What Strength Training has done for me…
Once upon a time I was that girl in the gym, pounding away in that treadmill, going for it on the cross trainer and avoiding (like the plague) anything more than a 8kg weight!
But then I was shown the light… In fact I chose to walk through that scary ass door towards the bright shiney bar… Yep, that oh so gleaming squat rack surrounded by mean looking boys!
I got myself a ‘mean looking’ personal trainer man (Tom if you’ve not read my other blogs) and never looked back.
It actually wasn’t as simple as turning on a switch however, it took me a good year to even build up the courage to talk to Tom and approach him about training me… Why you ask?! I felt as though I wouldn’t be the type of clientele he’d take on… You see he trains bodybuilders and professional athletes … Me, I’m just a chubster from Cheltenham! But boy, I’m glad I did because he wasn’t intimidating at all… And 2 years later he’s helped me with many a thing, including some weight loss and muscle gain but also to overcome my food issues (read my first ever blog on eating disorders) and my emotional eating habits! And he’s fired up a passion for lifting a thing or two!
So what has strength training done for me;
1) the most important change I’ve seen is in my confidence in how I present myself. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always had a confident personality and with friends/family… But this gave me confidence in the clothes I wear, in the dates I go on (yes mr right hasn’t come along yet), in my every day life and in my job… Speaking to C Level Execs isn’t as daunting as it once was!
2) it’s given me the power to choose. Once up on a time, if you’d put chocolate, pizza or chips in front of me I would literally guzzle them down with not a single thought… Now however I have the opportunity to choose whether I need it or not, I’ve walked past many a ‘beer Friday’ at work and skipped the dessert and popcorn, walking away with just a lemon water in my hand.
3) it’s given me so much energy. I have a number of friends who ask me how I’m so active and where I get this energy from. What makes me so active you ask… Well social life is one, outdoor events, entering walks and runs (I’ve got a massive mud run coming up soon… Check it out FilthyGirlMudRun) trying new sports is the other (I’ve recently been trying my hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding and Wakeboarding). This energy I get is no doubt from the strength and conditioning I do!
4) my periods hurt less (omg she said period!) but it’s true… My back used to go to jelly and I’d avoid the gym choosing icecream and bed before I found strength training, now however training on period days is a must as I’m at my strongest (something Tom figured out… Yes we talk about everything) I even got my PB deadlift on a period day (80kg for anyone that’s interested).
5) it’s given me a waist and a more sculpted bootay. There’s not much more I can say to that.
6) my arms have leaned out, I have biceps and triceps yay!
7) it’s given me a new network of fit friends and I truly love them. They keep me on my game, they introduce me to new activities, we do fun things together like military marches, the watersports I mentioned, days out and obviously train with them weekly!
8) finally it’s given me the added advantage of regular massage! Yup once a month I head over to BoxBellFit and have Georgie from Wellbeing Treatments Berkshire give me the most painful sports massage followed by some reflexology and an Indian head massage. Massage is so important when your strength training… It helps to relax your muscles and detoxify, preventing (or attempting to prevent) DOMS.
I’d say all of that adds up to a pretty special life. Passion, confidence, friends and adventure definitely is fulfilling for me!
So, if you want any of that… Put down that pint of mint choc chip (you can have a scoop now and then) and get to a gym, and try your hand at lifting. If it daunts you, get yourself a ‘mean looking’ personal trainer man (or woman) and get them to show you the ropes and put a plan together. You literally won’t regret it!
Stay happy, be healthy and strength train!