The Spectrum

Whether you realized it or not as soon as you decided to take an interest in bettering yourself through improving your physical well being you became a part of a spectrum. At one point on this spectrum there is you, and at other points there are countless other people of varying degrees. Something cool to think about is you now have something in common with all these people. You all share a common desire to better yourself whether it be weight loss, becoming stronger, running further, etc. But why is it some people seem to end up having more success than others, and how can you have that same success? Below are a few pictures of a very successful weightlifter throughout his career.


Matthias Steiner

"Matthias Steiner". 2002 JWC.
“Matthias Steiner”.
2002 JWC.



Phil Walter. "Steiner - Athens" . GTY.IM 55812105. 2004
Phil Walter. “Steiner – Athens” . GTY.IM 55812105. 2004



Randall J. Strossen. "Matthias Steiner: The Strongest Man on Earth". Photo. 2008 August 19th 2008.
Randall J. Strossen. “Matthias Steiner: The Strongest Man on Earth”. Photo. 2008 August 19th 2008.

Clearly Steiner did not start out lifting 567 lbs like he is in the last picture to win the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The point I’m trying to make is that everyone is at there own point on the spectrum, and wherever that may be there is always going to be people in front of you, behind you, moving faster than you, moving slower than you, going in circles, or standing still. But regardless of where you are on the spectrum your best will always be the high point on your place in the spectrum. If you had a physical print out of everyone’s training or life spectrum at one point they were at the same point you were. There would be a few other things you would notice on this physical print out. You would notice that no one is a natural at anything but rather their training successes and failures had been shaped by an entire lifetime of events.


I once read an article on the website where a question was posed to professional level weightlifters around the world about how and why they started weightlifting. One of the most interesting reasons for starting weight lifting was the following: “when I was a child growing up if you were a weightlifter you would receive meat in your meals at lunch-time where non-weight lifting children only received rice”. If this were the option you were presented with how do you think it would change your training? Think about anything you are working towards or trying to do in your life, then think about if how well you did it directly correlated to the quality of life you had (wait….).

Next time you look at someone who you think is more successful who has better numbers than you do don’t think “I” suck compared to them. Instead think about where they must be on the spectrum of things and how long they’ve been at it to get the results they have. Think about what possible outside pressures and factors might be going into their success. You’ll realize they’ve probably been working very hard for a very long time. They have probably made it through some kind of adversity or hardship (Life) to get to where they are. Whether you just want to lose weight, go to the Crossfit games, live a healthier lifestyle, be your own boss, keep working at it, you’ll get there if you keep going.