WARNING! How to Properly Prepare to Lift Heavy Stuff, for Your Enjoyment


My goal with this article is simple: to thoroughly prepare you for one of the best workouts of your life. To make that happen, I’m going to share some critical “do’s” and “do not’s” when it comes to lifting heavy stuff.

As you read through this list, please remember . . . I’m only looking out for your best interests.

How to Properly Prepare to Lift Heavy Stuff

1) Make sure you pee before lifting heavy. Seriously. You don’t want a “whoopsie!” while lifting some heavy weights. I don’t know from personal experience, but I’ve witnessed some urine-stained deadlifts. That’s not an event you can discreetly escape, and someone’s gotta clean that mess up. You’ll probably also be labeled with a unique nickname, too; while those can sometimes be fun and cute, I assure you this one will not (Deadlift McPee-Pee Pants?). Always remember — an empty bladder is a safe deadlifting bladder. You’re welcome. (I dare to you attempt a heavy deadlift without thinking about this.)

2) Ladies, whenever possible, allow a fellow male gym-goer to work in with you, especially with squats and deadlifts. This way when he’s reached his top set for the day, you can say you’re still warming up and throw more plates on the bar. This one never gets old.

“Why would I want to Lift Like a Girl?” he smirked while pointing at my shirt.

To which I replied, “Because I’m stronger than you.”

3) Don’t eat beans or anything else that could cause spontaneous flatulence before you workout. Nothing quite like ripping one in the middle of a crowded gym. And I’m not sure why, but gyms seem to have the absolute best acoustics, so you run the risk of that thing echoing throughout the entire gym. And, please, don’t act like it was your shoe squeaking on the floor. Everyone knows the rotten, stinky truth about your now infamous “fart heard ’round the gym”. Hey, on the other hand, you may have gotten another nickname (Mr. or Ms. Toots-a-lot).

4) Be sure to don appropriate underwear. You don’t want to battle a severe wedgie in the middle of an intense set of squats. No matter how hard you try, you can’t shimmy your way out of a wedgie that’s nestled thoroughly between your cheeks. If you’ve already experienced this, you know how distracting it can be. Once again, this is a situation that cannot be discreetly remedied; you’re gonna have to get in the there for the extraction.

 Huge thanks to Jen Keck for her willingness to share her Squat-Wedgie-Queen pic. Epic wedgies increase your strength by 48.29% in double-blind studies

5) Be conscious of the inevitable poop face. Let’s just admit it; when we lift heavy, we all make the poop face. Just don’t let it get too out of hand. You may terrify fellow gym-goers, and small children with suffer from nightmares.

If you must know, this is where the whole thing began.

 Thanks for the good times and great laughs, Molly!

6) Some grunting sounds are okay, but others are just downright offensive. I get it. You’re straining because you’re “going hard” at the gym throwing around heavy weights. But, I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard people make what can only be described as . . . umm, how can I put this delicately . . . sensual groaning sounds while straining through a tough set. Don’t do that. It’s  totally unnecessary. And very, very weird.

7) Have your favorite tunes ready to blast. Nothing like bobbing your head to some great rock music and busting out a little air guitar right before you tackle some heavy deadlifts. Or, better yet, learn the dance moves from the “Thriller” video. You’ll get in a great warm-up with some terrific mobility work to boot.

 Yes. I’ll continue to share that video any chance I get.

8) After you chalk up your hands, make sure you escape the inevitable dust cloud that ensues. There’s nothing tough or sexy about coughing out your lungs  after sucking in chalk dust. I also recommend making sure you don’t rub your face after you’ve chalked up. White powder stains under your nose can cause concerned and befuddled looks on the faces of your fellow gym-goers. This only makes matters worse if you’re wound up from lifting heavy.

9) Make sure your hair is out of your face, and tame those pesky fly-aways. You don’t want to have that creepy serial-killer eye twitch from a random hair tickling your cornea. Even worse is when you combine the psycho-twitch with fervent air puffs from the corner of your mouth. There’s no way you can focus on a tough exercise set with this annoying problem. Stray hairs be damned!

10) If you’re wearing tight pants and you plan on squatting low, be aware! Yep. This one actually happened to me. After a thorough warm-up I approached the bar for my first set of squats. I felt great that day; practically invincible. Everything was clicking, my form was great, and the weight felt exceptionally light. I was determined to dominate . . . no, no . . . I was going to annihilate that first set. I just knew I was going to set a new squat personal record. With exuding confidence I ducked under the bar, stepped back, and descended for my first rep. At the bottom I noticed my shorts were feeling a wee-bit tight. “Meh. No worries,” I thought as I descended for my second rep.

All of a sudden as I hit my depth, “RRRRRRIP”.

I completely blew a hole in the back of my shorts. That totally upset me. I was in the middle of what was possibly one of my best sets of squats of all time on my way to a huge personal record. And to make matters worse, I friggin’ loved those shorts.

11) Always, no matter what, be proud to Lift Like a Girl! Whether you choose to follow or completely ignore the above list (I suggest following it to a “T”, but hey, it’s your call), never stop Lifting Like a Girl!

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  • “I freaking LOVE this info! I'm determined to be a Beautiful Badass!” -Tina V
  • http://www.facebook.com/kala.varner Kala Grace Varner

    Love it – can relate to most of it (ok, all of it dammit)!!

    • Nia Shanks

      Haha! Awesome.

  • Marcie

    LMAO! This just made me spit out my food I was laughing so hard! Can we say embarrassing?!

    • Nia Shanks

      :) Glad I could make you laugh.

  • http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/ Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Awesome post, Nia!

    • Nia Shanks

      Thank you!

  • Stephanie @itrainthereforeieat

    This is an awesome post!! I can especially relate to the hair in the face, but thankfully I haven’t been victim to any of the embarrassing ones yet. That poop face though, it’s inevitable sometimes!

    • Nia Shanks


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506036404 Elsbeth Vaino

    awesome! On #10 – I haven’t done that, but whenever i’m buying new gym clothes, I do a few squats in the changeroom to make sure the fit is functional. Not interested in any sort of nickname involving plumber butt. So unfortunate that there isn’t a video of the short-splitting squat!

    • Nia Shanks

      Thankfully it only happened that one time. :) I learned my lesson!

  • Guest

    Oh dear. This one got me laughing and *worried*. Some of my biggest “fears” are there: No. 1, 3, 4, 5 and 10!! The gym ain’t a pretty place, is it? Haha. I have been a “victim” of No. 9, but I sure hope I won’t fall victim to the rest…

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  • Novella

    haha awesome. however, one of the perks of lifing like a girl is that when you have a SBD fart at the gym, you’re not the first suspect. all the dudes look around at other dudes first. :)

  • Christina

    To combine two of your rules… don’t pick your underwear out of your butt when you have chalk on your hands. It leaves a tell-tale sign. So wear good underwear on chalk days.

    • Nia Shanks

      HA! Love it!

  • http://twitter.com/kacie_phillips Kacie Phillips

    This is great! Thank you for sharing! I am just getting into lifting.. and you make me proud to “lift like a girl.” Your tips ROCK!

    • Nia Shanks

      Awesome, Kacie! Keep me updated!

  • Nars

    Hahahahaha.. Cannot stop laughing! I love this post. Thanks Nia! The only one I can really fess up to is #3. When I let out the “silent but violent” gas and people start making faces and look around.. I just join them and give them the “Who the heck did that?!” face :) Hahahaha.. Just so you all know, it’s only happened maybe once or twice (those dang beans!)

    • Nia Shanks

      HAHA! “Silent but violent”. Awesome.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/abigaildpage Abigail Page

    This was hilarious :)