7 Ways Strength Training Makes Your Life More Awesome

more awesomeMost people strength train, or work out in any form, to change how their body looks (i.e. lose fat or build muscle). Building a “better looking body” and improving health are the main benefits people desire when they train.

While that’s certainly true, it’s also short sighted.

But how in the world can strength training help you live a more awesome life? How can what you do in the gym carryover into every other aspect of your life, and improve it?

Here are seven ways …

1) The strength carryover effect. Being physically strong will have a positive effect on other activities, and your entire life.

No matter what sports or recreational activities you participate in, you’ll experience an improvement in your performance. Likewise, daily tasks will become much easier as will playing with your kids and grand children (or your dog if you’re a canine-parent like me). For older adults (a.k.a. Mature Beautiful Badasses) it keeps them living independently and reduces fall risk.

Bottom line: being stronger can only make your life more awesome.

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The Women’s Beginner Strength Training Guide

Women's Beginner Strength Training GuideStrength training is awesome.

It’s an activity that provides numerous, amazing benefits. And they only increase the longer you strength train.

But for women who are new to strength training it can be confusing, or maybe even intimidating. Don’t worry! This women’s beginner strength training guide will get you on the fast track so you can start strength training correctly, and safely, and begin reaping the wonderful results you deserve.

Below you’ll find seven important strength training notes and a sample strength training program along with exercise demonstrations. Please don’t skip any sections!

Women’s Beginner Strength Training Notes

Before you start the beginner strength training workouts you need to know a few important things first. Do NOT skip this section!

1. Use Exercises That Have a Low Learning Curve, but Provide the Greatest Benefits

Any new activity has an inevitable learning curve, but I like to make it as small as possible. That’s why you should (and will in the following workouts) use exercises that you can learn quickly. This way you can start working hard and correctly from the first day, and this means you’ll get stronger, build momentum, and increase your confidence from the beginning.

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High Rep Squat Workouts and Variations

Double kettlebell squatWant to get stronger?

Want to boost fat loss?

Want to build some muscle?

Want to improve your conditioning?

Want a crazy physical and mental challenge?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you may want to include some high rep squats in your strength training program.

It doesn’t really matter what goal you have – high rep squats can help you get there.

Truth be told, I have a love-hate relationship with high rep squats. They’re incredibly tough and demand your utmost focus and concentration, and they can leave you huffing and puffing like a locomotive. Despite their difficulty, they’re one of my favorite strength training tools and can be done in a variety of ways with various equipment (as you’ll see below).

High rep squats are also a terrific way to work your legs (hard!) without putting too much stress on your back. So for those who may be a bit intimidated to lift very heavy weights while squatting but still want a challenge, then high rep squats are a terrific solution.

Below you’ll see some of my favorite high rep squat workouts and progressions and squat variations you can use for your high-rep-squatting-adventures.

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Two Day Per Week Strength Training Program

Nia Shanks 330 Pound DeadliftI know what you’re probably thinking: how can I get great results from only working out two days per week?

The simple answer: as long as you follow a good program (as provided in this article), work hard, and improve your performance consistently, you can get great results.

In fact, you may be surprised by how much you can achieve from strength training two days per week. After all, quality is more important than quantity.

But before we get to the two day per week strength training routine, let’s discuss . . .

Who Can Benefit from Strength Training Twice Per Week?

Anyone who’s busy. For those who are truly limited on time, two days per week is usually a great solution. You don’t spend much time going to, or in, the gym and you can still achieve great results.

The trainee who is getting burned out from strength training. I go through periods when I don’t love strength training. When this happens, I know I need to scale back the frequency of my workouts, immediately. If you’re not enjoying strength training but keep forcing yourself, week after week, and month after month, to keep training at a high frequency, you risk burning yourself out.

I know, because it’s happened to me. All of a sudden I didn’t enjoy strength training; all because I never scaled back when I should have.

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5 Reasons Women Should Strength Train That are WAY Better than just Building a Great Looking Body

strength training tips

As a loyal Girl Lifter (or, if you prefer, Lift Like a Girl-er, but that sounds horrible) you’re no stranger to the incredible benefits of strength training. You know that consistent, progressive strength training is a fun and efficient way to build a great looking body.

And we all want a body that we love and looks great in (and out of — wink wink) our clothes.

But, and here’s the really awesome part, there are so many more benefits beyond the physical that strength training provides. And it’s these benefits I love the most and believe provide the greatest return on your hard-work investment.

