OK, can I get a count by lifting your hands: Who wants to be weak? I’m pretty sure no one is raising their hand right now. No one is jumping up and down saying “Meeee! Meee!” No one wants to be weak. People want to be STRONG! And even if they are not strong, they want to appear strong.
What is required for strength? Well, in the fitness world, building strength requires lifting things that are quite difficult. It requires putting your body under great pressure. Our body doesn’t get stronger using the same 5lbs weights we started with. No, we have to keep moving up, keep trying heavier weights and keep challenging our body – many times to the point of failure (or perceived failure).
I personally HATE to fail. That’s why I hate pistol squats. I only can do so many before complete failure. Not only that, I can’t do them really well, and I can’t do that many of them. Even if I do as many as I set out to do, I consider myself a failure because they aren’t deep as I want, I’m not flexible enough to hold my dang foot out in front of me and I am not strong enough to pump that many out. I leave that exercise every time feeling like a big fat failure.
This is why I don’t like doing them. This is why I want to quit trying them. I stink at them. BUUUUT, I know I will NEVER get any better, any stronger or any more flexible unless I keep trying them.
Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
We must realize every success requires many failures. We MUST fail to succeed. Every failure teaches us what not to do, it tests our strength, it teaches us discipline, it challenges our poor attitude and it grows our character. The good news is with every failure, is also a mini-success. These smaller successes help keep us trying. BUT, without trying, we never experience the small successes.
No one likes to fail. In fact, people try to avoid failure at all costs. People don’t love, for the risk of a failed relationship. People don’t pursue their dreams, because of the risk of failure. Many people don’t even start a diet or workout program because they don’t believe they can succeed and don’t want to be a failure in that too. However, if you want to succeed, you need to be ready for many failures (big or small) along the way. Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
Don’t give into your weaknesses. Decide to be strong today. Accept that failure is a part of life, and the more chances you have to fail, the more chances you have to succeed.
Yesterday I saw a post from one of our struggling future first-time competitors in our private Bikini Boot Camp group on facebook. She has been totally rocking, her body is leaning out, she looks amazing, but since life happens (and all the junk that comes with it), she got a wave of doubt and began to lose motivation. So she reached out to the rest of the girls for encouragement.
It just so happened I already had created this quote for today’s blog, so I shared it with her (and the rest of the girls) along with this note. After I posted it, I decided I’d share some of it with you in hopes of giving you some encouragement too.
“This goes out to all the girls out there struggling, feeling weak, unmotivated, tired, sore, hungry, grumpy, teary-eyed, frustrated, full of doubt…
You can do this! This isn’t just about getting a hot body. It’s about being YOUR best! It’s about being healthy, taking care of the body God gave you. We all have “weak” friends, family members and people who NEED us to be STRONG for THEM! This isn’t just about you, it’s about who you can be for everyone you love and everyone who loves you. The happier you are, the better mom, wife, friend, co-worker, neighbor you are. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else – because you can’t give something away that you don’t have to begin with.
“the hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day”
At first glance, you may feel your time in the gym is selfish – that it’s selfish to work so hard on “you”. But, TRUST ME. The hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day. You need this. Your kids need it. They need a strong mommy! Your husband needs a confident woman who feels as sexy as your husband sees you. Your friends need it. People are more likable when they feel good about themselves.
Strength goes beyond the gym – WAY beyond the gym. What you do in the gym creates an outward reflection of the discipline you are learning to apply in your life, to control your flesh and not let the world beat you up so you can be the best you you can be. Showing others you don’t have to give in to the Biggie Size temptations of this Biggie Size world. You CAN’T give up! People depend on you. It’s not just about your success, your success has the potential to impact every single one of your friends who are watching you and thinking “if she can do it, maybe I can too”.
YOU are a walking testimony for everything you believe in. It can be a good testimony or a bad one – that’s up to you.
Personally, I want to be a positive reflection of everything I believe in. I don’t want to teach my friends to give up on fitness, marriage, family, goals, career, God or anything else I truly believe in. There are people who depend on my success to motivate them to just even try. I want to encourage people to keep trying and to never give up – and that starts with ME not giving up. Who you can impact starts with YOU never giving up.
The hard work in the gym and kitchen is nothing compared to the victory you will have KNOWING you GAVE IT YOUR ALL, and that your all impacted people around you to give THEIR all. No one will EVER be able to take that away from you.
