Tough Women: 4 Ways to Build Power, Strength & Confidence

Strong Enough for Men, but Made for Women Too

one-arm push upI always liked the the Secret deodorant slogan “strong enough for men, but made for a woman” but I think it also exposes another secret – the belief that strength is normally only made for men.

Of course we know there are strong chicks too, but I think a lot of women just think they were born that way. Some of the toughest chicks aren’t tough because they LOOK tough – they are tough because they ARE tough. Just like Demi More in G.I. Jane, tough comes with a price. She had to train hard to do the stuff she had to do in that movie – from doing intense workouts, obstacle training and even prepping mentally to shave her head. People aren’t just born that way, they are made that way through enduring tough tasks. The tougher the task, the tougher you become.

Watch this short video clip, and tell me that doesn’t make you want to learn how to do a one-armed push up!

Do You Know Your Own Strength?

scared of the gymWhile I believe, if most women were honest, there is a side to them that would love to be tough and powerful. But, many women struggle with the self-confidence to grow in this area. This is even more of a problem when a woman is overweight or not in good shape. Ironically, one of the best places to fix that (the gym) makes many women even MORE insecure so they avoid it at all cost, or they save it as a last resort. Well, NO MORE! It’s time for you to become the POWERFUL, STRONG and CONFIDENT woman you desire to be!  And I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t include pink rubber weights!

If you want to discover power, strength and confidence, it requires training that requires you to be powerful, strong and confident. If your training doesn’t CHALLENGE these areas, don’t expect to CHANGE those areas. Sadly, many women “ease” into their workouts because they simply don’t know how powerful and strong they really are. Why? Because they just don’t know their own strength –  because they’ve never really tested it.

4 ways to toughen up & gain more confidence:

  1. Women Can Lift Heavy TooUp your weight. I can’t tell you how many women are not even touching the surface of their own strength. They literally don’t know their own strength. However, if they were to up the weight, they’d be surprised to find they can do the same number of reps with the heavier weight. Would it be more difficult? Sure! Would it be possible? Sure! You’ll never know how strong you are until you try. Don’t worry about bulking up. Most women don’t have enough testosterone to gain manly muscles. 
  2. Test your strength. Once a week, choose an exercise to test your 1 rep max, which is the maximum weight you can lift in one exercise. Normally, we are doing multiple reps of a weight, so the weight has to be light enough for us to repeat the exercise 12-15 times. But what if all we have to do is one repetition? That’s the idea of the 1 Rep max. Some of the best exercises, according to Bodybuilding.com, to use to test this are bench press, squats, deadlifts, clean and press, military (shoulder press) and bicep curls. Use Bodybuilding.com’s 1-Rep Max (1RM) Calculator to find out what your 1-rep max should be. There is nothing more empowering that lifting a heavy weight – even if it’s just one time.
  3. female boxer mmaTry something new. If you are constantly staying in your comfort zone, using the same equipment or practicing the same training style, you will likely stay the same too. Venture out and try new things. Even if you discover you don’t like something, you will gain power from the knowledge you gained from trying it. Sure, you may feel a little dorky or awkward while you are learning it, but you will walk away feeling amazing.
  4. Do what the boys do. If you are constantly gravitating to aerobics classes and the women’s section at the gym, you are missing out! There is a reason guys are tough. They do though things – and so can you! For instance, flipping tractor tires is tough. Your hands get dirty and it’s hard work, but it’s an amazing workout and you’ll feel great when it’s done. The same goes with exercises like bench press, dips or pull ups. These are often exercises that never make it on a woman’s workout schedule. Sadly, it’s not because the women can’t do it. It’s because they never even try to do it. Make it a regular practice to incorporate tough exercises into your program.

20 Tough Activities & Exercises

  1. handstand chickTry a handstand (and practice it)
  2. Test your 1RM for bench press
  3. Take boxing or martial arts lessons
  4. Do a mud run
  5. Do something untraditional like flipping a tractor tire or doing wall-ups
  6. Take a intense boot camp program
  7. Practice olympic lifting
  8. Take a gymnastics class
  9. Do a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon
  10. Climb a rock-climbing wall
  11. Take a grappling (wrestling) lesson
  12. Test your speed in a quarter mile (sprinting, not driving!)
  13. Practice push ups, pull ups and dips
  14. Train with kettlebells
  15. Take a power yoga class
  16. Practice batting at the batting cages
  17. Do a tabata workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
  18. Try a new sport – like surfing, skiing, cycling, mountain biking or swimming
  19. Play catch – football, softball or even frisbee (and GO ALL OUT to catch it!)
  20. Play with the boys. Play a coed ball game, workout with the guys, go to a car show and do something guys do. And don’t just show up – take that time to learn more about what you are doing. Whether it’s a drifting race or skin-boarding, knowledge is powerful.

8 Tough Workouts

Tractor Tire Training 

10 Tire Exercises – If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a tractor tire, here’s your answer!

Conditioning Tractor Tire Workout – Be ready for your heart to be POUNDING!

Tractor Abs – Learn 5 ab exercises you can do with a tractor tire.

Improve Your Push Up &/or Pull Up

Even if you can’t do a pull up or push up, THIS will get you stronger.

Savage Training

Try an untraditional workout, designed for mud runs and people who don’t have gym equipment.

BCx Wallup Workout

Climbed walls lately? Today’s your day! Try this crazy fun workout to boost strength and stamina.

Try a Kettlebell Workout

Learn some kettlebell basics.

Grueling Get Ups

Try this awesomely intense Turkish Getup inspired workout and get your sweat on!

Gym Motivation for Women

Subscribe today to get more motivation tomorrow!

CLICK HERE to see more motivational mantras!

 

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on May 6, 2013, in Exercise & Training, Mantras, Motivational, PFIT TIPS, Workout and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I am so excited that I found your blog. I have been on a weight loss journey for over a year now and through this I have discovered the beauty of being fit not thin. So thank you and I can not wait to read more on your blog.

  2. GI Jane and Terminator – the chicks in these two movies that inspired me years ago to get it ON! Best decision ever.

  3. I have been doing everything you say in your tips. I have had a big problem with pull-ups and push up. I just can’t do even 1 pull-up. I can do the girly push-up. I am going to follow your Hubby’s advice and start with negative ones. One of my goals is to be able to do pull-ups. Thanks so much.

  1. Pingback: Tough Women: 4 Ways to Build Power, Strength & Confidence … | Men's Health Weight Lifting

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