Blog Post

the first time I lifted weights: #embarrassing

Over the last 4 weeks, 60+ women (…and a few men!) tested out one of the workouts in Strength Made Simple – my 9-week strength training program. I am suuuupppeerrr grateful for those who did, because I used their feedback from the sample workout to make edits and changes to the program before releasing.

In getting that feedback, I asked the workout tester-outers 5 quick questions; one was this:

What still confuses you about strength training? What are you still unsure of?

One of the most common responses was something along the lines of… I get the basics of strength training because I take a lot of classes. I am just terrified of going into the weight room. I want to get stronger and more toned but I’m afraid of that scary section in the gym.

First – if this is you, know that you are NOT alone. This is a real fear for so many people. I’ve been there too. 

Second – that fear or discomfort might just be the # 1 thing that can drive you to make some amazing changes in your strength and your physique. 

Have you ever heard that phrase “changes happens when you step outside of your comfort zone”? It’s so true and totally applies in this situation. Think about a time in your life where you were challenged. You were uncomfortable. You were afraid. What was that process like? What happened as a result of that discomfort? Probably some seriously significant changes. 

Here’s an example. I haven’t really shared this a lot until this week because it’s kinda embarrassing, but I want tell you about what happened the first time I attempted to lift weights back in 2012. (big weights: dumbbells and barbells, in the gym, not in a class or using machines). Knowing I wanted to try something different with my workouts, I bought a strength training book so I could learn the basics. I read it. I made notes in the margins. I highlighted things. If you know me, you know that I really like to be prepared and it freaks me out to not have the knowledge or information I need to be successful.  And I was prepared. I was pretty pumped to get started, but was also really nervous. Like, I could not sleep the night before that first workout because I was so nervous. 

When I got to the gym on that Monday morning, I started out doing a 5 minute warm up on the elliptical. And that turned into 10 minutes.
Then 20.
And 30.
Eventually 45.

I was terrified to start this new workout in the weight room. The first exercise I was supposed to be squats: with a barbell, on a squat rack. I had done squats a zillion times before in classes with hand weights, but never with a freakin’ barbell. I was SO SCARED that the other people in the gym would look at me like I didn’t belong there and that I would look stupid fumbling around with the equipment.

I left that day having done a 45 minute cardio workout on the elliptical. I never once touched the squat rack. I was so disappointed in myself that I went back home, re-read the entire book and vowed to try again the next day. 

And I did just that. I walked into the gym, still scared but determined. I went straight to that squat rack, acted like I owned the place, pretended I was an old pro at lifting weights and did the damn thing. And I survived that first weight-lifting workout. Yes, it was a sloppy hot mess. No, I still didn’t really know what I was doing. But it was fine. Guess what? No one even paid one lick of attention to me. No one cared what I was doing.

That fear of looking stupid was all in my head and honestly, it was holding me back.

Over the course that year, I completed the entire program. During that time, my body changed in ways I never thought possible. I started to see new muscles I never knew I had. My clothes started fitting differently – and I liked it! But more than that, my confidence in and out of the weight room soared. Building physical strength was freakin cool, but building strength in other areas outside of the weight room – in my work, in my relationships & in literally every other facet of life was even better.

If you’re looking to get a different result from your workouts – whether that’s building strength, putting on muscle, getting more toned, losing weight or whatever, the #1 thing you have to do is to step out of your comfort zone and try something different. Yes, it’s gonna be scary.Yes, it’s gonna be uncomfortable.But if you follow through and trust the process, you’re gonna be amazed with the changes you cultivate.

Strength Made Simple is a 9-week [gym-based] training program I created to help you build strength and change your physique…which is great. But it’s also designed to help you gain confidence in the weight room so that you can show up bigger, stronger and more badass than ever in all other areas in your life as well.

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