When I started working out in 1969, lifters were considered ‘freaks.’ Lifting weights was considered a ‘freak’ thing to do because it wasn’t a mainstream thing. Things that don’t fit conventional thinking get classified as ‘misfits.’ The reason is fear of difference. Difference makes many people nervous. People get edgy if you’re different because of the Power of Conformity – the theory that gave us the 66% Rule: two-thirds of humans are conformists, susceptible to adopting attitudes and habits to join the crowd, even if they don’t fully believe in what’s being said or done. That’s why there are more followers than leaders. That’s why peer pressure will always exist in high school and into adulthood. Conformity is a force of human nature. It’s the main reason why many people fear anyone or anything that’s different.
In the 60’s, no one called you ‘freak’ behind your back – they did it publicly. They called you a ‘freak’ at school, at work, everywhere. No boundaries. The ‘freak’ label stuck until lifting became mainstream. But that didn’t happen overnight. Change in social attitudes usually happens in slow motion. The good news about the ‘freak’ label is that it’s a powerful brand. It separates you from the rest. Dual meaning. People will remember you if you’re a ‘freak’ as opposed to someone who blends into the mainstream, disappearing into the congested traffic of conformity.
Times have changed. Lifting is no longer considered ‘freakish.’ ‘Freak has evolved!’ During the past Christmas season, X Fitness broke attendance records. Record numbers of lifters worked out around the clock, at my gym, X Fitness. They broke last year’s record. Every midnight shift was packed with lifters packing on weight instead of packing on weight. ‘Freak’ has been re-defined. Lifting has become a way of life because lifting is a game-changer. Lifting is now the way to pack on weight instead of packing on weight.
It’s easy to get down in the dumps after the festive season, during the hangover of the January darkness and cold. It’s easy to feel like hell at the start of a new year. It’s easy to pack on bad weight but it’s never easy to pack good weight on the bar. Good news – lifting lights up the darkness. Lifting sets you on fire, turning up the heat inside even the coldest of souls.
The record-breaking attendance at X Fitness is another example of how attitudes have shifted by being #lifted. May you all find #peace and #lifting in 2015. #KeepLifting. #Lift yourself and #lift someone else. There’s no greater reward than lifting. #BlessingToAll #Peace
Thank you to Ron MacLean of Rogers Sportsnet Hometown Hockey (formerly of Hockey Night in Canada) for the December article he wrote. Here’s the link: http://www.hometownhockey.com/news/maclean-in-st-catharines-dionnes-great-assist/
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
Owner – X Fitness Welland Inc.
Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: www.ginoarcaro.com
His books include:
4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur
He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He just finished another book called “Lifter’s High.” Both will be released soon.