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November 18, 2018by cclifefit0

“I’m so weak in my upper body..”

I hear this on a daily from all my new clients coming to me.

Ladies, unfortunately, this is inevitable for us. We like to compare ourselves to the boys on this one. Their genetic make-up allows the boys to be more dominant in this area.

Here are a couple of reasons why this is the case.

  1. Our bodies do not hold as much muscle mass in the shoulders, chest, back and arms. Visually we can see most males are more built & defined in those areas, even if they do not train or lift a weight. For females, we have to work very hard to build up / tone / develop these areas. We need to be training our upper body frequently & consistently, with varying exercises & challenging loads!

Sometimes it can take us years to get our first pull up (2 years it took me)  even with consistent training! Upper body training should be a priority, not just training legs & ass. The plus side of this is, we carry more muscle mass in our legs than the boys do, so generally, we find lower body endurance & high rep leg training easier on us. 

Hello, walking lunges! A girl’s best friend, but shouldn’t be your only friend! 

2. Hormones. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for building muscle (bless it). We have much lower levels of testosterone flowing through our blood, which is why the theory behind “weight – training makes women bulky” is false. Impossible for us to bulk & get huge, unless we are eating in a huge calorie surplus, taking growth hormone supplements & lifting ridiculously heavy weights.

We NEED to be lifting weights & training upper body!

Why? Well…

  • To change our body composition – tone & define your triceps /biceps/shoulders/ back
  • To look good in a singlet
  • To improve physical & mental strength
  • To continue to burn calories, even after your session has finished
  • To help our confidence, especially our body image issues
  • To stay motivated when you see your progress, lifting or doing more than the day/week before.
  • To vary & spice up your gym routine.

So, here are my favourite exercises I have found to help build your upper body strength.

For all these exercises can use dumbbells or a barbell. Whatever your preferred method is.

  • Overhead– pressing. Strict Press & Push Press
  • Bench Press
  • Bent-over rows
  • Pull up & Chin up progressions

All these exercises are compound exercises, targeting major & minor muscle groups. Safe & 100% effective. Check out my exercise library to see them all being performed correctly!

 


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November 16, 2018by cclifefit1

From a young age, about 10 onwards, I remember starting to become aware of how I looked. I also became aware of how my friends looked. She was smaller than me, I would think. Her hair was longer than mine. Her legs were skinnier than mine. Bloody 10 years old! I would look into my Cosmopolitan & Dolly magazines and think “Why don’t I look like these girls in here?” And physically remember feeling down & depressed about it.

Comparison – The thief of all joy.

As a teenager, it continued. It was instilled in my nature to compare myself to those around me.

She was prettier.

She played better netball than me.

She was smarter than me. 

Why? Why would I do this?

Insecurities.

I lacked confidence in myself & my ability. For most of us, this is where our insecurities stem from. And then we look at those around us, who we think are “better” than us & just WISH we could be like them, not realizing these people we are looking up to, are doing the exact same thing in their minds.

You are responsible for your own happiness.

When I was 16 I joined a gym to help me with Netball & because I wanted to be ‘skinnier’.

It took me a few years to be honest, probably in my early 20’s to get over my body image issues & stop comparing myself to those around me. I had to build up my confidence. My key to that was training. Making myself physically stronger in the gym, also made me mentally stronger to deal with all my issues outside the gym. The training was (and still is) my feel-good drug.

My body is my body. It is not perfect. But I LOVE it. I work hard on improving it daily & I no longer feel the need to compare myself to those around me. Off course, people will always look better than us, but that is their DNA, their genetics, their hard work put in. No good will come from me looking at my friend or co-worker & comparing myself. The only thing I can do is be inspired by their hard work & work even harder on myself!

If people say to me “I want your body” I always respond with “No you don’t”.

My body is my body.

Focus on you & DO YOU! Forget me & everyone around you.

My tips to help you feel good about yourself.

  1. Eat good food. If you eat shit, you will feel shit. Nothing worse than pigging out on junk food & sugar 3 days in a row. What will that do to your mindset? It will mentally fuck you up. And our human nature will send us on a guilt trip for days, because you know you shouldn’t treat your body that bad, by feeding it processed garbage. Respect your body & give it the respect it deserves.
  2. Move. Do something active every day. Burn fucken calories. Walk, run, swim, Crossfit, weights – WHATEVER just move. Our bodies are designed to move & not still around like sloths all day.
  3. Positive self-talk. Fucken compliment yourself. If you start calling yourself negative shit, like “Fat” you then give those around you permission to think & even call you these negative things. DON’T FUCKEN DO IT. NEVER let a negative word about yourself come out of your mouth. The universe doesn’t want to hear it & neither do the people around you.
  4. Surround yourself with people who uplift you. ALWAYS.

Your body is your vessel of life. Fucken love it no matter what.