Category: Gym

Winter: Basic Rules for Living Happy

Winter. Cold, grey and the perfect breading ground for goals going out the window. Recently, a good friend of mine made a call out for a winter challenge to keep our heart, soul and mind warm over the next few cold months. Those damn winter blues are a killer, and it is so easy to fall into a couch filled, comfort food frenzy. Winter suuuuucks (unless you’re a ski/snowboard fuelled person). And those grey, cold days can play havoc on your happy summer brain. But – we can make it through!

Here are a few tips and tricks to help push through the next winter months.

  • Keep active. Probably the most important one to keep a fresh mind. A gym membership can be so helpful if you can’t get outside on those rainy days, but if the gym ain’t your thing, get active inside. You can find some GREAT workouts on youtube – 30mins daily is all you need.
  • Get outside. On those brief moments you have some clear skies – take advantage and get outside. Some fresh air and open space is all your body craves sometimes!
Get outside when you can!
  • Stretch and breeeeeath. I have found so much solitude in regular stretch and breath sessions. Once again youtube is totally your friend to find some motivation and ideas from some beginner yoga. Or just go with your body, move where it wants to move and find your winter zen flow.
  • Speak! Keep up regular contact with those people that fill your soul. Talk out any blues your feeling and laugh laugh laugh!
  • Be warm. Don’t suffer being cold. My house is pretty chilly, but all it takes is a few blankets and a hot water bottle and I am toasty warm. Nothing beats snuggling up with a good movie on the couch on a winter evening. Warm toes means a warm heart – so keep your tootsies toasty!
  • Keep up with your affirmations. If you’ve been slipping with telling yourself how wonderful you are – write it down and stick it on your bathroom mirror! Even on those cold mornings you’ll find that burst of happiness.
  • Food. Ohhhh it’s so easy to eat all of the comfort food to help warm your cold cold toes through winter. But it’s not gonna help in the long run. Keep up your veges, your healthy snacks and regular eating…and then when you do indulge – enjoy every minute of it.
Stay warm, stay happy!

Winter doesn’t have to be dreary and cold – you can still make HUGE progress on your goals. So don’t give up!

What are your tips for getting through the winter months?

The Girl Who Lifts

xxx

Why you should let go of losing weight and train because you love it

About 5 years ago, my sole purpose to go the gym was to lose weight. Why? Because it would make me happier of course. I would find a boyfriend, get a better job and become that person I always wanted to be. My gym sessions were slow and horrible. I would run on the treadmill, get bored. Go on the bike, get bored. Try the elliptical, get bored. Go home. And because I didn’t have a purpose, I would eat and drink shit….and of course my weight would stay the same. I hated it.

Being stuck in a world of “weight loss” wasn’t helping my confidence. If I didn’t like how I looked, I wasn’t going to portray a very comfortable person, and ultimately, the people I surrounded myself with treated me the same way.

My social media was filled with size 0 models, “how to lose weight” guides, skinny teas and detox guides. My pantry was filled with “treats” I would promise myself to only eat on my cheat meal, but really would gorge into as soon as I got home from work.

Get the picture?

Enter powerlifting.

When I started lifting, I still had the obsession with losing weight, it wasn’t an overnight fix. Weights were then becoming the “fat blaster” fad, and my tiny 2kg dumbells were meant to be the answer to everything. Boy was I wrong. When my coach started teaching me the motions and technique behind the squat, bench and deadlift my goals made a shift from weight lost, to weight I could move.

80kg Deadlift

I remember my first goal of an 80kg deadlift. It seemed impossible when I was only lifting 40kgs, but that was the goal. Each session I would go in, do my program and leave feeling like I had succeeded. It was a brand new feeling.  My coach really encouraged me to stop weighing myself. To stop obsessing over THAT number. It was a very calming break. I started reading self-love guides instead of weight loss guides. I started really talking to myself and telling myself that I was actually OK.

There is a sense of achievement from powerlifting that I had never felt before, and it’s something I’m now addicted to. I STRIVE to be a better lifter. But how does that differ from an addiction to weight loss? Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing before. The idea of “weight loss” seemed so unreachable and mind boggling. I had no idea HOW to get there, or even WHY. The treadmill certainly wasn’t doing it.

My goals are ever-changing. Once I hit that 80kg deadlift – I wanted 100kg. Once I hit 100? 140! And so far I’ve hit every single goal. Just last week I hit my current goal of 190kg deadlift – and that goal has once again increased. It’s the same for squat and bench as well – once you hit that number, celebrate and start again. Bigger and better, every single day.

Oh, and not only am I no longer bored – I have a husband, an awesome job, and found that person I was looking for. And it had nothing to do with losing weight.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Competition day! A rundown of the Christchurch Champs.

