“No pain, no gain” applies to any undertaking in life if we want to grow. If we want to gain muscle, of course we must push ourselves to failure to initiate the process of growth. And it is the same for anything in life that is worth achieving. Sometimes it hurts when we fail or fall down or exert ourselves. But if we learn from the process, it can only increase our spiritual and mental strength.
The Stoic philosophers have great relevance for athletes. They believed we could live a virtuous life by implementing a fitness routine based on discipline and self-reliance.They didn’t believe in lifting weights just to look good. They advocated lifting weights to lead a better life, according to the way of Nature.
The Stoics believed in keeping our bodies in good working condition and ready for action. One of their primary principles is that life is short. Therefore live your best life by building and maintaining your best body. The Stoic philosopher Seneca said, “. . . there are short and simple exercises, which tire the body rapidly and so save our time; and time is something of which we ought to keep strict account.”
When we apply a workout philosophy to our fitness routines, we are more apt to stick to the program. Random workouts based on how we are feeling at the moment, rarely produce consistent results. But if we go in with philosophy behind us, not only are our workouts more meaningful, they are also more effective.