Or to put it another way: looking great is merely a side-effect from a sound strength training program.

When you focus on the benefits revealed below, you’ll enjoy your strength training journey to a higher degree and you’ll have an increased level of motivation to keep working out for the long-term.

So without further ado, here are the five amazing benefits women can experience from strength training, and not a single one has anything to do with how you look.

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51 Rules to Become Your Own (S)hero. Write Your Own Rules, Build a Body You Love, and Live an Awesome Life.

sheroThere’s no shortage of rules in the health and fitness world.

Heck, I’ve created some such as the 6 (Sane and Simple) Rules to Lift Like a Girl, Get Results, and be More Awesome, among others.

But while I think it’s terrific to look to others you trust and adopt some of their rules, I think it’s equally important to write your own set of rules.

Specifically, when it comes to building the body you want, you need to do what makes you feel best. Set your own standards and don’t blindly follow fads or strive to achieve the look “they” say you should have.

I call this becoming your own (S)hero, or for men, hero.

Let’s define this whole Become Your Own (S)hero thing first. What does that even mean?

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When It Comes to Building the Body You Want, the Journey is the Destination


We want, and deserve, results from our hard work.

When we go to the gym consistently, get stronger, and eat well, we want to see the results immediately. And quick results isn’t enough; we want to reach our main goal as soon as possible.

“How quickly can I go from where I am to where I want to be?” we ask.

It’s a valid question and one we all ask whether we’re trying to lose fat, buy a house, finish school, get out of debt, or break free from binge eating. We want to go from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible.

But, and this is really the important part — The journey is the destination.

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Top 7 Reasons You Should Train to Be Awesome


I’ve had the privilege over the past few years to watch, and be part of, a revolution in the world of women’s fitness. And the best part — it’s only getting stronger and gaining more momentum.

More and more women are saying:

  • NO to restrictive dieting
  • NO to relying on a number on the scale to determine their self-worth
  • NO to grueling workouts that leave them exhausted
  • NO to the “eat very little” and “work out ’til you drop” mentality
  • NO to obsessive eating habits
  • NO to body image shaming

And instead they are saying:

  • YES to eating satisfying, delicious meals
  • YES to getting stronger, both physically and mentally
  • YES to highlighting their own individual strengths and abilities
  • YES to being empowered
  • YES to enjoying a wide variety of foods
  • YES to reaching their true potential
  • YES to being the most awesome version of themselves

That last one is quite possibly my favorite as it’s the resounding theme of this website.

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Working Out and Eating Well Should Enhance Your Life, Not Dominate It

llagnegativeWorking out, eating well, and ultimately building the body you want should enhance and improve your life, not define and rule it.

That’s a hard lesson I learned many years ago.

My life revolved around rigid nutrition rules (similar to things like “The Skinny Rules“) or diets and I would never skip a meal or workout under any circumstances. I’d miss family gatherings, parties, and other events if they interfered with  my workout schedule or meal plan.

I was “hardcore” when it came to eating and training. I was also miserable most of the time.

Not only was I sacrificing things in my life that truly mattered — spending time with family and loved ones — but I eventually developed some severe disordered eating habits and became a compulsive binge eater.

My life was defined by working out and eating. And to make things even worse, I still didn’t build the body I wanted.

I was stressed out, exhausted, hungry, and miserable.

Things had to change. It was time for this journey — training hard and eating well — to be stress-free and enhance my life instead of dominate and define it.

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28 Lessons from Strength Training for Over 10 Years – What You can Learn about Your Body and Mind

newlogoimage13 years.

That’s how long I’ve been strength training. During that period of time I’ve learned a lot. Not just about strength training, but the effects it has on my body and mind. I’ve also learned some other valuable lessons that one is bound to experience from having a heavy barbell in their hands.

Here are 28 lessons I’ve learned over the past 13 years of strength training.

1) The reason you begin strength training most likely won’t be the reason you continue to strength train long-term. I would estimate that approximately 95% of clients who hire me do so because they want to lose fat and look better. But that’s not what keeps them motivated long-term.

Sure, at first all they’re concerned about is looking great, but once they strength train the Beautiful Badass way, they crave way more than that. Instead of focusing on losing fat, they begin to care about setting new personal records. They want to see how strong they can get. They strive to achieve physical feats they’ve never been able to do. Their mentality changes from physique oriented goals to performance oriented goals. That’s not to say trainees, and myself included, no longer care about looking great; it’s just that our focus is on what we can do and we reap the benefits of building a better body in the process.

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