The first few weeks after breaking up with a significant other are critical in determining what your path will be for the next several months. After every breakup I’ve been through, the one factor that remained constant for me was simple. Get Huge.
This mantra refers to hitting the gym and challenging your body to become as strong as possible. Junior year after a breakup, I took my scrawny ass into the Vandy rec center and picked up where I left off training for baseball in high school and started “blessing the iron” as the Rock refers to crushing a workout.
I got big. At the toga frat party, people noticed. I got started dating a sophomore but broke up after deciding to study abroad in Madrid. I found the closest gym in my barrio in Spain and crushed the weights in between travels around Europe.
Each time I’ve moved on in life from a significant other, a routine of exercise has been critical in getting on a positive track. Some will opt for finding another relationship as quickly as possible to fill the void. This. Is. Dangerous.
If you don’t take the time to get right with yourself first, any relationship you enter into immediately after a breakup is likely doomed from the start. You need to take time to properly process your previous relationship, realign your own personal goals and priorities, and focus on self-love and self improvement for a while.
So instead, date yourself. Treat yourself to equinox, or crossfit, or a triathlon, or Orange Theory. The benefits of this budding fitness friendship are plentiful.
· You’re forced to stay in the moment – When you are stacking another 10 pound plate on the bench press trying to hit a one-rep max, odds are you aren’t thinking about her. You’re focused on that moment and giving the lift all you’ve got. This helps take your mind off the past and future and focus on the now
· A healthy routine naturally follows consistent fitness – I find that whenever I’m consistent in going to the gym, everything else falls into line. My morning routine happens more consistently. Meditation, gratitude, healthy eating, time spent outside all have direct positive correlation to hitting the gym
· You’ll feel more confident and in control– After a breakup, your confidence can be pretty shaken and you feel like nothing is within your control. Your body is something that you have complete power over and a solid workout routine puts you back in the drivers seat. You’ll look better and feel better giving you a natural confidence which will help in getting back out into the game
· It keeps you out of the deep end – If you’re dedicated to a steady gym schedule, you’ll be less likely to reach for that social cigarette or order another vodka soda before the bars close. When things are going well at the gym, any time you deter from that path of positive growth, you will get pissed off at yourself for taking a few steps back.
So, when it comes to rebounding from a relationship, make sure it’s with the gym. Do your damage on the iron, work out your aggravation, get in the moment, strengthen your body, build your confidence, and stay on a positive track. Once you have a few months of this under your belt, you can cheat on the gym and get back after it in seeking out a relationship. But for now, your focus on curls not girls and the main “rack” you should be pursuing is one that you squat from. Now go get huge!
This post originally appeared on AskMen