She said to me, “I finally weighed 95 pounds! It has been my goal for a long time and I finally achieved it. But I know it's not this impressive because there are a lot of women who lift a lot more than that.
My response: "No, what you mean is, 'I weighed 95 pounds and I'm proud!' It doesn't matter what anyone else throws - it's a great personal best you've earned. Be proud! There is no qualification necessary for you to enjoy your success. "
Why are we doing this? Why do we add disqualifiers like “but” and “fair” and “only” to our accomplishments in the gym?
But she can run much faster and further ...
It was "only" 95 pounds ...
It was "just" a push-up ...
Women around the world compare their personal bests and performance to other women in their gym; women on social networks; the woman they were 10 years ago; the idea of where they think they should be now.
It leads to demeaning and disqualifying the awesome things they do in the gym. They feel a momentary excitement and empowerment as they reach a milestone and set a personal best to quickly deflate that sense of accomplishment by compare yourself to someone else, or what they were capable of when they were younger, or where they think they need to be at this point in their fitness journey.
And it has to stop.
Here's a 75-second video to bring that to life:
Have you Press bench a 45-pound bar for the first time? Be proud!
Did you develop 145 pounds for the first time? Be proud!
Did you walk a mile without getting out of breath for the first time? Be proud!
Did you lift the heavy dumbbells who was intimidating you? Be proud!
Did you do a push-up or chin-up for the first time? Be proud!
Did you step out of your comfort zone and venture out to the part of the gym that is usually filled with men because you're ready to? learn to lift? Be proud!
Have you deadlift your body weight for the first time? Did you lift your body weight twice for the first time? Be. Proud.
There is no personal victory "too small" to celebrate. Everyone has their own journey and we are all at different times in our respective journeys. You might be at level 5 of yours, the woman next to you at the gym may be at level 20 and the newbie who just joined is at level 1. And another woman's level 5 may very well be different from another woman's. your Level 5.
We all need to celebrate what we achieve, without unnecessary and degrading disqualifications.
But I …
“But I used to be a lot stronger / in better shape / a lot faster,” someone may say.
So what. This is where you are now. All you can do is work with what you have, progress to where you are now, and be happy to keep moving forward. Really, what other (good) option do you have?
“But I feel like I should be a lot stronger / faster / fitter than me,” someone else may say.
Look at it this way: no matter where you are in your trip right now, you have more room to become stronger, be faster, be better conditioned, build more muscle, whatever the case. You have made progress that you should be proud of and you should be happy to continue to do more.
Women everywhere, earn personal bests the way you choose: with weight training, with cardio, a combination of the two, whatever you prefer. Celebrate them happily. Use them as motivation to find out what else you can do.
And if you want a workout program that's right for you that will make you look forward to your workouts while making you feel good about yourself, check out Screw fat loss.
Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and squat burpees, are a one-way ticket to feeling like an all-around badass because not only will they help you build strength, but explosiveness ( or power ), speed, and agility, too. Those last three perks don’t come from strength training alone, so it’s key to round out your sport routine with jump training ( another name for plyo ).
All plyo movements require your muscles to stretch and contract at a rapid pace, which helps them become more explosive. So, unsurprisingly, they’re considered a intensity workout. The benefit of firing up your muscles this way, though : It spikes your heart rate ( oh hey, cardio ) and burns *all* the kcal.
Before you jump into plyo training, you want to feel solid when it comes to stability, balance, and core strength. But aside from that, the beauty of it is that you can scale plyo to your fitness level and that it is totally beginner-friendly. Can’t jump up onto a three-foot-tall box ? Start small ! The most important thing is that your movements are quick; they don’t have to be BIG. As you feel more stable and powerful, amp it up !
I like to incorporate two or three plyometric exercises into the beginning of my workouts after my warm-up. Since they demand so much of your bod, you don’t want to go into them already fatigued from a bunch of other moves. Want your entire workout to have plyometric vibes ? You can do that, too. Just be ready to feel the burn in ways you’ve never felt it before.
Start standing facing a plyo box ( about two-feet away from it ). Rise up onto balls of feet and swing straight arms over head, then bend knees and push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back behind body to gain momentum to explode up off floor and jump up onto the box. Land in a squat position, with knees bent, feet flat, and hands in front of chest. Then stand up straight and step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank position, then jump feet forward outside of hands. Drop butt below knees, lift torso up, and raise hands to chest level. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips next to a plyo box, bent forward to place both hands flat on the top of it. Press through hands, brace core, and kick feet up and back towards glutes to hop body over to opposite side of box. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. Upon landing, squat down, press hands into floor, and kick feet up into air higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop back up. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips to the right of a plyo box. Rise up onto balls of feet and lift arms overhead, then with momentum, push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back. Use this oomph to press through feet while swinging arms forward to explode up off floor. In mid-air, rotate entire body degrees to the left and land in a slight squat place with hands in front of chest on top of the box, knees bent and feet flat. Stand up straight, then step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank position with shoulders stacked over wrists and core engaged. Drive right knee toward chest, then return to plank and quickly repeat with the left. Keep alternating sides as quickly as possible. That’s one rep.
Start standing on right foot at far right end of mat or workout space with left leg bent, left foot lifted and crossed behind right leg, left arm bent and crossed in front of body, right arm behind back, and torso tilted slightly forward. Take a big hop to left switching arms and legs to mirror move on opposite side. Jump back to start. That’s one rep.
to start, stand with feet together and hands at sides. Then, lift arms out and overhead while jumping feet out past shoulders. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet just outside of shoulders holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of body, arms extended straight toward floor. Lift right foot up off mat and behind body while bending at elbows to swing weight over left shoulder. Quickly hop from left foot to right while straightening arms and drawing dumbbell diagonally across chest toward right hip, torso and gaze follow weight. That’s one rep. ( Make sure to switch your starting foot for the second round. )
Get into a plank place, with shoulders stacked on top of wrists. Keeping core engaged, tap right shoulder with left hand while jumping both feet out wide to sides. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.