Now, let’s take things up a notch and act like the STRONG WOMEN I know each of you are! Let’s DO THIS! Can I hear an AMEN!?!?!?! ❤
Let’s commit to lifting each other up, helping people stay encouraged and pressing on toward their goal! Lift Someone Up Today! Share this post if your friends need encouragement on their fitness journey! 🙂
MORE STRENGTH & ENCOURAGEMENT COMING TOMORROW!
I’ve spoken to so many people who apologize for being weak. They say stuff like “I knew I was weak, but I didn’t realize just how out of shape I really was” or “I’m so sorry I am unable to keep up“. Or they say stuff like “I can’t” because they believe they are not supposed to experience such weakness. The truth is “THEY CAN”, but it’s going to be hard. Unfortunately, people often walk away with their head hanging, discouraged at their bodies difficulty to perform the way they had hoped – feeling like a failure, instead of realizing their need for weakness.
PICK YOUR CHIN UP! If you are doing what you are supposed to, you should feel weakness. You HAVE to feel weakness in order to get stronger.
If I bang out 12 overhead presses with ease, I am not getting stronger. I am only demonstrating my EXISTING strength. That’s when I know I need to add weight. When I do 12 reps, but the last 4-5 are really challenging to finish (and maybe the last 1 or 2 seem nearly impossible), THAT’s when I’m changing my body.
This principle applies in many ways. For example, you don’t become a better musician by continuing to play music you have already mastered. You get better by trying more difficult pieces. If you can finish the piece without a mistake, you are not challenging yourself enough. If you are not challenging yourself, you are not improving. You are simply performing. You MUST fail before you succeed. Sadly, no one likes to fail. So, as a result, many people avoid failure (or experiencing any kind of weakness) at all cost – and only do what they are currently good at and currently strong enough to handle.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
I don’t like extreme cardio. I do Kickboxing and LiveXFit because I know I need it. Feel free to take a class with me, or follow me online at LiveExercise to see for yourself – I can GUARANTEE you will see me reach failure (and it ain’t pretty!). However, I do it because I know it will make me stronger, better and healthier. I’d prefer to run, but I can already run. I’d prefer to rest more between exercises, but that won’t improve my cardio and conditioning. So I huff and puff my way through each workout, just hoping I can make it through.
Do I enjoy failing? Do I enjoy feeling weak? NO! I hate it, BUT I realize it’s a requirement for getting stronger. If I want to get stronger, I have to experience those weak moments.
So, celebrate your weakness. Celebrate reaching failure as long as you don’t give up! It’s in that weakness you are made stronger. 🙂
The only way to get our muscles to grow is to USE them. It requires effort. If we want to gain muscle mass it requires us lifting HEAVIER things, working HARDER than we currently are. Over time, the things that once seemed impossible & challenging are much easier.
The same goes with our faith. Whether it’s faith in people or faith in God, faith is like a muscle. It only grows if we use it. Once we use it, test it, challenge it and grow it, daily struggles, questions, stress, doubt, all the heavy weights in our life, feel light because of our ever-growing stronger faith.
Today I write on faith, because faith is an important part of our spiritual health. Before you tune me out, continue to read and take what you want from this. Even if you apply it in everyday life with your loved ones. I think there is a message here for anyone – whether you believe in God or not.
Think about it, how healthy can we be if we are fit on the outside, but broken down, insecure and weak on the inside. Even people who don’t believe in God, have a deep desire to have faith in something or someone. They may put their faith in money, a job, a diploma, a spouse, a friend, science, teachers, bosses, politicians or their own physical abilities or taent, but humans are born to want to have faith in something.
Think of it this way. How often have we said “once I just graduate, or when we can get everything paid off, everything will be much better” That’s faith, faith those things will improve your life. So much so, you will continue to go to school even if it kills you, and you will try to paid down those bills even when you are dying to spend more money. You also have faith your car will stop when you apply the breaks. You trust your debit card will work when you swipe it through the card reader. Why do you have faith in such things? Because you practice it, you’ve tested it over and over again. So, you practice faith already, but it’s time for you to pick up the Big Boy faith weights.
