Do you ever read a blog post or a status update that breaks your heart? The other day I read a blog post from Nia Shanks that just socked me in the gut. It talked about a woman she was working out with and complaining that she wasn’t seeing results. As Nia patiently watched her, it was clear that she wasn’t lifting to her full potential. She didn’t know what intensity really was. Yet, she was in the gym loyally many days a week putting in the work like she knew she should.
I did that for years. I have loved lifting for a very long time. I spent hours a week in the gym, week after week, year after year. Never getting to what I thought I should. I learned most of my weight lifting from magazines like Shape, Oxygen and Muscle&Fitness Hers. They gave me the exercises and the sets and reps but could not convey what working hard REALLY felt like. I never had an in person coach or mentor to help me see what I was capable of. I know some people discover this all on their own but I tend to be Ms. Comfort Zone or Ms. Consistent Energy – carefully throttling my energy so I know I can make it comfortably all the way through my sets/reps/workout. That means I rarely pushed myself as I needed.
Until I found Crossfit. I was shown true intensity. I really for the first time was able to test what I could do.
I am stronger now than I ever have been before in my life and I love it.
Yes, I wish I would have had crossfit or a coach that would have keyed me into this YEARS ago but I didn’t. I have it now and I plan to make the most of it that I can for as long as I possibly can.
Are you doing what you are fully capable of in the gym?
1) Get a mentor (a coach, a personal trainer who is worth a damn, a friend who can push you, a great lifting partner): some one who can watch and help push you further than you thought you could go. The feedback and insight is invaluable.
2) Test yourself Yes, 10 reps of a back squat at 85lbs might feel like enough but put 10, 15, 20 more pounds on the bar and see if you can step up to the challenge. Safety first and always, of course!
3) Growth comes from being uncomfortable. If you are comfy with your routine in the gym but you are wanting to continue to get better then change it up.