woman lifting weights

Why Lifting Weights is Meditation?

It might seem contradictory, which might be fuelled further in respects to the featured image.

I mean, surely you don’t expect me to draw comparisons with meditation and the considerable strain this woman is under?!

Well, perhaps you can experiment and decide for yourself whether or not there is any truth towards this idea.

But before you do –

I’m going to frame this by firstly, giving you my definition of what meditation is. Meditation is simply the practice of attention, awareness and focus.

Meditation offers an opportunity to quiet the chattering mind. Dispel the internal dialogue of thoughts that may bring about neurosis in you, such as anxiety or depression. Though consistent practice, you will be able to pull yourself out of constant thoughts and return to the present moment.

Now, why lifting weights as opposed to any other exercise? Well, my intuition and experience tells me it has something to do with intensity. And in that way, meditation can be likened to any form of intense exercise. I’ve even heard extreme distance runners speak about their experiences in a similar vein, but for the sake of this article, we’re going to specifically talk about lifting weights.

I’ve lifted weights for eight years now, and I’ve never really thought about the concept that lifting weights could be likened to meditation – until I started meditating.

So, I just completed my workout. I can recall standing underneath the squat rack, ready to move the loaded barbell. Focus now, this is heavy. Unrack the barbell, feel the pressure first through my spine and then my muscles as I adjust my footing. Bringing my attention to the breath, big inhale and squat down. Exhale and power up!

In a scenario like this, you need to bring complete focus and attention to the task at hand. And for the simple reason that if you don’t quiet the mind and focus on the task at hand you can seriously injure yourself. Like seriously injure yourself.

You cannot be thinking about anything else when you have 100 kilograms on your back.

An element of respect is needed, respect the weight and respecting that this is a dangerous activity.

You are very vulnerable in that situation and in that realisation, it is not important that your boyfriend or girlfriend hasn’t returned your phone calls. That doesn’t matter right now, I’m doing something dangerous.

Simply, that’s why I keep doing it. That hour spent in the gym is what I most look forward towards everyday –

Lifting weights and going to the gym is a form of meditation for me. It allows me to be by myself, feel my body working, getting stronger whilst creating clarity in my mind.

In conclusion of this post, what I would really like to do is invite you to try it for yourself. Experience the mental relief weight lifting offers. Not to mention the physiological benefits!

I really would like to share that experience with you.

Hopefully, it will bring you the same joy It has brought to me.

If you liked this I invite you to follow & support Holistic Health.

Grateful for your presence,


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Clinical Exercise Scientist

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The city of Mercy

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Lovie Price

totally ! i have tried to explain this on several occasions to people just starting out( with weightlifting AND meditation). I think it’s just like anything else we want to become proficient at. Meditation to me is simply a calming of the chaos in order to free ourselves of stressful distractions . It is a focus on something outside the constant chatter of the monkey mind. The same can be said of rock climbing, hiking, and even art( i.e. painting, etc.) Ironically , i have a post in queue about something very similar..the progression of the mental meditation process into… Read more »


Great piece Joseph! It’s like the yin and the yang- alone they are not enough, together they make you unstoppable


Lifting heavy is a huge confidence booster as well that you can carry into other aspects of life.

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