Monday, September 25, 2017

Life After Turning Left

It's time for professional track athletes to be paid for what they do.

read more

When It's Time to Call In the Expert

Facing your own weaknesses can challenge even your most fundamental principles.

read more

Timing Carb Intake to Maximize Body Composition and Performance

Eating at the right times will give your body the fuel required to push through a challenging workout, activate fatty acids for energy burning, and promote muscle growth.

read more

Life After Turning Left

It's time for professional track athletes to be paid for what they do.

read more

Subversive Fitness: Day 200 of 360

Breathe intelligently, move aggressively.

read more

14 Day Swim Challenge - Week 1

Welcome to the 14 Day Swim Challenge! If you are jumping aboard this adventure, the goal is to take you from zero to swimming (freestyle) with comfort and competence in two weeks.

read more

When It's Time to Call In the Expert

Facing your own weaknesses can challenge even your most fundamental principles.

read more

Timing Carb Intake to Maximize Body Composition and Performance

Eating at the right times will give your body the fuel required to push through a challenging workout, activate fatty acids for energy burning, and promote muscle growth.

read more

The Difference Between Male and Female Biomechanics in Strength Training

Men and women deserve the same opportunities in strength training but there are also differences that need to be addressed.

read more

Subversive Fitness: Day 199 of 360

It's Benchmark Day. Test yourself and see where you stand.

read more

Short and Sweet: 4 New 6-Minute Workouts for Busy People

Sneak away from your desk for six minutes for one of these brief but intense workouts.

read more

The Magical Power Between Your Legs

The adductors can do a lot more for your performance than just squeeze your knees together.

read more

A Clean Healthy Meal for the Back to School Time Crunch

Since this meal is quick to put together and can be kept warm or easily reheated, it’s ideal for those nights when you’re all running from one activity to another.

read more

Subversive Fitness: Day 200 of 360

Breathe intelligently, move aggressively.

read more

Sunday, September 24, 2017

14 Day Swim Challenge - Week 1

Welcome to the 14 Day Swim Challenge! If you are jumping aboard this adventure, the goal is to take you from zero to swimming (freestyle) with comfort and competence in two weeks.

read more

Saturday, September 23, 2017

GGS Spotlight: Lucy Liang

Name: Lucy Liang
Age: 27
Location: Seattle, WA

What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
Acknowledging ownership of what you can control today. Finding peace with what you cannot just yet. Making choices authentic to you, not what you think others want. Understanding that progress is action over inaction. And embracing “strength” as far more than just physical.

How long have you been strength training, and how did you get started?
Almost two years now. I’ve yo-yo dieted for most of my life, losing and gaining the same 15 to 20 pounds over and over again through crash dieting and heavy exercise. I lost a lot of muscle mass in the process. What frustrated me was that each time I hit a new low scale weight, I would look in the mirror and wonder why I still seemed fat, why my weight at age 25 looked so much different than the same weight at a younger age. I’m a logical person, and this outcome just didn’t make sense to me. So I started heavily researching on body composition and physiology and discovered there was so much more to how our bodies are shaped than just by calories and scale weight alone. Amongst other things, I started experimenting with strength training, and I fell in love with it.

What does your typical workout look like?
I currently work with my Strongest You coach, Jen Comas. The following is the basic template of my workouts as it changes slightly every couple weeks. Four workouts per week:

  • Upper body day: Barbell bench press, back/chest work (chin ups, rows, push ups, etc), arms/shoulders/core work (bicep curl, skull crusher, lateral raise, mountain climbers, etc)
  • Lower body day: Barbell deadlift, leg work (goblet squats, lunges, Romanian deadlifts, etc), accessory leg & core work (x-band walks, bear crawls, etc.)
  • Total body strength: Barbell back squat, pull ups, kettlebell swings, pallof press
  • Total body conditioning: Some fun dumbbell circuits (rows, lunges, push presses, hang cleans)

Favorite lift:
Nothing feels better than a nice raw deadlift.

Most memorable PR:
255 pound deadlift, twice my bodyweight!

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Alone. It’s become a meditative experience for me. I used to prefer training with others more when I needed the social accountability and motivation, but now I get intrinsic motivation from the experience of working out itself.

Most memorable compliment you’ve received lately:
A coworker from my old job asked me for advice on getting started with strength training and coming up with a training plan. This wasn’t a direct compliment, but I was so ecstatic that someone considered me trustworthy and knowledgeable enough to give workout advice, especially since I still feel like a newbie myself.

Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
I saw a lady who looks to be in her 70s or 80s lifting heavy and kicking ass. I told her she was an inspiration and I want to be like her when I’m older. We now always say “hi” whenever we see each other at the gym.

Favorite meal:
I love poke bowls, especially with salmon.

Favorite way to treat yourself:
Taking a walk outside with a good audiobook or podcast.

Favorite quote:
“Choose discomfort over resentment.” — Dr. BrenĂ© Brown

Favorite book:
A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley. This book is not just for those wishing to excel in math and science. It’s useful for anyone who wants to get better at learning, problem solving, and producing creative work.

What inspires and motivates you?
I love stories that inspire me in different areas of life. These are all real-life stories about others who have been where I am now. There are too many to list, but whenever I need a pick-me-up, I pull up the respective bucket and reread these stories.

What do you do? 
I am the Co-founder, CTO, and health coach of Viva, an AI-driven bot startup that delivers personalized and empathetic health coaching. When I’m not hacking on the bot itself, I’m coaching our clients through the app. We are in private beta right now and very excited for our recent launch!

Describe a typical day in your life:
I wake up, workout, and shower in the morning. Then I spend the vast majority of the rest of my day working on Viva or coaching our clients. After dinner, I either read or study alone, or watch TV or play videogames with my boyfriend, roommates, and cats.

Your next training goal:
3 unassisted pull ups!

For what are you most grateful?
Since I can’t list 500 different people, I’ll go a bit more internal. I’m very grateful for my resilience, which was instilled in me by my parents, but also built up over the years from several interactions and experiences, both positive and negative. I always say that I don’t learn quickly, but that I recover quickly. I’m very risk-tolerant, but I have not always been that way. I have many people to thank for that!

Which three words best describe you?
Inquisitive, resilient, ambitious.

What’s a risk you’ve taken recently, overcoming fear or self-doubt, and how did it turn out?
I recently walked away from a comfortable high-paying job of five years at a big technology company to self-start my own company doing something I believe in and am passionate about. It may or may not flourish, but regardless I’m excited to learn so much from the experience and meet good people.

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve experienced from strength training?
Prior to strength training, I was focused on getting smaller, particularly in my midsection. After making strength training a part of my life, I started appreciating getting bigger. Yeah, I like checking out my butt and biceps in the mirror when I think no one’s watching! Despite gaining most of the weight I had previously lost back (intentionally), I actually like the way my body looks even more now. I like the shape more, and I like that I see my entire body instead of just a subsection. I can’t say if this is more of a physical change or a mental change, because strength training definitely triggered a huge mindset shift for me as well.

How has lifting weights changed your life?
Although it started with me just wanting to look good, the biggest thing I gained out of strength training was not the physical accomplishments, but the mental growth. With strength training, I learned to embrace small, progressive, habitual changes over an all-or-nothing mindset. I learned that progress is not linear and that consistent actions, not just outcomes, mattered in the long run. I learned that bodies fluctuate daily, and that so many variables are at play that you can’t control every one of them. I learned how important rest and recovery is. Most importantly, I learned that I was not alone.

I applied what I learned in building strength to many areas of my life. If you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I have no shortage of exercise analogies to impart. I applied the progressive overload principle to overcoming my social anxiety. I made peace with the daily fluctuations of my relationships just like I did with my body, and it allowed me to appreciate them more. I prioritize rest and recovery when I am stuck or stressed at work, because brains behave like muscles too.

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous or hesitant about strength training?
You’re not alone. Pretty much every person you aspire to be or perform like started where you are now, and even they are probably nervous or hesitant about something still. You don’t need to go all-in the first time. Progress is action over inaction.

When did you join Strongest You Coaching? Why did you decide to join and what helped you make the decision to join?
I joined SYC in January 2017. I was primarily motivated by the holistic, habit-based approach to coaching that SYC offered. I already made a lot of progress on fat loss and muscle gain in the past, but I noticed my strength gains and energy levels had stalled. I wanted to work on more than just body composition. I wanted to develop eating habits that kept me energized throughout the day, balance rest and recovery with workouts so that I can continue to improve my lifts, and learn to monitor and manage my stress levels for overall well-being, all while getting the support of an active community.

What has been your biggest challenge in the Strongest You Coaching program?
My biggest challenge has been to stay consistent with older habits. We practice a new habit every 1-2 weeks, and I’m very easily distracted by new challenges, so I tend to neglect older habits in favor of picking up new ones. Sometimes I need to give myself refreshers so I don’t forget about the things I learned in weeks 1-4.

