Today, I read this article that really resonated with me – her journey from being fat, to being obsessed with working out, to discovering strength training, and then taking it a step further – becoming a powerlifter.
For many, going to the gym or starting a workout regimen is often a lot about losing weight. So that’s where the writer’s journey began, as did mine.
It is a common narrative especially amongst women who start strength training: that hate for running and cardio which then made them turn to strength training. (And for some of us, taking that further, to competing in powerlifting).
Today, I’m here to share more about why this happens.
Barbell training is fun, and it is a form of training that you can track your progress with, in terms of weights lifted, your technique, and even how you feel when you do your training. Appearance (vanity) wise, due to how strength training promotes building lean mass in your body, you will definitely notice changes in the way you look, with muscles providing a more athletic, tighter overall look, you will be able to even track how it fits into clothes, without ever stepping onto a weighing scale!
Strength training also often introduces you to many more aspects of fitness, for example, by making you more aware of nutrition than you were before. With strength training, setting strength goals, nutrition comes into play because you definitely don’t want to put in all that effort without maximizing the effects of the strength training.
But more importantly, strength training builds confidence. What can improve your confidence more than knowing that you can lift x amount of weights? And that number grows, over time! At the start, it’s the 20kg barbell, and one day you find yourself lifting a barbell loaded up with weights equivalent to your bodyweight, or more. What can be more gratifying than knowing that you are strong, and could be even stronger? That has done wonders for my mental strength as well. If I can get through a difficult training program, squatting 100kg for reps, I can deal with whatever shit life throws at me.
Wait. So you mean I can get physically stronger, and mentally stronger?
YES. Isn’t that amazing?
Of course, injuries can sometimes be part of lifting weights, especially if you train at high intensities while preparing for a competition. I cannot stress the importance of mobility work, and how you can prepare your body for lifting weights, so as to reduce risks of injury.
In the end, strength training, in my opinion, takes away a lot of focus and obsession from the numbers on the weighing scale, or even in measuring my body fat, and definitely helped me to stop hating my body. I could not hate a body that could lift heavy weights, that helped me move with greater power, that could learn so much more than I knew yesterday. It helped me to realize there was more to fitness than simply weight loss.
Wanna give it a shot? You don’t have to be a powerlifter to lift some weights. Come try out our Beginner’s Barbell semi-private training sessions, where we focus on teaching technique and improving form, over everything else.