All tagged #WonderWomanLoading

Why Hide?

What's so wrong with wanting to get big? Why can't we take care of ourselves because we're worth being loved on? Why can't we agree with a compliment? Are we not allowed to feel our damn selves?

We put in work. We show up. We come through. We do our best. We make magic.

Why hide it?

Real Talk (x5) : Let's Crush (if I don't make you mad first).

It's no secret that I began here after being at a crossroads in my life. Crossroads are never easy places. Sometimes they're huge, with flashing neon signs, and sometimes, they're much more understated, and we don't even realize they were pivot points until much later.

Each and every day contains hundreds of choices, all of which move us closer to or further away from the people we want to be.

Some of my best writing was borne from exploring this concept, realizing that, no matter what the circumstances, I still remained the powerful, worthy being I have always been.

This is How you Find your Calling. And get Great at it. (#grittyAF)

More than anything, success and achievement are the result of developing a passion and seeing it through. Fitness, like many things in life, but contrary to societal messages, presents boundless opportunities for expansion. We get to choose to push our limits, to realize we can set goals and smash them, to develop the competence and confidence to push through the hard, ride the waves, and come out where we set out to be. (Chatting new commitments on the biz page! Hop over.)

Happy 4th of July (and THANK YOU for ONE YEAR)!

This is entirely self-indulgent of me, but I also wanted to take a quick second, on the one-year anniversary of #StrongBySteph, to thank all of you who have been here, whether you've been A1 since Day 1 or just recently joined in on the fun. 52 emails about hacking nutrition, living in gratitude, learning to lift, and letting ourselves take up (and increase!) our space in the world have been quite the ride. And we're only going up! 

I'm so thankful to have you as online friends, IRL friends, colleagues, lifting buddies, Instagram supporters, Facebook commenters (and trolls, because, hey, me too. Love you.), fellow pizza enthusiasts, sauce slatherers, puppy people, and everything in between. I began this project as an outlet, creating space in the fitness industry in which we could discuss more than how many reps we should do or how many grams of carbs are safe to eat, and it's turned into more than I imagined. A simple "thank you" could never be enough, but that's what I've got.

On Summertime Distractions: Let's Stop Playing Small and Get Back to Crushing.

Listen, we’ve all yo-yoed, we’ve all slashed carbs, we’ve all freaked out at the prospect of wearing fewer clothes, because we meant to make this year the year we buckled down and became the magazine-edition of ourselves.

I’d challenge that by saying…we already are. :)  So take that cover-edition body and get under a barbell (or to a class, or in the yoga studio, or outside on a walk, or up a mountain, or wherever) and treat it like the #queenshit it is.

When we change our minds that we’re moving because we deserve to – that however much space we take up, it’s ours, and we get to do with it as we please – movement and nutrition instantly become more fun. They become thoughtful pursuits of strength (holla Juggernaut), dedicated expeditions to test our limits, mindful explorations of our joys. What sets our soul on fire is what makes us feel most confident, so let’s find it, crush it, and keep moving on the road to expansion

"Muscles are the best accessory."

When we realize that we’ve put in a ton of work – we’ve done hard shit to get these quads; we’ve done the detective work to find what way of eating works for us and eaten well; we’ve made ourselves a priority in a world that’s telling us to do everything but – we realize that the next challenge at work, the next tense relationship discussion, the next snag in a friendship, the next financial setback, is really NBD. We’ve figured out challenges before, and have the physical mass (because, hello, muscles take up space, and that’s OURS. Own it.) to prove it, so we can do it again. And again. And again. No matter how many times life asks us to, we have tangible evidence that we can get down and dirty – get gritty and get in the mud and fight it out.

Make the choice to do the hard things- that's where the fruit is.

To train for physical strength is to train for mental strength. The iron is a proving ground, and it never lies to us: we can either lift the weight or we can’t. And when we discover that we can – and that we can do more than we imagined we could – we begin to discover that we can do other hard things too.

