Posts tagged powerlifting
Breaking Up With Your Bullshit

There is this running joke in my group of friends that my real “coaching secret” for clients is that, after they start working with me, they break up with their lame ass partners.  While I’m clearly not out here wrecking relationships and certainly never want my clients, or anyone for that matter, to have to deal with the heartache and not so great feelings that come with breakups…this is kiiiind of true.  The irony is this has very little to do with me or their partners. It’s not about leaving relationships – it’s about breaking up with the bullshit stories we tell ourselves.

We all walk around with a set of narratives in our minds. Some of those are positive and productive, and some of those are negative and limiting. Those stories are how we make sense of our experiences, the feedback/rewards/punishments we received as a consequence of those experiences, and the subsequent meaning and value we assign to all of that.  Those narratives can inform how we view ourselves, others, and how we move through the world around us. They can tell us that we aren’t worthy of success, that we must settle for a person who doesn’t treat us well, or that we aren’t capable of accomplishing that big goal that we really want.

For example: let’s say you are in a relationship and every time you try to have a discussion with your partner about your need for communication, you get told you’re “needy” or “too emotional” or “seeing things that aren’t there”. Repeat this for a few times and pretty soon, you start to believe that maybe you are too needy, too emotional, or making things up.  This is a pretty clear cut and extreme example and often times, the process is more subtle and subversive than this, but the point remains – we are constantly editing and rewriting the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.

Now, what the hell does this have to do with health and fitness? In short, everything.

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These stories influence our behaviors, habits, and the actions we do and do not take, including those relating to our fitness. We tell ourselves that we are “weak”, that we aren’t “disciplined enough”, or that our deadlift sucks.  We consistently and pervasively devalue ourselves and formulate an identity around being the person who just “can’t” or for whom everything goes wrong. We take ourselves out of the driver’s seat of our lives and simply become a passenger. We also keep ourselves stuck in this narrative because we cannot see beyond our past experiences and engage in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 Once we begin to take steps to make positive changes in our lives through fitness, nutrition, etc. these stories begin to unravel. Now, as we add weight to the bar, we have clear and consistent proof that we are capable of doing hard things. As we practice positive self-talk and affirmation for those PRs, we begin to practice that outside of the gym. When we prioritize our health and feeling good, we begin to realize just how nice it is to feel good and be back in the driver’s seat. We slowly begin to design our lives to be ones that are positioned around hard work, the constant quest for self-improvement, and the recognition that we can actually do things to change our circumstances. Those former bullshit stories? Sorry, but they don’t have a place here.

There are times when bettering yourself makes you realize you deserve better. Valuing yourself and believing in yourself means that you change your story. Bettering yourself requires you to break up with your own bullshit. Like any other break up, it may be a bit painful and uncomfortable, but there is nothing but greatness waiting on the other side.

Women & Strength: We Don't Owe You Pretty
photo by: the loyal brand

photo by: the loyal brand

My squat doesn’t give a shit about your hard on.

The idea that a woman can’t or won’t attract a man (so many issues there to begin with) if they lift is as asinine as it is common. After all, why would a woman do annnnything that wasn’t 100% focused on making herself appear more desirable to a man? *eye roll so hard you die*. This notion is so problematic, for a myriad of reasons:

1. it assumes that women should only derive their value and worthiness from their ability to be “fuckable” (phrase from Krista Scott Dixon). If you’re not working towards that, then what’s the point? That is your only value here.
2. based on that, women ONLY engage in fitness for aesthetics and the pursuit of obtaining said fuckable status.
3. That status is rooted in being smaller, adhering to an arbitrary standard, and that women’s only source of worthiness is her appearance.

There is nothing wrong with training for aesthetics (body autonomy = you do you, boo!), but to assume that women only engage in fitness to be more aesthetically pleasing is complete bullshit. The fact that so many women have heard this break my heart. Your worth has about 0% to do with what some random ass human thinks about your level of desirability. I know it may feel that way and I know that the world has told you differently at times. But I promise, if you tell those people to sit down and shut up, a whole new world of people who see your true value opens up.

Women do not HAVE to care about being sexually desirable to the random men of the earth and Internet.

My deadlift gives literally negative fucks about some dude’s designation of me as attractive.

And yours doesn’t have to care either.

Cutting Weight for Powerlifting? Avoid These 3 Beginner Mistakes
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*Note: this article covers the topic of cutting weight to make a weight class for strength sports. This is not an article about fat loss or sustainable weight loss. Cutting weight can be very dangerous and you should consult with your physician before engaging in a cut.*

Prefer video? You can catch a quick video that covers all of this info on my FB Page. 

Cutting weight for strength sports like powerlifting is not a fun endeavor. It’s physically draining and mentally stressful. There can be a lot of panic and worry surrounding those 30 seconds on the scale, especially if you’ve never cut weight before. I won’t get in to when it is advisable for athletes to cut weight or how much is appropriate, because that would be an entirely separate article. Spoiler alert: the vast majority of people do not need to make drastic cuts or cut any weight when competing in strength sports.  

However, if you find yourself in a position where you’re about to cut (an appropriate) amount of weight for the first time, check out the tips below to help you have a successful cut! 

  1. Starting too soon: If you’ve cut out your carbs and salt 3 weeks out from weigh ins....you’re gonna have a bad time. Manipulation of variables like water, salt, and carbohydrates are all tools in the toolbox when it comes to cutting weight. Removing those tools early on leaves you with limited resources to use as you’re close to your weigh in day. A cut based on water manipulation (and subsequent losing of excess water in the body) should start anywhere from 5-7 days out, depending on the athlete and the situation. Don’t limit your resources by trying to cut everything out too soon! 
  2. Doing too much: Much like starting too soon, doing too much can negatively impact your cut and more importantly, your meet day performance. If you’re only 1-2lbs over (and not a very light weight athlete) you likely do not need to manipulate your water and cut carbs and be super dehydrated for days on end. You want to minimize the amount of time that you are depleted and dehydrated for optimal performance on your meet day. Being at weight 4 days out, if you're cutting, is definitely not required or recommended.
  3. Panicking and not trusting the process: When you are cutting weight for the first time, it is important that you have realistic expectations about what the process will be like and what to expect day to day.  For example, when loading water and salt, it's fairly  normal to gain a few pounds on the scale for a day or two. This is totally fine! It is part of the process! But, if no one has set your expectations for you, this can cause you to panic and start taking drastic and often unnecessary measures. Remember, you only need to be at weight for about 10 minutes on weigh in day. Trust the process you or your coach has laid out for you and try to chill out as much as possible.

Again, cutting weight is not something that most people should be doing. It is not a long term fat loss solution or a health booster. It is something done to make a weight class to be competitive in a sport. If you've never cut weight before, I highly suggest hiring a coach to help you through the process. There is quite a  bit of science that goes into constructing an effective, safe cut and rehydration/refeed process that sets you up for a solid performance. It is much easier to have someone else take the reigns in this realm so that you can focus on getting ready for your big event. 

Got more questions on cutting weight? Leave them below!