So I asked her mid-rep on the cable rotation, “Do you strut a little?” She replied with a laugh “No…what do you mean?” I replied to her, “After a workout, do you strut out of here. Do you feel good about yourself, proud of your accomplishments and already thinking about the next session? “ My reply prompted another giggle and at that point, I realized I had failed to come up with the proper descriptor
for what I meant and left it with “You’ll know when you get there because when you do, the way you look and feel about working out will be changed forever.”
The best parable I can tell to help you understand swagger is the story of the 1999 St. Louis Rams. The laughing stock of the National Football League for years, no one saw them coming as they appeared out of nowhere to dominate the league and defeat the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl. How did they complete such a dramatic turnaround? They changed philosophies, hired new coaches and brought in some new personnel. They were consistent with their approach and they began to win. Not just win, but win in impressive fashion. Their offense was unstoppable. They were given the name “The Greatest Show on Turf” and with every win, they became more and more confident. Not arrogant but confident and without anyone telling them it was time, it happened.
They developed their swagger.
When you strength train on a consistent basis, you change. Not just physically but mentally. As your body becomes stronger, more powerful, leaner and more toned, so does your mental strength, self-esteem and confidence. For example, when many people join a gym they are self-conscious or feel inferior to others who they feel are fitter than they are. This ends, no matter your true fitness level or
physique, when you develop your swagger.
Now, there are some rules to follow:
1. There is no time table for when your swagger will arrive. Mostly, it is up to you because it is a direct effect of how hard and consistent you train.
2. Do not forget your gym etiquette. Just because you now BELIEVE you belong at the gym doesn’t mean you own physical property. Please share equipment just like you always have and wipe off your sweat. It’s just nice.
3. Selfies are acceptable and encouraged to help build swagger but please refrain from posting pics to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram each and every time you workout. Checking in, however, is totally acceptable and will help build virtual support from your friends and followers.
4. Don’t use chalk. Ever. Unless you enter powerlifting contests there is no reason for it other than making a mess. Also, please avoid excessive noises and speaking so everyone in the gym can hear your conversations.
5. Finally, with great power comes great responsibility. As your swagger builds remember there are others that have not yet developed their super powers of confidence. Be kind, encouraging and supportive so they too may build self-esteem and confidence. Don’t be the lunk-head jerk at the gym because even the swagger-ized finds their behavior inappropriate.
The dictionary gives a rather unflattering definition of swagger such as arrogant self-confidence; bragging or boasting. That, my friends, will make you the villain. But having a quiet self-confidence is important to your success. Not just in the gym but in life. Proper swagger will allow you to walk taller, look people in the eye, handle adversity, increase odds of getting that promotion or getting the pretty girl in marketing to say “yes” when you ask her out!
Get strong, build self-confidence and watch the way you carry yourself change overnight!