Every moment of every day presents a choice. We get to see it for what it is whenever we want to, and there’s no judgment: at every challenge, do we embrace our new #WonderWomanLoading mentality and expand, or do we stay small and safe? The time is right for either; we just have to choose. If we choose small one day, that’s okay, because we know that a new choice is right around the corner, and we’ve chosen big – and succeeded! – before, so we can do it again.

We can learn new skills. We can smash PRs. We can get to know who we really are and what we really want. We can deepen our intimacy and trust in relationships. We can pursue our passions. It’s all available to us; the door is wide open. We have to cultivate the courage and create the space to step through it.

How to hip hinge and move into powerful deadlifts

There’s literally nothing I love more than the camaraderie amongst true fitness people in the gym. I’m not talking about the meatheads that slam things around (although I do my fair share of that) and bicep curl all day (in the squat rack…that’s not what it’s for, bro) and grunt and slam NO-Xplode and rub orange self-tanner all over the bench you wanted to use.

Not to knock them, because, do your thing, but my people are the ones who strive to improve every day. Who see the gym as a training ground for life, and who are there to motivate themselves and celebrate the accomplishments of others. They’re there – I promise! I know, because I’m one of them. And I have a few people that come at my same time of day, and every time we’re there together, we ask how the program is, how the goal is, how work is, how life is…everything.

And when one of them hits a new PR? Or has a business success? Or proposes to his girlfriend? FIREWORKS, MAN. We’re on this Earth to cheer each other on in this relentless pursuit of expansion. We’re all trying to do better, have better, and be better, so it’s important to find the ones who support our mission and push us to keep on loading, reminding us every time we stop or burn or almost quit that we are powerful and worthy of growth.

Few lifts will prove this as thoroughly as the deadlift.

Embrace the suck (you've heard it before, and I'm here to tell you again) (+ a workout!)

The bench press has taught me what God has been showing me basically my entire life: the dreamers, the doers, the problem solvers, the hippies – we aren’t meant for a life of mundane. We aren’t meant to uphold the status quo, to go with the flow, or do what someone tells us to do just for the sake of doing it. We’re meant to change the world, one step at a time, and to do that, we’ve gotta get in the mud and find out where the pain is and why it hurts. Embracing the suck means more than just acknowledging that it’s shitty; it’s loving every second of it, knowing that it’s useful.

Ultimately, our lives are up to us. We get to choose to be glad for even the things we hate, and we get to choose to make them better, if that’s how we’re so called. The iron can teach us that, and, if we look, so will the rest of life.

Transferable life skills: 4 steps to setting up for the barbell back squat (step 0: ignore the people throwing chalk in the gym like Lebron James).

Ah, the squat.

It’s humbled everyone out there, in one way or another.

We’ve all seen videos of huge dudes with 58 plates loaded on a bent bar amping themselves up, Lebron-ing some chalk around, and looking like their heads are gonna explode somehow go down and come back up with those hundreds of pounds.

An impressive feat, to be sure, but also unlikely to be any of our goals here in real life (cool party trick, though); it’s far more likely to cause a bunch of anxiety surrounding what is, at the bottom of everything, a fundamental movement pattern for life.

We look at the bar, we remember the intimidating videos, we remember that we’re new – that we’re in the conscious incompetence or conscious competence stage of learning – and instantly feel that, because we aren’t yet masters, we’re unworthy. We talk ourselves out of great things every day, team, because of this feeling, and, a lot of times, overcoming this in bigger, more impactful areas of life starts with giving ourselves a smaller victory to build momentum: overcoming this in the gym (or on the yoga mat, or deep in meditation, or if we somehow find ourselves on a treadmill, fill in the blank.).

We’ve cultivated awareness, we’ve gotten our breath under us, we’ve accepted our situation, and here, in the barbell squat, we have our first challenge.

So! I’m gonna walk you through it, from a form perspective, step by step. Because if some meathead dude can do it, so can you (also, hello to any meathead dudes that may be reading this, and sorry you’re on the back burner rn.).