Temperance is just one characteristic of a good guy.
It means to curb your alcohol intake, but it can also refer to moderating your mood, thoughts, or actions.
What then, does temperance have to do with working out?
When guys at the gym tweet, Facebook post, or even a take #selfie for Instagram, the associated word most often used is #beastmode. Who doesn’t want to be the Hulk at the gym? It’s the best place to release stress, anger, and pent-up aggression. Whereas the Hulk is unbridled rage, temperance is a character trait involving restraint, and you can use it for your benefit in the gym. Every top bodybuilder exercises some form of restraint in the gym because the best growth comes from controlled movement, good form, and a balanced body.
If you’re new to the gym, I remember the intimidation I felt the first time I walked in. I felt so small and inexperienced, but even the biggest of the meatheads has some respect for you making the effort to be there….unless you take too much time on the bench, use the squat rack for bicep curls, or act like you spend two hours at the gym when you really are just talking. Then, you’re just an irritant.
No one is going to lol at you. However, we might get a good laugh inside and snap a video or picture to upload to our Instagram if you aren’t exercising some form of temperance. There are 3 aspects of temperance training that will help you grow some solid size and keep you off the Awkward Gym Moments Facebook page.
1. Controlled Movement
Brothers don’t let brothers do uncontrolled jerk movements in the gym. You might see a crossfit guy doing jerk-movement pull-ups, but the movements are controlled and practiced to form. The best way to control your movement is to lift a weight you can manage. If you’re throwing your whole body up trying to do a bicep curl, you’re doing too much weight.
2. Good form
Too many dudes are trying to make the St. Louis Gateway arch on the bench. Excessive arching can lead to lower back injuries. Good form will ensure muscle growth while preventing injury. Anytime you are straining, whether it be your neck or your back, you are increasing your risk of injury.
3. Balanced body
Excessively training only one muscle group can lead to the potato on the toothpicks look. You know, the guy with a big chest and chicken legs? Temperance training means equal training of all body parts. Once again, a balanced body not only looks the best, but it also prevents injury. I’m guilty. Over a year ago, I tore my rotator cuff because my chest was disproportionately bigger than my shoulders and upper back.
Exercise your beast mode, use temperance training, and be a managed Hulk. Temperance is a holistic characteristic. When you use it at the gym, you will physically grow, but it will spill over into other areas of your life as well. You will begin to treat your body like a temple, and you’ll be careful with your food intake and your alcohol intake. You will begin to listen to and change your thoughts because even your mindset affects your training. The restraint in temperance will unexpectedly lead to bigger growth and results.