Arianna Tong is a female powerlifter that shared with me some of her own tips and words of advice for women looking to make powerlifting and/or resistance training a part of their routine.
1. Exercise - do it for YOU (and only you).
When I first started my fitness journey, I started it under the guise of getting slim for my ex boyfriend. Unfortunately, this was toxic . It has took me three years to learn that when it comes to your journey- YOU are your biggest motivator, cheerleader, and champion. Everyone has a journey and it's important to keep the focus on yourself. By relying on external motivators, you're setting yourself up for failure. Instead, motivate yourself in healthy and meaningful ways that inspire, uplift and motivate YOU (and... we'll say it again - ONLY you). Exercise should be a treat you give yourself - not a punishment for food and/or labor used to please someone else.
2. Ask for help!
Oftentimes, we psych ourselves out at the gym because everyone looks like they're a veteran lifter. However, everyone started somewhere. It's okay if you don't know how to do a lift or if you're brand new to the gains-train! Chances are, someone is willing to help you! Not only does that make you a better lifter and avoid injury, but the person teaching you will probably learn something new, too! Meaningful exercise transcends a pursuit for aesthetics; challenge yourself to build community, support and love for your movement program that fosters physical, mental and social wellbeing practices that benefit your overall health and wellness. It's a daunting task, but I challenge you to enter the new year with intention to foster community and support with your fellow gym-friends. You might surprise yourself!
3. Consistency. Is. Key.
Gains don't happen over night, so don't get discouraged. They're also slow and often hard to notice without someone else pointing them out to you. Try focusing on a host of results instead of relying strictly on the scale and/or some other measurement of success. How are you feeling after your workouts? How are. your relationships going since implementing movement into your life? How's your body image and sense of self-worth going? These are all equally important measurements of success that should be considered in addition to any aesthetically-based measures you may already be tracking.
When it gets tough, go back to pointer #1: why are you on this journey? If it's to boost self-esteem, feel good, establish community and fall in love with yourself in the interim, the scale, your body, and the weight you lift aren't the only indicators of success. Keep that in mind! Slow and steady wins the race!
How can you motivate the women in your life to seek out healthy movement and exercise that meets their fitness and exercise goals? In what ways can you foster gym etiquette that welcomes people of all shapes, sizes, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, etc.? Let's continue to lift one another up; we're all stronger that way.
You can see more of Arianna on her social media: @arilikestolift
Justin writes about ways to optimize your health and well-being by cultivating resiliency and self-compassion through sustainable movement and exercise habits that lift you and those around you up..