Powerlifting is a weightlifting competition sport where you get three attempts at maximal weight on squats, deadlifts and bench press. Like a little kid in the candy store, this excites me. I am addicted. There is something about a physically strong woman that is undeniably sexy.
During #summer16 I began focusing on strength training because a fitness goal of mine is to lower my body fat % and gain muscle. I became educated about how lifting weights burns more fat than doing cardio. Lifting also keeps your body in a fat burning mode for up to 24-32 hours after you workout because it naturally speeds up your metabolism. When you stick to just cardio, you stop burning fat when you end your workout and it won’t start again until your next cardio session. This is why progress could seem painfully slow when just sticking to this method. I hate cardio so this information became gold to me. Becoming educated shifted my mindset about what my workouts needed to look like to achieve my goals. I created a routine and began to lose fat naturally with limited cardio and began to see my new baby muscles. #SHOCKER
I am now intrinsically motivated to workout. This means working out is a pleasurable experience for me and is no longer an item at the bottom of my to do list. Trust me, it wasn’t always this way! I feel drastically different mentally, physically and emotionally on the days that I do not work out. There is something about a good boost of natural endorphins from the body that promotes clarity, motivation and a sense of direction. I remember what it felt like to just be working out because of someone else or out of guilt. This cycle is not healthy for anyone and it takes dedicated time of personal self-reflection to figure out your personal why. This is the first step to change.
“I want to look in the mirror and see a strong, healthy woman with muscle definition and curves. I want my endorphins to naturally ward off anxiety, depression and stress and clear my mind to allow me to refocus my energy daily.”
I am drawn to powerlifting because it allows me to achieve my personal why while having a dose of healthy competition in my life. I love that the culture of powerlifting encourages you to train to be strong just the way you are. Women that powerlift don’t have to mold themselves into a certain image before competitions like bikini competitors do. Every woman has her own preferences for what she enjoys training for athletically and that’s okay. I personally like to carry a certain percentage of body fat and powerlifting allows me to comfortably stay true to myself.
The purpose of my current strength training routine in this season of my life is to build a strong foundation. I am a firm believer of sticking with the basics because they work! I typically train 5 days a week with two rest days – one on the weekends and one during the workweek.
I love absolutely this quote and am reminded of this simple truth daily. I would have never known that I was a powerlifter in the making until I decided that my why was more important than my comfort. Not everyone needs to compete but I hope that when you decide to hit the gym you keep in mind your reason why to help you stay committed to your goals!
I will continue my training until the end of the year to build my foundation slow and steady. In January I plan to start training for my first powerlifting competition and treat myself to some new training shoes, adhere to competition guidelines, ect. – eek! I plan to compete for the first time in #summer17!
Thank you for allowing me to open up about this journey. What is your why?