That’s what Rob (the owner of the gym where I work out) told me.
A couple of weeks ago Rob spent an hour with me teaching me about form, style and the methodology of proper weight lifting.
I took three pages of notes during that hour.
He told me that every exercise should have at least one warm-up set and consist of at least “two sets that really suck.” “Really suck” means they hurt! The body part you are exercising is screaming under the pressure!
Yesterday I worked out my legs. They were screaming! I worked them so hard that they actually failed to perform… they just gave out. They were so fatigued and sore that they couldn’t go anymore. That’s what a “set that sucks” looks like.
Today my legs hurt… BAD!
So why do “two sets that suck”?
Rob says that when you’re done exercising your legs (or any other body part) they leave the gym saying, “Whew! If he’s going to be moving that kind of weight, we’re going to have to grow!” And then they grow.
Gosh! There’s such a parallel here to the growth process required for development of every kind!
Want to grow spiritually? Do you want a specific character trait to develop? Are you interested in maturing? Then guess what?! You’re going to have to do “two sets that suck!”
Growth follows pain. If you aren’t interested in pain, you’re not likely to grow.
Don’t run from the pain in your life. Consider it one of the “two sets that suck” and watch how God uses the pain to develop you as a person.
The biggest growth follows the heaviest lifting!
CAVEAT: there is a difference between healthy and helpful pain and unhealthy and unhelpful pain. Healthy pain is inconvenient and makes you sore, but produces growth. Unhealthy pain breaks you and removes you from the game. Healthy pain is chosen and embraced. Unhealthy pain is often the result of bad form, inadequate preparation for the exercise, or ignoring the signals that the body is sending.
As you view pain as a tool for growth be sure to listen to your emotions, body, and spirit making sure that you are not crossing the line from healthy pain to unhealthy pain. Bill Hybels wrote an article entitled “Reading Your Gauges” that you may find helpful as you figure out where that line is for you. (click here to read the article).