Tag Archives: strong women

Get Swole Program Review

21 Mar

Well, 16 weeks has come and gone…crazy! When my brother and I first started the Get Swole program we didn’t think we’d get past 4 weeks, simply because we had never followed such a long plan before. Well, besides marathon training.

Get Swole program

Here’s my most recent update about the plan. I have gained a lot of strength throughout these 16 weeks. Sure, I’m a personal trainer and could have made my own plan, but I wanted to try something new.

I was a little skeptical because a lot of the exercises are the same throughout the 16 weeks, BUT, each phase (which is 4 weeks), you change how many sets and reps you do. This keeps you from hitting a plateau, and also helps you to continue gaining strength.

For example, in Phase 1 of leg day, we started with 5 sets of 12 reps of exercises. In Phase 2, we moved to a pyramid phase, so leg day was exercises for 20, 15, 12, 10 and 8 reps (such as squats). Phase 3 was higher reps (3 sets of 15), and Phase 4 was 6 days of lifting (as opposed to 4), and lower reps (8 reps).

So even though we did a lot of the same exercises throughout, like bench press, barbell squats, leg press, and others, we were constantly challenging our muscles because we were switching the reps, which means we were switching up the load we were using.  If you’re doing less reps, you want to challenge yourself by making the weight heavier than if you’re doing 15 reps of an exercise.

I have looked through other bodybuilding.com plans but haven’t found one I like as much, mainly because it seems to focus on smaller muscle groups rather than incorporating the big lifts (squat, bench, pull-ups).

I really like this plan, and my brother and I plan on re-starting it and changing a few things. Currently, we are going to do 4 weeks of Crossfit workouts at the gym, in order to change things but, but afterwards we will go back to Get Swole.

Here are some of my numbers/how I have improved. I know this might be nothing to some people but it’s a big improvement for me! 🙂

  • Bench Press – Started: 45 lbs, Current: 65 lbs
  • Barbell Back Squat – Started: 30 lbs, Current: 100 lbs (!!) <– most I have ever squatted!
  • Leg Press – Started: 80 lbs, Current: 160 lbs
  • Leg Curl – Started: 30 lbs, Current: 60 lbs
  • Military Barbell Press – Started: 20 lbs, Current: 40 lbs
  • Incline Dumbbell Press – Started: 12.5 lbs, Current: 25 lbs

These are the exercises that are currently coming to mind but there a lot of others on the plan. Sadly, I didn’t make my goal of doing an unassisted pull-up (well,maybe…hmm I will try at the gym tonight), but I’m almost there! I can pull myself up half-way 😉

I’ll warn you now – leg days are killer. But so worth it. I was always dripping in sweat, but I love challenging myself with barbell squats. My goal was to hit 100 lbs by the end of the program, and I did it! Here are some baby quads 😛

And I think I got a little bit of bicep progress! I’ll admit, if I skipped any workout it was bicep/tricep day, but doing pull-ups and presses still helped make those areas stronger.

If you’re looking to gain some muscle and strength, I highly recommend checking this program out! I will say, I did not follow it to a tee. There were some exercises I left out, or changed, just based on what my brother and I could do at our gym, or what I thought was more appropriate for us. But feel free to contact me if you have any questions about that.

Don’t be afraid to lift heavy ladies! You will feel 100% more confident knowing how much stronger you got…and you will definitely not look like a man.

I’ll keep you posted on how these 4 weeks of Crossfit workouts go. So far, I love them! It’s totally different than anything I have done.

Do you like to lift heavy?

What is your favorite muscle group to work out? I think mine is leg day 🙂

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Motivational Monday!

16 Dec

9 days until Christmas…wow!

Recently, I’ve been enjoying getting back into the gym, and lifting heavy. I’ll post my routine and update soon. It’s been nice to have a break from running. In 4 weeks, my strength has really improved…it actually improved in just 1 week back. Though I was VERY sore for a few days 😉

This is why I decided to chose this quote for today:

More recently, women have been starting to understand that lifting heavy is beneficial, and that you won’t get bulky or manly. I wrote a whole post about that as one of my first blog posts actually!

I used to be one of those people who thought higher reps with light weights was the only way to go. While high reps still has it’s place in a training program, challenging yourself with heavier weights is what will really garner results.

If you’re a runner, I think this is especially important during the off season! I’m looking at this as my off season, and lifting in order to strengthen my legs and core. During the training season, strength training sometimes falls to the wayside, or you don’t have time for a 1 hour session since you’re already running for an hour more. The off season is the time to really dig in.

Do you like lifting heavy things? 

What’s your favorite lifting exercise? I’d have to say either bench press or pull-ups because they’re so challenging that when I actually accomplish something I feel awesome!

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Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

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Thinking Out Loud: “Strong Is The New Skinny”

4 Sep

You’ve all seen this quote. It’s been everywhere lately. I loved it when I first saw it, and thought “Yeah, go strong girls!” But is it really the best message to send?

I started thinking about it more when I read this article on HuffPost Healthy Living. The author states:

In the phrase, “skinny” is something to be sought after. Something that’s good. And now, in order to be accepted and seen as beautiful by society, you need to be strong — with visible muscles and the ability to do lots of push-ups and dead lifts and pull-ups. But is this really the message we all want to be sending?

There has been more controversy lately regarding “fitspo” or “fitspiration” where people post quotes such as this one, or pictures of girls they aspire to be. But is that really inspiring? Sometimes I do look at stuff like that on Tumblr or Instagram for motivation…but at the same time, is it causing us to be unhappy with ourselves and what we look like?

Everyone is different, and some of us put on muscle more easily than others, just like some of us are naturally more slender. Does this mean then that non-muscular people are now not as attractive? That they need to change, even if they are living a healthy lifestyle?…Now they get to the feel the pressure that “non-skinny” folks have felt for years, chasing after what could possibly be an unrealistic appearance?

While I think it is great that more and more women are lifting, and not afraid to lift heavy, we should remember why we are doing it to begin with. To feel stronger…to feel healthier…to push your body to it’s own limits (and not compare your numbers to others).

You might look at someone and think, “I wish I looked like them.” I do it all the time! I wish I had more abs…I wish I had stronger arms…but at the same time I remember what my body has done for me. It’s training for a marathon. It has run countless miles. It IS strong even if it doesn’t look strong.

I’ll leave you with the final quote from this article which I love:

The new skinny is no longer putting a label on beauty. The new skinny is being your best self. The new skinny is already you.

What do you think about “Strong is the new skinny?” Do you find motivation from others, or do you sometimes get sucked into the comparison game?

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