What has been your biggest success in the Strongest You Coaching program?
I am making a lot of progress on my sleep. I’ve suffered from chronic insomnia since Junior High. When the insomnia hits, it can take me anywhere from one to four hours to fall asleep at night. In the past, I would get insomnia attacks at least once a week. Sometimes they would happen multiple days in a row. Thanks to working on prioritizing rest, recovery, and developing good sleep rituals, they are occurring much less frequently (last time I had insomnia was maybe two weeks ago). I also wake up naturally now. Among other things, good sleeping habits have helped me dramatically improve my lifts. Since joining SYC, I went from deadlifting 185 pounds to deadlifting twice my bodyweight (255 pounds) and I finally nailed my first unassisted neutral grip pull up!

What do you like best about the Strongest You Coaching community?
I like how honest yet non-judgmental everyone is. The community members offer support for your struggles, share strategies to tackle challenges, and give you congratulations on your wins. I love reading about other people’s wins too. It motivates me to keep progressing.

What is your “BIG” goal you’d like to achieve by the end of Strongest You Coaching?
If I can consistently sleep and wake up around the same time without insomnia attacks for a full month, that would be golden. I have neglected sleep all my life, but since prioritizing it I have gotten stronger, curbed my cravings, and have been more productive at work. It’s so underappreciated for how important it really is.

What is the habit you’re currently working on most?
Develop a consistent sleep ritual of course!

How has Strongest You Coaching changed your life?
It made me appreciate rest and recovery a lot more. I am definitely the type of person to overdo things rather than underdo them. I came to SYC pretty overtrained and under-rested. I had the mentality that if I wanted to get stronger, I had to work harder, even though I knew logically that isn’t how it works.

What would you tell a woman who’s nervous about joining Strongest You Coaching?
It’s normal to be nervous — we were all a little nervous before we signed up — especially if you’ve never had a group coaching program before. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself why you want to go after the goal you’re chasing then evaluate the tools SYC offers. If you still aren’t confident in your decision one way or the other, reach out to GGS or the SYC coaches. They love to help answer questions! If it’s just nerves holding you back, take it as a sign that this may just be the comfort-zone pushing step forward you need.


A message from GGS…

In our Strongest You Coaching program, we help women just like you reach their health, physique, and mindset goals. Strongest You Coaching is about more than just training and nutrition. It’s about changing your self-talk and inner dialogue, learning to let fitness enhance your life instead of rule your life, and finally healing your relationship with food and your body, all with the help of your Girls Gone Strong Coach, and your fellow Strongest You Coaching group.

Strongest You Coaching is a 9-month online group coaching program that gives you tools to succeed and puts the power to make lasting changes in your hands. We teach you how to finally eat and exercise in a way that you love so you can sustain it forever.
We only open up this program 2-3 times a year and it always sells out fast. If you’re interested, put your name on the pre-registration list now!

Pre-Register Here!

The post GGS Spotlight: Lucy Liang appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.

The Difference Between Male and Female Biomechanics in Strength Training

Men and women deserve the same opportunities in strength training but there are also differences that need to be addressed.

read more

Friday, September 22, 2017

Subversive Fitness: Day 199 of 360

It's Benchmark Day. Test yourself and see where you stand.

read more

Short and Sweet: 4 New 6-Minute Workouts for Busy People

Sneak away from your desk for six minutes for one of these brief but intense workouts.

read more

The Magical Power Between Your Legs

The adductors can do a lot more for your performance than just squeeze your knees together.

read more

A Clean Healthy Meal for the Back to School Time Crunch

Since this meal is quick to put together and can be kept warm or easily reheated, it’s ideal for those nights when you’re all running from one activity to another.

read more

Weekend Warriors: They Make More Money

On average, those of higher income levels (above $75,000 per year) spend an average of 4.6 minutes more in exercise per day than those of lower income levels (below $20,000 per year).

read more

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Why You Need a Gymnastics Foundation

You must get your base strength and flexibility lined out before moving to complex movements you aren't ready for.

read more

Subversive Fitness: Day 198 of 360

Make minor weight adjustments as needed to complete strong, uninterrupted sets in both movements.

read more

1 Kettlebell, 9 Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Once you've learned proper technique, the kettlebell can become your best workout buddy.

read more

Yoga and Meditation Boosts Executive Brain Function

According to one expert, "Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation both focus the brain’s conscious processing power on a limited number of targets like breathing and posing..."

read more

Online Workouts: A Trainer's Perspective

For online programming to be successful it requires doing the work and not second-guessing the program.

read more

A Practical Experiment in Muscle Fiber Activation

How quickly should your athletes put in reps?

read more

How to Combat Stress Eating

Disclaimer: the intent of this article is to give proactive suggestions to women to help prevent seeking self-comfort from food during occasional increases in chronic stress. For a list of behaviors that may indicate the need to consult with a professional regarding emotional eating, please see the bottom of this article.

