During my 28 years on Earth I have experimented with all sorts of things to seek happiness.
I’ve spent time and money drinking booze and using other mind altering substances.
I’ve spent time and money traveling, staying in hostels and meeting exciting people from around the world.
I’ve tried many different fitness related activities – running, sports, yoga, various fitness classes and unfortunately crossfit.
I’ve tried all of these things but all of the happiness I have gotten from these experiences has been temporary. I needed something that would allow me to continually progress and become a better person.
I’ve always known in the back of my mind that fitness is the key to continual self improvement and therefore higher confidence and a happier life. Even though I knew this, I could never stick to something for more than a few months. This was frustrating because it was something I knew that I needed, I just didn’t know the best way to start.
That was until I found Strength Camp.
One fateful day I was in a celebratory mood at work and decided to go get a cigar on my lunch break. As I’m walking into the cigar bar, a man opens the door for me and I look at him and realize I know him from somewhere. It took about half a second to register that I had only seen him on my computer before. I believe the exact words out of my mouth were “Oh Sh*t, you’re the guy that makes the videos online, Elliott right?”
The god damn youtube celebrity Elliott mother f*****in Hulse was right there. I had seen a ton of his videos that explore topics related to fitness, mindset and self improvement. I figured he was visiting on vacation but turns out him, his family and Strength Camp are all right here in beautiful St. Pete, Florida.
After noting this in the back of my mind, it took me another 6 months or so to actually come to my first Strength Camp class. It was honestly a little intimidating at first to go to a place to workout where I knew no one. One day my friend’s roommate mentioned that he had been going there and that I should check it out. My first day there I realized that this sort of program was exactly what I needed.
Before I went to my first class, I watched some of their videos online to try to get an idea of what it was about. What’s interesting is I was motivated by seeing a pretty overweight guy in the video putting in work. I thought damn this guy is getting it, I should be too. If anyone out there is overweight and feels like they’re too far gone, just know that you’re the exact type of person that inspired me to get going and commit to this lifestyle I now enjoy. Even though I would be in much better shape if I paid more attention to my diet, I have managed to make some progress I feel good about.
No matter where you are in your fitness journey, you will find an extremely welcoming environment when you walk into Strength Camp. The management here does a great job of hiring on the right people to push you and make you want to keep coming back for more. The workouts are intense enough to make you feel accomplished yet not so crazy that you feel like you can barely move after. I’ve found that a program with this level of difficulty is perfect for me to stay consistent with my workout routine.
I know a lot of people are deterred from beginning their fitness journey in the first place for all sorts of reasons. I personally took a long time getting into weight training because I had no idea where to start and didn’t know anyone that could give me advice. There is so much information online regarding fitness routines, form, different types of diets etc that it was paralyzing. For that reason I am thankful that I found Strength Camp to just get me started with the fitness aspect while I figure out the rest of the details as I go. Truth is if I tried to do everything right at first I never would have started at all.
Strength Camp has a mission statement that is short yet powerful. They advocate becoming “The Strongest Version Of Yourself”. The idea is to become the best version of yourself, both physically and mentally. If you’ve ever taken a psychology course you’ve probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This theory states that there is an order of operations to becoming a more complete human being. It starts with the needs of safety and security being fulfilled. You then progress to social belonging – both with family, friends and intimacy. After that you need to gain self esteem by being respected – This may come in the form of a job or a hobby. At the top of the pyramid is Self Actualization which is essentially the same as the idea of being the strongest version of yourself. At this point you have fulfilled all of your needs and you are able to give back to help other people fulfill theirs. In my opinion, this quote illustrates the idea of Self Actualization very succinctly “What a man can be, he must be”.
I think this is a much needed vision in a world where many folks are complacent and unhappy, seeking external stimulation to find happiness. I’m guilty of this myself – Drinking too often and passively taking in mindless entertainment on the internet are the two habits that detract me from reaching my full potential. With that said I am aware of this and instead of being upset about my downfalls, I focus on being grateful that I have a program like Strength Camp to help me work towards a better version of myself. Of course nobody is perfect, but it is the people who are striving to improve that will always be ahead of the game.
There is no debate – Strength training will help you build your confidence. Why is this important? Here’s another short quote for you “As is our confidence, so is our capacity”. We all want to be able to reach our full potential and building the confidence to get there is the only way we will get there.
I’ve found that weight training is the most simple way to commit to positive change and self improvement. Don’t mistake simple with easy – Training is not easy but it provides a simple blueprint to improve. This is especially true when you can just show up to class and trust your coaches to warm you up properly and workout the right muscle groups. The coaches here are always encouraging you to improve and try harder. They make it a point to ask you if you’re coming back the next day. With this sort of encouragement it’s easy to make weight training a habit.
When you create a habit out of weight training you notice that you are always improving in at least one area of your life. Even when the hard times come, you know that you can work through it. Many days I’ve felt weighed down with stress from personal and/or work situations. I’ll pay attention to the difference in my energy and mindset before and after my workout. It usually goes from “damn life is stressful right now” to “OK I have a lot of good things going for me and we’re going to make this work”. It’s my magic pill, I just show up for class and know that I need to finish to get my mind right.
I believe the creation of Strength Camp was the result of the Self Actualization mindset. Elliott Hulse & Chris Barnard started this movement to help people rise up and become “The Strongest Version of Themselves”. When you provide this environment you are encouraging people to reach their own Self Actualization, which means they will ultimately create something that gives back to others and help their people rise up as well.
As of this year Strength Camp has started to franchise out and they currently have 7 new locations in different parts of the US & the UK. One of their interns is also in the process of opening up a location in Vancouver, Canada. I think this may be the next big fitness trend not simply because they have an awesome workout routine, but because the idea of growing stronger both physically and mentally is a concept that appeals to a lot of people.
I can’t stress enough that anyone can do this so don’t be afraid. You may have some pre-conceived notions about the type of people that like to do strength training and feel like you won’t fit in. Throw all that out the window and come give it a shot.
Do you want to come check out a class with me? Give me a call or shoot me a text 727-307-1111 and we can arrange a time to both go get our sweat on. No one ever says I wish I wouldn’t have done that workout. I hope this blog post opened up your eyes to the possibilities of making a big change in your life for the better. Thanks for reading!