Most of us don’t realize it, and many really never will, but there is a certain psychology in working out that leads people to not only desire bigger, stronger, and more defined and aesthetically pleasing set of biceps, but also crank out the needed willpower and commitment to actually engage in long-term exercises.
Pyschologists the world over have been fascinated by the human psyche involved when deciding to drop the procrastinating ways of the sloth-driven house mouse and to instead grab the barbells and start pumping away till their biceps bulge more than their buttocks.
The reasons for this behavioral shift may very well have been unearthed by tireless research and some uncanny surveying skills. The following are some of the interesting findings of discovering the psychology in working out.
Strength in numbers has always been a very influential factor in explaining why we do what we do. Whether in debates, thrill-seeking, and yes, even bicep workouts, there is that subconscious factor of belonging in a stable group that influences which side of the argument one wants to debate in, what forms of adventure and thrill-seeking one decides to partake in, and of course, why people engage on exercising.
Well, psychologists and anthropologists explain that humans are social creatures and much of the everyday things that people are do are governed by the approval, acceptance, and participation of their peers. Building your biceps is not exempted from this.
You see your best friend working out in the gym for two weeks now and you have noticed a considerable improvement in his gun packs. You suddenly get the urge to do the same and keep yourself at even footing with him or even surpass him. The social butterfly in you, as well as the competitive bee, is spurred into action in this instance.
Abraham Maslow describes this as the need for belongingness. After all, we’ve all had moments wherein we felt we did not “fit in” among the different social strata of high school, so we should be able to relate in some way.
Some couples engage in mutual exercising of whatever muscle group they care to acknowledge because researchers have also found that the rush of chemicals and hormones like endorphins stimulate the “feel good” receptors that elevate the mood of the couple. Sharing this sort of elation in exercise actually helps them stay attuned to each other and increase their sense of belongingness and understanding of each other, ultimately leading to a more healthy and stable relationship.
Others, total strangers perhaps, are spurred into workout action by simple observation of their fellow gym-goers. When one notices that another, particular someone of his own category, has been breaking his sweat at the barbells, he might want to subconsciously do the same or better, much like the previous example.
Psychology and society indeed have a knack of figuring us out even when we don’t want them to. For something as personal as a decision to take up the weights for a bigger bicep display, who would have thought that our unconscious mind had been the real culprit, and that our say in the matter may very well have been pre-destined by our primordial way of thinking? Psychology in working out is truly both marvelous and frightening at the same time.