The same way a client thinks “there is NO WAY I can lift that” and then they lift it anyway, if we want our faith to get stronger, we have to start trusting God with bigger things. We need to constantly challenge our faith muscles like we do our skeletal muscles. Why does it matter? Many studies have proven people who have faith are healthier. Part of that is a no-brainer. I mean, people who are trying to improve their spiritual life are less likely to destroy their body with drugs or stupidity. They are (should be) more obedient citizens and they are more disciplined. I also believe a lot of the added health benefits is from having more faith.
More faith means less stress. For instance, have you ever had a boyfriend you couldn’t trust? How unhealthy was that relationship for you? I bet you were more stressed, insecure, tired, full of constant doubt, skeptical, thinking the worst all the time, and maybe even downright depressed. However, take the same you in a different relationship where you trust your boyfriend. You feel loved, confident and stress-free….you are relaxed, healthy, rested and at peace.
What is Faith?
Faith is not a religion. Faith is an action based on what you believe. Faith is defined as “confidence or trust in a person or thing. Complete trust.”
We have faith in the people who we get to know and love – and that know and love us back. We don’t put much faith in strangers, so how can anyone expect to trust God if He is a stranger to them. A simple fix is to spend more time getting to know our God, and give him the opportunity to prove He is trustworthy – which is proven over time. (God says “…test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malacai 3:10)
As a man in love desires to prove his love to his bride, God desires to show how much he loves us and He can’t do that if we don’t give him a chance and trust Him or get to know him. Once He has won our heart, we will trust Him more – and the more we trust Him (and build those faith muscles), the more our faith will continue to grow stronger.
Doubt, the Faith Killer
Believe me, we all have our moments of doubt. I know I do, and we do the same things with our loved ones too. We can easily let a window of doubt slip into our thoughts where we wonder if they are trustworthy, or we wonder if they will let us down. That’s normal because we are human. Yet, the only way to truly find out is to continue to trust them and get to know them better.
Unfortunately, this is where we go wrong with God. As soon as we have doubts, we quit. We not only quit trusting Him, but we quit the whole relationship. Can you imagine how crappy our marriages and friendships were if we quit every time we had a doubt or fear? Well, we’d have no friends or marriage for one, but life would also be very lonely and hopeless.
I challenge you to start training your faith muscles. If you lack faith or don’t believe in God, maybe it’s because God is a stranger. No one can expect you to trust and believe in the unknown. Take time to get to know Him and trust him more – and watch your faith muscles begin to bulge! You will not only benefit spiritually, but your body will thank you too!
Today Joyce Meyer talked about when she first started working out with what she called little “dog-bone” 3lb weights, and how heavy they felt (this is a pic from her video of her making fun of herself struggling). Yet, now, she lifts 20-25lbs dumbbells (GO JOYCE!) and laughs at how hard those lighter weights once were.
As our faith grows, things in life that were once difficult to have faith through are like those dog-bone weights. You will be able to carry heavy loads in life with ease and enjoy the victory of experiencing strength in the Lord. CLICK HERE to watch her awesome teaching on faith.
“I can do all things in Christ who STRENGTHENS me.” Philippians 4:13
Don’t you want to be STRONGER – inside AND out? I know I do!
Today’s matching motivational image:
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!
Subscribe today to get more motivation tomorrow!
CLICK HERE to see more motivational mantras!
Do you have muscles you hate to train? Why do you hate that body part or exercise? Normally it’s because that’s a weak area, or that particular exercise is hard for us.
When something is tough, we tend to avoid it. And, when we are great at something, we tend to do it more. That’s how runners get trapped into only running, or body builders get hooked into only lifting. People simply like doing what they are good at.
That sounds harmless at first, until you realize what you are really doing. You are neglecting your weak areas. For me, my weak spots are legs and flexibility. For many women, it’s upper body strength. For many men, it’s cardio. For some people, a weakness is something they just aren’t good at – like aerobics or something that takes coordination – but avoiding it is not the answer.
Practice makes perfect – and working what’s weak will eventually make you strong.
No matter what you are training for, if you want to improve there is one thing that’s always required. It’s something we try to avoid. We detest it, we run from it, and we do anything to not experience it. I’m talking about a good old-fashioned struggle.
No one becomes a better musician by playing easy pieces and no one gets stronger by lifting light weight. Strength comes only with a struggle – because that’s when strength is really required.
