Good morning, friends!
Hope you all had a beautiful memorial day weekend! The first day back to work after a long weekend always comes too soon, but it definitely feels good to get my rear back into a routine. I am definitely OCD when it comes to my routine during the week, but on the weekends it’s a nice refresher to just let loose and go with the flow. Two of my closest friends who both live out of state (and a plane ride away… ) came to Maryland for the weekend, so besides working my part time job at Whole Foods on Sunday, I spent the majority of the rest of this weekend with them. Emily (seen below) and I cooked up some madness and went out on the town – it was beautiful out.
It is truly incredible how many awesome people God has blessed my life with .Larisa – who is a beast in the gym – and I got to work out together twice this weekend. I love working out with a friend because it really motivates me to push myself – not necessarily in a competitive way – but seeing someone else work just as hard just makes you feel obligated to push yourself further.
Without friends to motivate me every day, though, I have to seek my own motivation and drive to really push myself. Lately I’ve really been focused on building my leg and glute muscles – they’ve always been my least favorite to work but I’ve been finding more & more that I actually look forward to leg day now; I know, sick, right? I think it’s that euphoric feeling of some serious self ass-kicking (literally, ass kicking) that really drives me over the edge to keep going, even when I feel like stopping. Mind over matter. Here are a few tips that I’ve discovered lately in the gym when it comes to training my legs (and a lot of these can be used for ANY muscle group, really.)
- First and foremost: get out of your own way. Your body knows what you’re capable of, so don’t let your mind drown you in self- doubt. You have to convince yourself that you CAN. Suppress thoughts of doubt and fear and replace them with positive mantras – for me, this usually results in several high octane grunts, growls and other questionable sounds. Mind over matter…let your body break free from your mind.
- Be limitless (but don’t be an idiot.) Once you start something, you have to finish it. You can’t expect a batch of brownies to turn out without an ingredient or two, thus you can’t expect your ass to grow & tighten without those last few reps. Remind yourself that those are the reps that count the most. There are absolutely times when I dive a little too deep during a squat or lunge and simply cannot get back up…and that’s okay because I know I pushed myself beyond my limits.
- Chase the burn. Lifting isn’t supposed to be easy. No change comes from your comfort zone, remember that. Think of your workout as a journey to seek the burn and once you find that burn, embrace it. For me, it fuels my fire to feel my muscles working. On lighter days, try to focus on how your muscles feel…how they contract; seek out new ways to challenge those feelings.
Looking like a zoo animal, nailed it.
- Last but not least – have something to motivate you to finish your workout, no shortcuts. For me, it’s that delicious protein ice cream, a shake or a slammin’ ass waffle I’m gonna whip up the second I get home from my workout. I always make a little extra because a good amount of it typically ends up on whatever item(s) of clothing I’m wearing at the moment. I just kicked my own freakin’ ass, don’t expect me to eat like a lady. Barbarian status, get at me.
If you think this is pretty, you should see me shove it in my face.
Make your passions a priority and use yourself & your own goals as motivation to kill it.
Peace and love!