Cookies and wine are two of my favorite things, and I’ve been happily enjoying them in moderation a couple of times a week for a few years now.

About two years ago, I noticed that my cookie and wine indulgence had unexpectedly started to take place every night, which was unlike me.

After a few days of wondering what had caused this nightly influx of treats, it suddenly hit me: for the last two weeks, I had been avoiding a tough conversation with someone that I cared about.

I was struggling because I’d kept putting off what I knew to be a long overdue but very difficult discussion, delaying it as I felt the timing wasn’t right. This caused a series of problems which ended up contributing to my intake of a nightly cookie and glass of wine.

First, it was stressful. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that avoiding a conversation — especially one that we know is going to be difficult — weighs heavily on us. I was unable to think about much else, other than what I was going to say, how I was going to say it, and nervously anticipating what the outcome might be.

Second, I was suppressing my emotions. Keeping emotions bottled up is absolutely exhausting and, in my personal experience, always shows up in another area of my life. Suppressing emotions drains my energy, making it hard for me to want to exercise, it causes me to reach for more treats to eat, and it makes me irritable.

Last, I was using a ton of willpower to refrain from engaging in this conversation. By relying heavily on willpower to hold my tongue, it left me with much less than usual by the time evening rolled around.

Experiencing stress, suppressing emotions, and leaning on willpower more than I usually do, left me far more susceptible to the temptation of treats at night. My willpower was too zapped to allow me to say no to the treats, when I would have been able to otherwise. I was also using the nightly cookie and a glass of wine as self-comfort, to help me deal with another day gone by without having engaged in a desperately needed conversation.

In my experience working with women in Strongest You Coaching, the most common reasons that they find themselves reaching for food when they aren’t hungry are because they are either experiencing an uptick in chronic stress, or because they are suppressing emotions.

The Effects of Stress

On a daily basis, we all experience certain levels of stress that are not only completely normal, but can even be healthy to a certain degree. The kind of stress that I’m referring to in this article, however, is stress which leaves you feeling upset, worried, tense, and exhausted. Perhaps it’s because you have a kid who isn’t sleeping well, because your car broke down, or because you’re operating under a tight deadline at work. While these stressful situations can cause you to feel less-than-your-best, they are also largely out of your control.

For many women, stress can result in turning to treats to provide themselves with self-comfort if they don’t have other coping strategies in place.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to cope that don’t involve food or drink.

Implement a Morning Ritual

My morning ritual is the thing that seems to have the biggest positive impact on my overall mental well-being. This is something that I do as a proactive approach to stress. It consists of coffee outside on the deck, tarot cards, music, my journal, and a book. I sip coffee, listen to music, pull cards to prompt introspection, and do some reading and writing.

Even if I have to be up incredibly early, I allow myself time to do this. Some days it’s an abbreviated version, and other days I let it go on a little longer. But my morning ritual — in some capacity — is one of my non-negotiables. This is self-care space that I’ve intentionally carved out to provide myself with the opportunity to notice how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking, and to write it all down without distraction. I’ve noticed that the more descriptive I am, the more it helps.

Your morning ritual will likely look different based on the time you have available and your unique circumstances, but here are a few examples from my Strongest You Coaching ladies:

  • Driving to work without any music, and taking the time to do a full body scan and saying out loud what you notice, and then what you’re grateful for.
  • Getting up just five minutes before the kids to silently sit in a comfy chair, close your eyes, and take some deep belly breaths while asking yourself how you are feeling, and what you are
  • Carving out the time to do a five minute guided morning meditation before getting out of bed.

Taking a few minutes to center yourself, block distractions, and notice how you’re feeling without any judgment can be very helpful regardless of whether you’re feeling good or not-so-good. The most important thing here is to acknowledge your emotions, rather than suppress them.

Take a Walk

Getting outside, taking some deep breaths, and moving your body in a non-stressful way can work wonders. I find that taking a walk helps me think more clearly, and it also helps bring my stress levels down. Additionally, a change of environment can be incredibly powerful if you are finding yourself tempted to dig through the pantry.

