“Hardcore” workouts are not the measurement for our toughness. In the end, despite how angry and serious we look or how much teeth grinding we do in the gym, it’s just training.

I used to be an offender of this as much as anyone. I existed under the illusion that more “hardcore” my training was the more hardcore I was. “Oh man, I can’t sit on the toilet today after yesterday’s leg session”. I was basing my success on how “tough” I was in training.

This is Nelson pointing me: “Haaaaaaa-haaaa.”

Gym is not an outlet for aggression or built-in stress and tension. It’s a gym where we go to exercise because it’s convenient. Besides, we need another outlet for stress and tension. If we come to train with high stress our bodies never adapt to the stimulus we give it anyways.

Despite what Father Hetfield says, don’t try to fight fire with fire.

Training sessions can be tough

However, let’s avoid attaching fake meaning to that toughness. Depending on the situation the purpose of training and exercise could be to improve our strength, movement, fitness and health. That’s it.

It could even be to build some of those qualities for something that requires us to be hardcore and tough. Like being a first responder or in the military. In a setting that could actually be a life and death situation. That’s toughness.

But let’s not for a second think that just because we crushed 50 snatches in five minutes followed by a 5000 meter row that anyone else cares about it. No matter how many hashtags we insert into our Instagram post. Or how much we huff and puff after the session.

It was only training. We didn’t win the Earth back from the claws of a giant, fire breathing sea monster (that’s also a ninja). Despite the pool of sweat we most likely lay in.

No one cares. And those who do are only feeding our illusion of “hardcore”.

What did happen is that we lifted and rowed a lot in a climate controlled environment. Hurray.


“But, tough training builds tough characters”

Ok, as some Finnish people might say: “No it fucking does not.”

If we have to rely on the gym environment to build character, and I am sorry to hurt feelings here, we lack some real meaningful challenges in real life. Simple as that.

If we want character building let’s climb the Everest base camp, join the army, feed the poor, hitch a ride on Sea Shepard or work in an orphanage.

But no, pseudo hardcore mental toughness building in an artificial gym environment doesn’t count. It just doesn’t. Not even if we row really fast.