Lessons from Strength Training

I’ve got some great take aways from my one year (and counting) with strength training. If you’re starting this journey then sit back and let these 3 lessons from the first year help guide you.

1. You don’t need much equipment to get started.

I didn’t want to go back to the gym after canceling my membership during the COVID pandemic so I got the book: Lift Like a Girl by Nia Shanks. And although she refers to gym equipment her blog and social media had ways to make it work at home.

Her book simplifies it! She gives you a plan and all the info on the different exercises you’ll do. So she takes the guess work out of it.

I started with a 20 kilo dumbell and barbell set (they combine and breakdown) and a TRX HOME2 system (suspension band). That was it!

We often make it more complicated in our heads than it needs to be. Why? Our brains don’t really want us to do something new because if all of our basic survival needs are being met then it wants to keep us at status quo because it’s safe here. New = risk for our brains.

Acknowledge how your brain makes it bigger or more complicated and get the book.

2. Start at the bare minimum.

When we start something new, some of us (ahem, me!) tend to go all in. Wanting to do everything and all the time. Does this work? But here’s what worked:

What’s the bare minimum you can do in 1 week come rain or shine, night or day?

What are you 100% sure of that you can do in 1 week and start there. Now, in the book Nia Shanks recommends 3 times a week. And that didn’t last long for me. The bare minimum for me was twice a week and I stayed there for about 7 months.

Then, my brain decided it could do 3. Your brain, after consistently doing something, will try to kick it up a notch. Even if your one a week is walking around your neighborhood for 5 minutes at some point you’ll decide to walk more.

3. Motivation ain’t coming.

After strength training over 100 times in one year, there were about a handful of times I remember feeling motivated to do it. Seriously. The other times I didn’t want to, at all.

You’re never going to feel like doing the thing at the time you need to do thing.

This is something I wish someone had told me. That motivation is lacking, like, almost all the time.

But the best part is is that motivation met me half way through strength training. On the days I was dreading it, I would start with the dread and as I progressed in my sets, I began to feel motivated.

Motivation got me through the rest of the sets. Knowing this also help guide me on the days it was a struggle to get started. And a bonus, this helps guide me in a lot of things in my life that I don’t feel motivated to start!

You can do this!

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