Whether you have five minutes or a full hour, a leisure walk can be great.

Talk Through It

When I’m feeling really stressed, one of the most helpful things for me is talking through it. Confiding in a friend, partner, family member, or therapist can feel extremely good. There may be times when you just need to talk things through, and you don’t want or need feedback. Expressing that to a friend or confidant is something I’ve done in the past. I’ll say something like, “I could really use a listening ear right now. Would you mind if I talked through some things with you, without providing any feedback?”  The people who are close to you will be happy to help.

If talking to someone doesn’t feel comfortable for you, consider writing it all down. The more descriptive you can be, the better. Let your thoughts flow without judgement, and know that they aren’t indicative of your self-worth.

Be Proactive

When it comes to occasional eating due to stress, the best things that you can do are to express how you’re feeling, and put some stress-management techniques into place ahead of time. By being proactive, you can create a list of things which you find comforting and that serve your highest self, and that cover different ranges in the amount of time that they take. For example, if you are short on time, stepping outside to take 10 slow, deep breaths to re-center yourself, or shooting a text to your best friend can be wonderful. If you have more time, consider calling a friend or meeting for coffee, taking a bath, or going for a drive and singing your favorite songs.


I asked Anastasia Pollock, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, to share some signs that may indicate that there is a deeper psychological issue for which someone may want to seek professional help. These include:

  • Compulsions to eat when not hungry
  • Frequently having difficulty in controlling amount of food taken in, also known as bingeing
  • Finding that food is the only way to comfort difficult emotions
  • Having the urge to eat when difficult emotions or stressors arise
  • Noticing self-deprecating thoughts and feelings around food
  • Finding thoughts are obsessive about food
  • Feeling the urge to punish oneself after a binge
  • Feeling the urge to purge after a binge

If you recognize yourself in these behaviors, and need help finding a therapist with specific specialties, you can go to www.GoodTherapy.org to find a professional near you.


A message from GGS…

In our Strongest You Coaching program, we help women just like you reach their health, physique, and mindset goals. Strongest You Coaching is about more than just training and nutrition. It’s about changing your self-talk and inner dialogue, learning to let fitness enhance your life instead of rule your life, and finally healing your relationship with food and your body, all with the help of your Girls Gone Strong Coach, and your fellow Strongest You Coaching group.

Strongest You Coaching is a 9-month online group coaching program that gives you tools to succeed and puts the power to make lasting changes in your hands. We teach you how to finally eat and exercise in a way that you love so you can sustain it forever.
We only open up this program 2-3 times a year and it always sells out fast. If you’re interested, put your name on the pre-registration list now!

Pre-Register Here!

The post How to Combat Stress Eating appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.

Subversive Fitness: Day 198 of 360

Make minor weight adjustments as needed to complete strong, uninterrupted sets in both movements.

read more

1 Kettlebell, 9 Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Once you've learned proper technique, the kettlebell can become your best workout buddy.

read more

Yoga and Meditation Boosts Executive Brain Function

According to one expert, "Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation both focus the brain’s conscious processing power on a limited number of targets like breathing and posing..."

read more

Online Workouts: A Trainer's Perspective

For online programming to be successful it requires doing the work and not second-guessing the program.

read more

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Practical Experiment in Muscle Fiber Activation

How quickly should your athletes put in reps?

read more

Subversive Fitness: Day 197 of 360

Scale to ability for uninterrupted sets, and transition quickly and aggressively.

read more

The Duh Moment - Balance Eccentric With Concentric Training

If you plan to see visible muscle growth, the hypertrophic effects of eccentric training mean you can include up to 50% of your resistance training workouts in the form of eccentric exercises.

read more

Squat/Pull/Press: A 4-Week Strength Challenge

A 4-week program that puts you on a simple and effective path to serious gains.

read more

Subversive Fitness: Day 197 of 360

Scale to ability for uninterrupted sets, and transition quickly and aggressively.

read more

The Duh Moment - Balance Eccentric With Concentric Training

If you plan to see visible muscle growth, the hypertrophic effects of eccentric training mean you can include up to 50% of your resistance training workouts in the form of eccentric exercises.

read more

Squat/Pull/Press: A 4-Week Strength Challenge

A 4-week program that puts you on a simple and effective path to serious gains.

read more

Get Ready for Handstands: Intro to Inversion

These drills will help you hone and reinforce a strong and stable handstand position.

read more

The Coby Earbud Roundup: Shut Out the World

With the right music playing, your in-ear headphones can help you dig deeper and do one more rep than you did last time.

read more