Is Training for Aesthetics a “Good” Goal?

Lately I’ve noticed that while it seems ok for guys to work towards bigger biceps and quads, if a woman train for aesthetics it’s a “slippery slope” of self-loathing and failure. I  call this training-for-aesthetics shaming, which raises the ire of those more concerned with body acceptance than body sculpting. It also wrankles people who believe you should only train to increase performance or functional movement. After I wrote this post I took the longest pee of my life; obviously I feel passionate about the issue because this entire {Read More…}

Ladies, You’re Not Really Eating for Muscle

It’s not so easy being a woman who wants more muscle. Cultural norms and mental conditioning cause us to sabotage our own good intentions, especially when it comes to eating for muscle. But ladies, if you want more muscle, you’ve got to let go of your FAT PHOBIA. The Skinny Trap It’s drilled into our heads all our lives that attractive means skinny.  In my experience as a personal trainer, I see many fit women in a state of perpetual calorie restriction and cardio overtraining, afraid of gaining an {Read More…}

Stay Strong Despite Muscle Naysayers

Last week I talked about allowing each other to embrace our desire to look hot. It might seem obvious, but there’s a lot of pushback around training for aesthetics. If you feel comfortable admitting that you do, great – you haven’t bought into the “movements, not muscles” dogma. But these days, there’s so many voices in the fitness world dictating what we should be doing when we need to train in ways that are best for us. There’s also a lot {Read More…}

Friday Roundup: Selfies and Building Muscle

My goal with lifting weights is building muscle and strength, but to what end? Definitely for a strong, healthy body, but also for aesthetics: A high, firm booty. Defined, standout arms. Shapely, lean legs. And I love having tight pectorals, which complete the athletic, fit look. I’m betting that you’re lifting for aesthetics too. (At least a little? Wink wink) I’m transparent about training for aesthetics – it’s one reason I don’t lift for maximal strength very often. It’s more {Read More…}

7 Stepping Stones to Body Love

Long before images of perfect, six-pack abs and lithe, youthful actresses dominated the media, women were terribly hard on themselves. It continues today, maybe more so than ever: If our bodies don’t meet our stringent personal or cultural standards, we indulge an ongoing internal flogging: “I hate my legs.” “I’m so fat. I’m disgusting.” “I can’t even fit into my clothes. I hate my body.” As a trainer and coach I hear comments like these often, and I always flinch {Read More…}

Of Self-Doubt and Forging Ahead (and Happy 3rd Blogiversary)

If you’re looking for positives about getting older, you may not see them until you’re actually there. I knew I was suffering badly during my 20’s, but it’s only now that I can look back and see how far I’ve come. I was a late bloomer; I didn’t develop true self-confidence until after I had my daughter and returned to strength training. My wiser, broader perspective made me realize that  comparing myself to others is a losing game. While competing can be {Read More…}