My blog series that dives into the Knockout Gym Rules continues today with…Leave Your Ego at the Door. While most may associate ego in the gym with men grunting and competing with each other to lift heavier and punch harder, woman are just as guilty of this. It’s not always easy to admit you don’t know how to do something or can’t perform a drill as well as the woman next to you so often out of fear we act as if we are better than we are.
When fear is driving the bus we get nowhere. Fear wants you to act like you’re the shit so no one makes fun of you. Fear wants you to punch harder or faster than you should so no one thinks you are out of shape. Fear wants you to lift heavier and try that more advanced combo so you don’t look like the weak one or newbie. Fear basically wants you to do anything in your power to protect you from looking “less than”. Fear is all about ego so you don’t have to be present or vulnerable.
While none of us enjoy being the new girl, the less skilled one, or not as strong or “in shape” as others, when we try to protect ourselves from reality we end up losing. So many times I’ve seen woman injured, frustrated and making zero progress because they are more worried about ego than accepting where they are at and learning.
It takes courage to leave your ego at the door. Others may find out you who the “real you” really is. You have to be in the moment, present, exposed and vulnerable. You have to show others you don’t know what you are doing, you aren’t ready to add that next punch to the combo, or you can’t yet effectively add five pounds to that bar. You have to be real.
Here’s the deal…making progress is the gym takes time, patience, dedication and focus. It takes a mind-body connection. It takes mastery. It takes humbleness. Of course we need you to push beyond those self-imposed limits, but not to the point where you have shit form and are doing more than you are actually capable of. You need to do things properly. Your correct execution of movement patterns is key to successful training and results.
Don’t worry if the woman next to you is lifting more weight or adding on the next part of a punching combination…she’s not you! Don’t worry if the woman next to you is punching faster or harder than you…she’s not you! You don’t have to compete with her; you only have to compete with yourself. You know what you need to focus on, what your limits are, and what your intention is. Your training is your business and her training is her business. Don’t confuse the two!
Your ego doesn’t want you to slow down or focus. It just wants you to not look weak, new, vulnerable or “less than”. The problem is ego holds you back. It forces you to ineffectively do more than you should which leads you to having bad form/technique, injuries, overtraining symptoms, and ultimately slows down your progress.
I see students all the time adding on the next pieces of a combo when they haven’t mastered the first part, or adding more weight to a lift than they should. While it’s good to challenge yourself, if your ego is leading the way and you aren’t focused on getting it right you will end up stagnant or moving backwards. So if you want to make progress in the gym and get the most of our your training time…Leave Your Ego at the Door! Don’t worry about what others around you are doing, don’t worry about what others will think of your performance, just worry about you! Focus on getting it right! Keep your head in the game! If you want to become a better lifter, boxer, runner, etc. your job is to master your craft and stay in tuned with your body…and there is zero room for ego if you are doing that.
Jessica Storch, MA is a boxing coach, personal trainer, health coach and owner of Knockout Women's Boxing Club in Westmont, IL. Her mission is to empower women to be their best through the sport of boxing. She promotes a health focused mentality and encourages women to let go of the diet mentality. Jessica believes weight loss doesn't equal health and works with women to support them in building healthy lifestyles and happy lives.