Strong Enough for Men, but Made for Women Too
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?
While 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:
- Up 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.
- 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.
- Try 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.
- 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
- Try a handstand (and practice it)
- Test your 1RM for bench press
- Take boxing or martial arts lessons
- Do a mud run
- Do something untraditional like flipping a tractor tire or doing wall-ups
- Take a intense boot camp program
- Practice olympic lifting
- Take a gymnastics class
- Do a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon
- Climb a rock-climbing wall
- Take a grappling (wrestling) lesson
- Test your speed in a quarter mile (sprinting, not driving!)
- Practice push ups, pull ups and dips
- Train with kettlebells
- Take a power yoga class
- Practice batting at the batting cages
- Do a tabata workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
- Try a new sport – like surfing, skiing, cycling, mountain biking or swimming
- Play catch – football, softball or even frisbee (and GO ALL OUT to catch it!)
- 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.
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!
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We all have our share of struggles. From struggling with our weight, our workouts, our marriage, our carriers, our family, our finances….we all experience tough times. But there is a great reward for toughing it out and not giving up.
My grandfather, who was a Geologist, once explained to me that Diamonds weren’t always beautiful. They were formed from ugly rock buried deep beneath the earth, under great amounts of pressure and extreme temperatures over long periods of time. I’ll never forget him explaining that to me – and I think about it all the time.
Some of the greatest accomplishments require us to withstand extreme pressure and uncomfortable situations, deep beneath the earth (unnoticed and unappreciated) for long periods of time – and it’s not until we are finished enduring what it takes to be molded and transformed into what God has intended for us, that we can ever quit. If we truly want to be transformed, we can’t avoid it.
If you try to avoid it, and quit too soon, you will remain the “ugly rock” – unfinished. If you stick it out, you can be totally transformed, sculpted into something beautiful, inside and out. I’m not just talking about outer beauty and sculpted muscle. I’m talking about a total transformation process – transforming your mind, your spirit, your body and your life.
There is a reason God allows us to struggle at times. It is required for transformation. There is a reason we aren’t “lifted up” out of the shadows and dirt – sometimes we are just not ready to shine …yet. There is a reason we get humbled. Many times, our ugly pride needs to be crushed.There are reasons we experience sloooooooow success, it grows patience and forces us to rely on God more than ourselves.
There are reasons fitness takes work, it teaches us discipline and self-control. It teaches us about calories, about our body and bout what we are capable of. It shows us our potential. It challenges us, it humbles us, it drives us, it exposes our weaknesses and shows us our strengths.
I encourage you today, no matter what you are going through in life, or in your fitness journey, remember to continue to endure and not give up so you can be radically transformed. You are a diamond in the making. Stick it out.
You say “It’s too hard”, “it’s too heavy” or “I can’t”, but OF COURSE it’s too hard, too heavy and you feel like you can’t do it. If it were easy, light and you could do it, it wouldn’t challenge your body the way it needs to be challenged to get strong enough to push HARDER, lift HEAVIER and actually DO IT. Tough is a requirement.
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You Shape You. Not your past, not your friends, not your circumstance.
How often do we play the victim? Whether we struggle with our weight or our finances, most of the time our circumstance is a result of poor decisions. We struggle with our weight, because we lack discipline. We can make excuses until we’re blue in the face, but ultimately, no excuse is of any real value. We are in debt to our eyeballs because we live past our means. We struggle with relationships because we are selfish and we treat people poorly – especially the ones we love most. Even the best of us, the good-hearted, mess up. Most of the time, we do get what we deserve to a certain extent.
Some of history’s “greats” had everything going against them.
Sure, there are many things that happen to us that are not fair. Cancer is not fair. Losing a job may not be fair. Life often is unfair – BUT, that does not justify quitting or not trying. We fight. We grow. We improve. We learn. We inspire. We conquer.
If you’ve been unhappy with your weight, your finances, your marriage, your life…Don’t fall for the “woe is me” downward spiral. Fight for what you want. Fight to become who God intended you to be. Don’t always do what’s easy. Do what’s RIGHT. Don’t settle. Don’t make excuses. And never give up – because it will always be worth it. No regrets!
Most people who aren’t willing to make the sacrifices don’t fully comprehend the reward. It’s not that the reward is not something someone can comprehend, it’s the issue of that person not fully believing and comprehending it can happen to them. It’s time to claim your reward. It’s YOURS to have if you want it bad enough. Once they begin to grasp that, they will begin to resist all kinds of temptations and conquer all kinds of battles within their mind, because the reward is not just a vision, it’s REAL.
Unfortunately, many people believe they are capable of reaching their goals without making sacrifices. This is why so many people think they can exercise the fat off, without exercising self control with their diet. Most people fool themselves into thinking they can reach their goal with mediocrity, but that type of effort only yields disappointment. Failure after failure, from halfway working toward a goal, causes a person to become doubtful they can ever reach their goal – and they are right. They will never reach their best doing half their best.
Once you finally accept that your goal will require sacrifice, and that it will definitely be worth it, you will begin to look at every temptation differently. Instead of living in constant compromise, you will know that your way of life is hot and cold – and never lukewarm. You are either working toward a goal or your not. And you will be fully aware that every poor decision slows your progress, and every good decision gets you one step closer to your goal.
Next time you crave your favorite guilty pleasure, ask yourself “How bad do I want to reach my goal?” It’s a Yes/No kind of answer. It’s black and white. You either want it bad enough or you don’t. Because, in most cases, you can’t have both. – B –