What Makes Me Feel Like a Badass
Every so often, I have to switch up my workout routine to make sure I stay motivated. Not only is switching up your routine great for your stamina, but it also makes sure your muscles stay challenged. For me, at one point this involved doing the Kayla Itsines BBG program. At another point, I was obsessed with following workout videos I found on the web- whether from POPSUGAR, SELF, or my favorite workout bloggers. About a year ago, I was obsessed with barre and my personal trainer. And my more recent obsession has become Barry’s Bootcamp and using the squat rack.
When looking back at my different workout interests, I can see why they all make sense. When I first started out with consistent exercise, BBG was a great way for me to become accustomed to strength training and different exercises. Then, the online videos were a great way for me to further develop my new skills, putting them to the test in various outlets and types of workouts. The next step was increasing my strength even more, my personal trainer pushing me to test my limits (something that was hard for me to do on my own at first). Now, after two and a half years of consistently visiting the gym, I am always eager to push myself and see what I can do on my own. I’ve acquired a large catalog of various exercises and am always researching new ones online, so I can create workouts that will challenge me and make me leave the gym feeling accomplished and proud of my strength. Honestly, I’m motivated by the fact that these workouts make me feel like a badass.
To me, there is nothing as encouraging as seeing myself conquer a difficult exercise or workout. Of course, it often takes many attempts (you should have been there when I first started doing box jumps on the three-foot box- I landed split legged more times than I can count). But when I finally achieve my goal, I feel so cool! Like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
Barry’s Bootcamp has become one of my favorite classes over the past six months because of its atmosphere (and protein shakes, no shame). The pulsing red lights, the blaring music, and the high intensity training make me feel stronger and faster than ever. I always leave sweating profusely, but with a huge smile on my face.
The squat rack is also one of my favorite places at the gym. A lot of people are scared of this rack, believing it is for men, or that it will make them “bulky,” or even that they just can’t do it… And all of these are completely false ideas. Anyone can use the squat rack and can use it to get the type of body they desire, as long as they are trained properly. I am taking an Olympic Lifting class next semester with the head of my college’s football team so I can better my technique and ensure that I am not harming my body. When I use the squat rack, I feel so strong! It’s incredible to see what my body, one that has been critiqued by many as weak, can actually do.
So what are some of my favorite “badass” exercises that get me excited about the gym? Box jumps, burpee box jumps, hip thrusts with a resistance band and barbell, elevated rainbow… I could go on and on! I have found over time that these are the exercises that encourage me. If I am going to workout, I need motivation and that doesn’t come from doing a routine that is filled with exercises I am uneager to perform, even if I am told they are “good” for me.
For this reason, I have also decided to try cutting back on cardio. I like running, but lately I have been feeling less motivated to run. Since I like weights a ton more, I want to try slowly decreasing my cardio and increasing my weight time per week. Usually, I do 2.5 hours of each per week. I’m starting this week by substituting thirty minutes of cardio with more weights and plan on staying in this new ratio for about a month, and then evaluating the results. There is a part of me (the disorderly eating/exercise part) that is absolutely terrified by this- what if I lose all the progress I have made? First of all, doing a new routine for a month is not going to drastically alter my strength or physique. But even more important than my appearance, I will not ever make progress if I don’t do what motivates me. My mindset will become unhappy and working out will become something I resent! So focusing on what I love and am encouraged by can only help in the long run.
I encourage you to think about what motivates you to exercise- what kind of energy do you like? What are your favorite exercises or settings? Tell me below and we can brainstorm what workouts may be great for you to try!