Failing in the gym was the best progress I've made thus far

As a woman, it is tough to connect the thought of lifting heavy weights (let alone powerlifting) with weight loss. Well, what exactly is powerlifting? To put it simply - it means failure. When you go to the squat rack or bench press, it means that you need to fail every time. Such a backwards mindset when it comes to gym-time as a female. 

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Growing up, I (Calley) was encouraged to play hard, win, get the goal, etc. etc. Of course we learn the importance of not always 'winning' but ultimately it's never encouraged to fail. So for me, I consider myself an athlete because I'm competitive and play volleyball even at my old ripe age of 27 :). And when I play, I play because I want to compete and (hopefully) win. I've been playing volleyball since 6th grade? Maybe earlier. So it is ingrained in me to push myself towards a goal of winning. But this 30 day challenge of powerlifting has helped me see failure differently. 

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I'm proud of my failures. In this challenge, I could not have completed this without the support of Ginger. If you haven't read about her journey - take a look here. But Ginger was a vital role to the success of me failing. Why? Because I was able to have someone push me beyond my 'limits' and also be there for me when I do fail. 

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Having a workout buddy was a definite MUST for me. And if you are reading this and considering trying Powerlifting, consider finding a friend to join you on the journey. I followed Syatt Fitness' Powerlifting and although I didn't follow the food-nutrition part, I did try to continue to eat healty. After completing Whole 30 (check out that challenge here) - I have been trying to continue to eat clean and keep my habits that I formed last month to continue on into lifestyle changes. Essentially this powerlifting routine consists of 3 days of powerlifting. Squats, Bench Press, and Deadlifts. On our "off" days - I tried to do cardio, volleyball or one of his circuit training to get the heart rate up. 

When I began this journey, I started at:

  • Bench Press max: 105 lbs.
  • Squat max: 165 lbs.
  • Deadlift max: 175 lbs.

Understanding my baseline was key for me to learn how I can grow. So throughout my month, I found that consistency was key. Ginger and I would have 'check ins' on Monday mornings where we would plan out our week. Having her keep me accountable and in-check always helped set my week and also helped a lot with my food. Eating healthy became a priority because when I did so well in the gym, I wanted to have that flow over into other parts of my life. 

Powerlifting also made me realize the progress I've made throughout my 30 days. Here's my stats of where I 'ended.'

  • Bench Press max: 115 lbs.
  • Squat max: 185 lbs.
  • Deadlift max: 235 lbs.

Although lifting such heavy weights was something I NEVER ever ever would have considered, I'm happy I challenged myself this month with that. I do enjoy spending time in the gym with weights and have done some lifting before - but again, I have never failed so often in my month. If you think that weightlifting will make you bulky or manly (as a woman) - I want to challenge you to try. But not only to try, to commit to it 100%. No matter what your goal in the gym - it's always best to have a buddy and to set a goal and understand that sometime failing, stumbling, crawling is progress that is helping you get to your goal. 

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If this lengthy post doesn't inspire you - my gal pal Leez has some other inspiring insight on 100 squats a day for 30 days -- aka 3,000 SQUATS! Crazy, right? Well - not completely! Read more about her journey here.

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