Tag Archives: Strength


So you’ve heard about yoga and Pilates. You’ve heard these class supposedly change people’s bodies, lower their stress levels and make them happier.

You vaguely know both focus on stretching and strength. But what’s the gap between the two?

As PumpUp points out in the video above, yoga is a lot older than Pilates. It started in Southeast Asia 5,000 years ago, and Pilates wasn’t around until the early 1900 s.

And while yoga has a reputation for being all about stretching, it is — but it’s also about strengthening your entire body, especially your arms and back.

Pilates has a focus, though: your core. It’s a great pre-bikini season workout, if you ask us.

As for busting stress and increasing happiness, both workouts focus on the mind-body connection, but yoga also incorporates spirituality.

Long story short: Both workouts are awesome, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Our recommendation? Give both a try.

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Did you know that get a thigh gap, a defined ab cracking, or the goddess-like back dimples will build you more beautiful, valuable, and happy?

If you scroll through social media, or popular health and fitness resources, and soak in the plethora of motivational memes and images displaying these features, you may be inclined to think so. Theres no deficit of these hot, new, must have, this-is-what-a-real-woman-looks-like traits being featured along side, of course, the accompanying diet tricks, gimmicks, and exerts to get them.

But, and Ill try to put this delicately: claiming features like thigh gaps, ab crackings, and back dimples as must have features is absolute bullshit.( So much for being delicate, but its true .)

No physical feature or body shape constructs you more or less valuable.

Apparently our bodies are strolling resumes, and these hot new physical features displayed by celebrities, fitness professionals, social media icons, and photo-shopped models are just items were supposed to add to it with the expectation that well be more beautiful and valuable. So what if your anthropometry and genetic make-up constructs certain it features physically impossible to obtain? Doesnt matter; these are the standards, and youd better try to fit the mold if you want to be beautiful.

Enough with the body-shaming bullshit.

And I mean all of it. Any group claiming X is the new Y or spitting mantras that begin with Real girls needs to end. Every body is unique. “Were not receiving” single feature that defines beauty or self-worth or fitness. Seem at it this way: no one else( except an identical twin) has your genetic makeup; youre truly one of a kind. So why do we think its acceptable to declare single features or shapes as must have or ideal? Why do some think its motivational to attempt to shove all the women into a single mold?

Some women are tall, some are short. Some have long extremities, some have short extremities. Some have physical restrictions, some dont appear to have any. Some are thick and some are thin. Some achieve results more quickly and others have to work harder to make any discernible progression. Women come in a variety of shapes and sizes and so this declaration of must have features is abhorrently ridiculous. And stupid. And degrading.

A woman I once worked with had what would be described as a short and stalky physique; she despised it. I simply wish I was taller so I could have long and lean muscles, she said during our first session. The marketing messages and images of long and lean muscles being something females should desire were seared into her mind. This was a battle she could never win because she cant change her anthropometry.

We had a conversation about changing her perspective and the need to stop wasting energy and berating herself for things she cant control. She loved the idea of being able to love and embrace her body, but knew it wasnt a quick transition. It would be a process.

The plan of action we created: set her energy and focus on what her body could do with strength training. She would begin by learning basic exercises with the goal of improving her performance each time a workout was repeated. Outside of the gym she was instructed to pause and reflect when she start having the I dislike my short body guess. When those guess began to bubble to the surface, she had to stop the conversation. Once she successfully paused, she would then redirect her focus to be grateful for something her body could do. For example, instead of saying, I wish I had a long and lean appearance she would stop the conversation from progressing like it normally would and instead say something like, Im grateful that I have ample energy play games with my children, or I dominated todays workout.

The energy that previously went into disliking her body shape was redirected toward strength training and other elements she could control. The premise was simple, yet powerful: her aim was to discover what her body could do, and then do more. With strength develop she began with a novice program and improved her performance each time she recurred a workout. Squats, including with regard to, came naturally to her and she progressed speedily. She began with goblet squats to learn proper technique and then switched to barbell back squats to take advantage of the greater loading potential. Her strength increased, and more plates were slapped onto the barbell.

A beautiful transformation passed: as she progressed with strength educate, for the first time she could remember, she was actually proud of her body. She was flabbergasted at her bodys abilities and previously unrealized strength. I didnt know I could be this strong! she exclaimed at the end of a workout.

These gym moments proved valuable when old guess crept into her intellect. Over period, the previous, I wish my body thinks became less frequent, and were quickly replaced with empowering statements such as her ability to squat more than she thought possible: “Thats what” my body can do. Im going to induce most of it, and then do even more, because I can.

Embracing what her body could do led to an increase in self-confidence and happiness. She was no longer focused on things she couldnt control( her extremity length) and highlighted her abilities( with strength training ). She began to care less about what other people proclaimed girls should look like and opt her own values.

So I say is again: fuck thigh gaps, ab crackings, and back dimples . Embrace your body; discover what it can do; find your natural strengths and highlight them; do things that make you feel good; become the best damn version of yourself. And encourage every other woman to do the same.

You can, and should, embrace your body and all its features, and you should encourage every other woman to do the same.

Thats one of the many overlooked benefits of strength training: it allows you to discover what your body can do and increases confidence. Strength training doesnt discriminate; it doesnt care what your age is, any limitations you possess, or what body shape you have. Strength training is for everyone.

Look, Im not indicating any of this it body features and standards proclaimed to be ideal will ever die off; there will always be traits and features held desirable and others proclaimed must-repair flaws and tips-off, tricks, and products to help us get or remove them.

But heres the great news: we can exit these conversations.

We have the choice to reject this nonsense.

We can say, Some girls have thigh gaps, and thats cool. Some females dont, and thats cool too. Now, excuse me while I go appreciate my body for the awesome things it can do instead of preoccupying over physical features some source is trying to convince me is important and valuable.

Every woman should appreciate her body, and take the necessary steps to get there if shes not already. No physical feature, size, or shape equates to value, worth, and beauty.

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