Instant Exercise Motivation #22

Ryder Hesjedal is a freak of nature.

  • The average healthy adult male has a lung capacity of 6 litres.
  • Cycling god Lance Armstrong has a lung capacity of 7 litres.
  • Ryder Hesjedal has a lung capacity of 8.3 litres.

And “while lung capacity isn’t everything, the ability to suck in vast amounts of air means you can pump more oxygen into your blood, and that translates into enhanced performance”.

But his freaky huge lungs aren’t why he’s a super-motivator.

He’s a super-motivator because of his ability to endure physical suffering and will his body to keep pedaling when every neuron in his brain is SCREAMING at him to STOP!!!

“I really think it’s more mental,” he said. “Cycling is just the ability to keep fighting and telling your body to keep moving. You decide when you think the suffering is too much. I just keep suffering and punishing myself.”

Think about that the next time your grumbly-tummy is telling you to pig out…or you “feel” like watching tv instead of getting some exercise.

Be like Ryder…and do what you should do…instead of what you want to do.



  1. Now I have to say that I’ve got a real problem with that comment, ‘do what you should do…instead of what you want to do’. 
    We all suffer under the weight of our ‘shoulds’ and the last thing we all need is to feel even more guilty about them. Surely it would make more sense to drop the ‘shoulds’ and make it so that the ‘wants’ are actually what is good for us?
    I guess the ‘shoulds’ are those things that we know are good for us, but we just don’t do. But what would be more motivating that being able to drop the ‘shoulds’ and happily do the ‘wants’, knowing that we are getting more healthy and happy and living a life of greater ease at the same time?
    I hope I’m right, as it’s pretty much what I based my motivation book around! Seems to have worked pretty well so far for everyone that’s used it, so something must be right….
    Just my 2c

  2. Hey George,

    The guilt attached to fitness/dieting/etc is something I focus on eliminating from my clients’ psyches as soon as possible. We get so wrapped up in ego…generating fears and doubts that lead to negative emotions (like guilt) …and negative actions.

    And what we end up with is the majority of people being told that they should act like the “perfect people” and if they don’t that they are inferior.

    So, they dive into a diet or exercise routine that is doomed to failure, and to no one’s surprise they fail, feel worse than ever and either give up altogether or just binge for a while before starting another hopeless weight loss program.

    What I do is instill the awareness that each of us is unique with our own set of circumstances – genetics, income, geography, knowledge, emotional intelligence, etc… and that we have to do the best with what we have. We’re going to stumble at times…and when we do, it’s stupid to attach any type of blame/guilt to our “failure”. We need to treat each “failure” as an opportunity to learn a little bit more about ourselves.

    Because at the end of the day, no expert is going to be able to understand us like we can. They can give us a general road map, but we have to apply their basic plan into our unique lives and make them work for us.

    And hopefully, as we grow, our ‘shoulds’ will transform into ‘wants’ like you said.

    Sorry for the rambling response btw

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