I worked 11–12 hour days, graveyard shift.
It was my first job out of college—for which I felt very fortunate to have!
I worked for a Chicago trading firm, trading European financial products.
It required sitting.
I sat so much at that job, waiting.
Waiting for events to happen in the markets.
If war is a lot of waiting, interrupted by overwhelming bouts of action, then trading is similar.
Amidst my waiting I would read articles on my computer about human decision-making.
Total clickbait stuff–studies about “whether longer ring fingers correlate with more optimal risk-taking behavior.”
It got me reading about hormones, and their role in decision-making:
Everything I read corroborated my own experiences in trading.
Single days in which I lost more than $100k were vivid memories seared into my brain.
Much more so than than the days I gained $100k.
The days after losing money you’re a second-guessing mess!
There’s a scientific basis for that:
Cortisone inhibits testosterone and testosterone impacts your fight-or-flight behavior.
I asked myself what seems like the obvious question:
How can I increase my testosterone levels?
That’s where weightlifting came in—to see whether I could observe a behavior change in myself by upping my natural T-levels.
It didn’t work out quite how you’d imagine—for one, I quit my job with my new-found risk-taking abilities!
But for another, I discovered that there’s a whole slew of factors that impact your behavior beyond testosterone’s effects:
Ultimately, addressing these human needs is how I got into weightlifting.
If you’re curious about my programming (what I lifted and how often) from when I first started out—I bought the 2nd edition of Starting Strength for $30.
It can be summed up as: squat/bench/deadlift 3x a week, 5x5 monotonically increasing the weights you attempt. Watch your form.
It was only a couple years back now (2016?) that I became more observant of remaining constistent in my trainings
Now I do it less for the natural hormonal/behavior change benefits, but for the social aspect.
Competitive athletics brings together an amazing group of people—there are few A-holes in niche sports as small as weightlifting.
And I can say it’s given me some amazing friends and some extremely memorable experiences!