your true strength comes from your struggles. As the young folks like to say today, “The struggle is real!”

When you struggle in life, what do you do?

Do you quit?  Or do you keep grinding to get through what life is giving you at the moment?

When you struggle in your business, what do you do?

Do you run away from your very own business? Or do you endure the storm?

When you struggle in the gym what do you do?

Do you quit and go back to an unhealthy lifestyle because your legs are quivering after a hard set of squats?

Do you quit and go back to being sedentary because your arms are very heavy after those 5 sets of push-ups and pull-ups?

Or do you accept the fact the nothing worth anything comes easy? Will you continue to fight hard for your goals?

You cannot build a great physique without going through the struggle.

You cannot build a fantastic career without going through the struggle.

You cannot build your business without going through the struggle.

You cannot be in a relationship with someone long-term without going through the struggle.

What you do in these moments of being very uncomfortable will reveal how strong you truly are regardless of how much weight you can deadlift.

I know and have known many lifters and athletes who have supreme physical strength. Some possess strength that is superhero-like. But many of these athletes are very weak in the mind. Without their physical strength they are an absolute shell of a person.

I was never one to have extreme physical strength for the vast majority of my life.

But through my struggles in life, in training, and in my career, I developed strength.  I developed an unbreakable mental toughness that helps me get through very tough situations.

When I applied that mindset to my training I developed the physical strength that many trainees want.  I embraced very tough workouts. I embraced the challenge.  I embraced the pain.

Do not quit during your struggles.  Embrace them and grind hard to get through them.  You will feel exceptionally good about the person who overcomes the struggle vs. being the person that always quits when things get hard.

Losers always quit when things get tough.  We all know someone in life who is always starting something but never finishes.  It is a sad truth of life.

These people do not know how strong and great they can be if they would just stick to the plan and endure the turbulent weather.

You can apply this that to life, lifting, and love.  I have failed badly in all 3 of these arenas. The key is that you learn from your mistakes so that you will not repeat them. I have learned from mine and life has never been better.

Keep moving forward. As you work through your struggles your true and amazing strength will be revealed.


The People’s Trainer,


Written by Eric Brown

Profile photo of Eric Brown

Eric "Fitman" Brown, NASM CPT, PES, FNS, BCS, is a certified sports performance and physique coach, a 2x Men's Health Next Top Trainer Finalist, motivational speaker, published fitness writer, and owner of the Fitman Performance Training, a strength and conditioning business in Philadelphia, PA.

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