Originally Posted by Saul Good
I don't really understand this question. You mention that you used to do triathlons. I would assume that you tried to improve your times, but there's no more practical application for bicycle racing than there is being strong.
Pushing yourself helps you grow physically, mentally, and even emotionally. It helps burn stress. It helps you clear your mind. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment. It gives you confidence. Simply doing the same thing over and over without setting goals, seeking improvement, etc. is monotonous.
I'm not into lifting, but I run, box, etc. I want to run faster and farther. I want to throw cleaner hooks. I want to do a better job of recognizing and identifying feints.
I'm never going to fight Mayweather. I'm never going to run in the Olympics. I like the way I feel when I achieve a goal. I like the way I look at the pool. Frankly, I like knowing that I can handle myself in the extremely unlikely event that such a situation should arise.
I did the triathlons to keep within my ideal weight and to get in and keep great cardiovascular shape. Again, I wasn't bashing bodybuilding or guys that want to squat 400 lbs, but I can think of plenty of reasons to want to run faster, bike more easily, etc., but no reason to squat 400 lbs.