Finding Your Swagger

Back when I first started lifting, all of my gym crew at Gold’s Gym Capitol Hill in Washington DC would laugh at me.

They’d always say, “Damn Tank, you walk around this place like you’re the biggest dude in here!”

Truth be told I did make some fairly massive gains very quickly (40lbs of mass in about 4 months).  But I was far from the biggest or strongest dude around.

Maybe it was just a bad case of “air lats”, but in my head, it all came down to confidence.strength training

I was feeling and looking good.  I couldn’t be stopped.  I had serious swagger.

And that swag materialized itself into me making far more gains than I probably ever should have.

I was breaking Pr’s every session.

10 more pounds this set?  Better make it 20.

Need 10 reps?  F**k it, I’m hitting 14.

I was crushing everything.  That only led to more swag.  And the more swag I had, the more I crushed it.  It was a vicious cycle that has provided me some of the fondest memories I have of gym life and lifting.

Have you found your swag yet?

If you haven’t, you need to.

Having confidence in yourself in many cases will take you further than natural ability ever will.  My story is a prime example.  Within 4 months after my “lifting career” began, I was already outperforming guys who had been training for years, and it had nothing to do with me being a badass.  I was just too confident to know any different.  My jumps in weight and reps every session were 90% swag and 10% ability.  I was “riding the high”.

Swagger will carry over into “real life” too.  I’ve always been fairly reserved, but sociable if I wanted to be.  All of a sudden I was a mingling machine.  My energy levels were through the roof.  I was kicking ass at work and being put in charge of projects that were way beyond my skill and experience.

People gravitate towards confidence and they think “Wow, this dude has it going on.  He must be really successful.”  Confidence gets you places.  And above all, when you are confident you are happy.

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Swag can have a negative connotation.  Just remember, there is a difference between being confident and being cocky.  Nobody likes cocky and being that way just makes you come off as an asshole.  Find the middle ground and just remember to stay true to who you are no matter what.

So you want to get bigger and stronger?  Try boosting your swag first, and I’m sure the rest will follow.  Confidence breeds success.  Remember that.


— Tank

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