On Sunday I competed in my first comp for the year – the Shoreline 3 lift competition held under GPC NZ. Since moving back to New Zealand, I have been so excited to be involved with GPC New Zealand, there is definitely a big sense of family within the federation and I am SO stoked to be here.

We (GPC NZ) are blessed with our President/Competition runner, so I knew it was going to be a good day. Not having a coach for the past year has somewhat hindered my progress (there are only so many youtube videos are girl can watch to try get some help with technique) but I stuck to what I know and managed to get a good 12 weeks of training in. As my work is still picking up, I’ve had HEAPS more time to train, and man it’s made a difference. I was less stressed, less rushed, and had so much more energy to put into training. Long may it continue! My squat and deadlift were feeling pretty good, but my bench has been really lacking due to a crappy shoulder.

The comp itself was run so smoothly. There was an awesome bunch of lifters, all supporting and cheering each other through each lift. If you’re thinking about competing, I would definitely suggest it.

Most Federations will run Novice Competitions – where you can wear your normal gym gear (no sexy softsuits), and learn the rules/regulations for competitions, and I promise you will get addicted to the buzz of a good lift. The feeling of new PBs, 3 white lights and just knowing you’ve given 110% is incredible, and something I would encourage any lifter to try. As this was a mixed competition of both novice and regular competitors, it was so awesome to see so many new faces on competition day, and even more awesome to see them all smash their lifts. There were also lots of familiar faces, and it was bum grabs (thanks Rachel) and high fives all round.

So what makes a good competition? For me – good spotter/loaders, good judges, a patient handler, a loud crowd, along with some epic lifts, all combine to make a damn good day.

  • Spotter/loaders: load the bar with the correct weight, and set up the gear for you to lift. They’ll also catch any missed lifts or slips
  • Judges: 2 side and 1 head. They’ll mark your lifts a good or bad lift. 2 white lights = good lift!
  • Handler: your sidekick/assistant for the day. They’ll fetch your drinks, get your gear ready, psych you up and give you high fives and bum taps when needed.

Ok – so down to the day. Shoreline provided an AWESOME spot for comp. Lots of room to warm up, good room to hold the lifting, and the guys there are great. I was feeling pretty confident going in, and apart from some greedy attempts, I was left pretty happy with my lifts. I walked away with a new PB and New Zealand record, and overall Top Female lifter.

Post comp smiles

My numbers:
Squat
– 1st attempt: 175kg
– 2nd attempt: 185kg
– 3rd attempt: 201kg (no lift)

Bench
– 1st attempt: 65kg
– 2nd attempt: 77.5kg
-3rd attempt: 87.5kg (no lift)

Deadlift
– 1st attempt: 175kg
– 2nd attempt: 180kg
– 3rd attempt: 185kg
– 4th attempt: 190kg (New Personal Best, new NZ record)

I start with a new coach this week, so I am looking forward to really getting my technique sorted and then smashing some big numbers at Nationals in July!

Bring it on!

 

The Girl Who Lifts

xx

How to get through a bad session – a guide to the big fail

I hate the word fail – but sometimes that’s exactly what happens. Today’s session did not go to plan at all. My squats were feeling off, the bar was sitting weird and I would go down, but wouldn’t get back up – the ultimate fail. A weight that would normally move very easy, was suddenly a huge grind and I was NOT happy. And do you know what was going through my head? “FAIL FAIL FAIL”

The failed squat

If you’re anything like me, a bad session can turn even worse very quickly. A few swear words, a few dirty glances in the mirror, talking and thinking yourself down until you grab your things and head for the door. Working through a fail session can sometimes feel harder than the session itself.

So how do you get through it?

First of all, take a deep breath. So much of a fail session is mental, so try not to be too down on yourself. Have a think about what’s going on – outside stresses? Have you eaten properly today? Drunk enough water? So many factors can affect what goes on in the gym, so try and clear your head. Don’t over analyse the fail.

DON’T leave the gym – you’ll let the fail win. You’re there and that’s awesome, so don’t leave on a bad note. If you’re not feeling it, move onto something else. Take the weight down, get your accessory work done, or go for a walk on the treadmill but whatever you do, don’t leave!

A little bit of self belief can go a long way

Ask for a spot. If it’s a confidence thing, sometimes having someone there to catch you/the weight can make all the difference. Most people are pretty keen to help out, so ask someone working out close by, or ask one of the gym staff.

Remember the big picture. Remember what bought you here in the first place. That dress you want to fit into? That holiday that’s coming up? Whatever the reason, get it back in your head and focus on it. For me – it’s my comp in 6 weeks, no bad session is going to stop me pushing towards that goal!

Let it go when you leave the gym. Don’t hold onto it and turn the next session into a bad one as well. Congratulate yourself on what you got through and have a laugh about the bad stuff. Next time you will nail it!

What are your tips for getting through a fail session?

The Girl Who Lifts
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