Scaling Strategies For Texas Sized Egos

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Today we’re going to talk about a simple scaling strategy for folks who sometimes let their ego dictate what they do at the gym, and often regret it the next day.

But Noah, you say, “My ego never gets the best of me! I don’t even have an ego?”



I’m not saying you’re Regina George or anything, but here’s my one question Buzzfeed quiz:

Have you ever said “Whoa, this looks tough, I’m gonna do X weight for the workout” and then looked over and saw someone else with a heavier weight on the bar and went “Ehhh, I can do 10 pounds more?” Well, you may have an ego.

Sometimes this is fine- it can push us to attempt something that maybe we were unreasonably avoiding. However, for a lot of people, you KNOW it’s a bad idea, and yet, you are helpless to resist- some itches just need to be scratched.

So, what to do? Well, you could spend a bunch of money and go on a silent meditation retreat where you contemplate the impermanence of life for a month, but I have a feeling you want something a little simpler. Ok, here’s my trick:

Choose your scales before you get to the gym.

Sounds simple, but it works. Take a look at the workout on BTWB and think to yourself, “Ok, I should probably do X weight for the deadlifts, and my hands are ripped up, so I’ll do ring rows instead of pullups.” Decide ahead of time, so that when you get to the gym you are simply executing a plan. If it helps, tell people beforehand that’s what you’re doing- let the coach know (or ask them if that sounds appropriate), tell your buddies so they know not to egg you on, tell the world. If you leave it up to a “heat of battle” decision, you will probably choose the ego-driven option, so decide in advance!

(Note: this does assume some level of understanding so that you know your capacity and common scaling options. However, ego is usually less of a problem for the folks who haven’t learned that stuff yet, so it kinda takes care of itself.)

How do you deal with the sweet whisperings of your ego at the gym? (Or in life!)