Can you remember the first time you discovered your love for strength sports? I definitely can.

My dad, an ex-college football player, used train me when I was growing up. I was 13 when he bought a bench press, dumbbells, and a harness for tire sprints. At the time, I never processed how much this first exposure to training would shape my life. Now, the more I grow and develop in my fitness-oriented career, I continue to call my dad and say thank you for starting this love. Thanks, for the obsession that continues to lead to great relationships, personal growth, and passion.

Everyone who immerses themselves in the strength sports world always have one thing in common – passion. There’s something to be said about those who prioritize developing themselves and others over most activities. And let’s face it: You don’t dive into strength without passion to back it up. Strength training in itself – whether it’s your career, sport, or hobby –  can be severely frustrating and even uncomfortable at times. The passion and obsession is what keeps us going. Strength sports can take the form of career, hobby, and even sport – no matter the case you’re in love and can’t get enough of the strength world. 

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1. Daily Thoughts

You constantly think about your current lifts, areas you could improve, and what your next goals will be. Every other thought you have is about your next step in the strength world. Whether you’re a casual gym-goer, athlete, or have a career in fitness, it doesn’t matter. Your mind is consumed by the strength sports world. You physically and mentally can’t get enough.

2. Nervous Energy

It feels overwhelming knowing how much information there is in this industry. With so many great media outlets, coaches, research, and methods – how can one person consume it all? In reality it’s impossible, but we can try. When you’re driven by passion, growth is a main priority. You begin to prioritize and create methods of digesting information on a daily basis. All of this leads to an excited, anxious feeling that has you constantly wanting to train, develop, and grow.

3. Always Curious

Curiosity comes in the form of continually watching others in the industry. This could be updating a site you follow adamantly or constantly scrolling your social media. “Who’s doing what, what’s happening now, and what am I missing,” begin to lead most of your daily actions when searching for information. Things happen so fast, there becomes a want to never miss a beat.

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4. “I Could Lift That.”

Throughout your day normal activities begin to transpire into strength sports thoughts. If you’re taking the stairs at work you begin to think about how you’re moving, or my personal favorite, take off in a dead sprint and time yourself. Every activity turns into something athletic or a competition, anything that relates to your passion with strength.

5. You Notice Others

You begin to notice things about strangers in normal life, this could be watching how someone moves and even other’s muscular statures. As you dive deeper into the strength world and learn more, there becomes an innate sense of the people around you.

6. You Talk A lot

Whenever something gets brought up in conversation that can even remotely could be spun into a strength conversation, you take it there. Before you know it a conversation that started about a football game this past weekend has taken a turn towards training concepts you’re currently learning about. In reality, those outside of the strength industry don’t want to hear about how you’re planning to hit your next deadlift PR – it doesn’t matter – you’re going to tell them about it. 

7. You Build a List

This list contains all of the people you inspire to be like. Everyone has athletes, coaches, and influencers they keep tabs on and align with. You’re drawn to these individuals for whatever reason and they help shape your outlook and philosophies. Whoever it is, there’s an energy that creates excitement behind keeping up with what they’re doing.

8. Create a Community

Overtime there’s a shift in the people you surround yourself with on a daily basis. This could mean hanging out at your gym more, meeting new people who have similar goals, competing in competitions, and even attending fitness networking events. No matter the scenario, you start to morph your daily life into a strength sports world.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.