A good musician will struggle through a difficult piece, over and over, until they’ve mastered it. Physical strength is required. A guitarist’s fingers may get so tender their joints ache, their muscles cramp, and their fingertips bleed. Mental strength is also required. No one likes failure, yet failure is requirement to success. Rarely does anyone master something challenging on the first attempt, so they must resist the temptation to give up no matter how many times they fail.
Easy Develops Weakness
You don’t have to be strong on a good day. Strength is not required to do things that come easy to us. Therefore, those things will not make us stronger. Of matter of fact, we may even become weaker.
Change only happens you are challenged, yet we’ve been taught to avoid challenges – as if challenges and difficulties are bad. So, we avoid discomfort, we avoid inconvenience, we avoid pain and we avoid difficulties. However, those are the things we will need to endure to produce change.
We tease around our house “don’t pray for patience, or God will just give you more opportunities to practice”, but this is so true. If you want to improve an any area of your life, you will need more opportunities to WORK on that area.
If you want to become leaner, stronger, faster or run longer, you will have to challenge your body in those areas. Otherwise, expect to be exactly where you are ten years from now.
If you aren’t struggling, you aren’t changing!
1. Try to lift your one-rep max (the heaviest weight you can push for one rep) on at least one exercise today.
2. Try to sprint your fastest pace for a quarter mile.
3. Forfeit one of your favorite regular foods or drinks today as a reminder you are in control.
A gym in Brazil did an entire ad campaign focused on encouraging women to get their own strength on (pictured left). This particular ad shows a woman with a man behind her, reaching through her arms to open a jar for her. What does it mean? The ad is saying “train hard and open your own dang jar!”
Although the advertisement totally plays tricks on the eyes and is a bit edgy, the idea was brilliant and eye catching to say the least.
It’s Hard to Want What You Think You Can’t Have
Most of us don’t even waste time wanting stuff we know we’ll never have. When something is so far out of reach, we won’t strive for it. Also, it’s hard to want something you’ve never seen or experienced before. With that said, let me introduce you ladies to something called POWER – and believe me, you want it!
The majority of women that walk into a gym for the first time say they want to lose weight. Whether it’s 5lbs or 50lbs, fat loss is priority one. Those same women, if they stay uninspired, uneducated and untrained, will always keep fat loss as top priority without ever tapping into strength. Most women’s goals are modest, mostly because women don’t want what they think they can’t have. And if they’ve never experienced it before, they don’t know what they are missing!
More Power To Ya
Everyone loves a little power. I don’t believe there is a woman in the world who wouldn’t want power if they could get it. The thrill of driving a fast car or using a power tool can be fun for a chick. A woman changing her own tire is pretty cool too. Even a woman in a career, typically held by men, can be quite an accomplishment.
Don’t believe me? Then think of all the tough girls in Hollywood we women secretly admire. Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson in “Charlie’s Angels”, Vivica A. Fox in “Missing”, Angelina Jolie in “Wanted”, Jane Fonda in “Barbarella” – they all are smokin’ hot, tough as nails, and if we could be as tough as them we’d do it in a heartbeat.
So if women would love to be tough, why aren’t more women working on it? I admit, the trend is improving. There are indeed more women getting tough, but most women don’t know what they are missing.
Strength training is not about bodybuilding anymore, so women can throw the fear of getting bulky out the window. Lifting weights and training hard is about strength, conditioning, confidence, independence, physical ability, improved quality of life – and it’s plain out fun! Ok, maybe the actual work isn’t always fun, but the reward is WAY fun!
If you are a woman who does a bunch of cardio and skips the weights, you are missing out! Being fit is not just about getting skinny. Burn fat AND get strong – and enjoy a sculpted shapely physique, and the physical ability to do things you never thought possible!
– B –
10 Powerful Benefits:
1. Your body will feel firm and tone to the touch
2. You’ll burn more calories and have a faster metabolism
3. You’ll become more confident in all areas of your life
4. Simple tasks will become easier
5. You’ll look fit because you will be fit
6. You’ll mentally grow stronger as your body grows stronger
7. You’ll feel more attractive (strong is the new beautiful)
8. You’ll have less flab, which is often a mix of fat and de-conditioned muscle
9. Cellulite will be less noticeable as your firm muscle supports the skin and fat tissue.
10. You will find a whole new you – one with new goals and desires
Do you have a POWERFUL story? Share your experience with my pFIT pFRIENDS below.