If you’ve spoken to me regularly or for any length of time this year you’ve probably heard me harp on about my bench press and all those PBs I’ve been smashing. I should probably apologise for being one of THOSE people but I won’t because I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my training and the results that have kept coming even when I doubted myself and my ability.
Disclaimer: This is how/why I’ve got so much stronger but I do tend to be the kind of person who puts on muscle and develops strength quite quickly anyway. It’s not necessary for anyone to do this and I’m not saying that this is something that you should be achieving. I lift weights first and foremost because I love it. Also please note that there are very brief mentions of eating habits/calories and historic ED behaviour below.
Firstly and most importantly I’ve loved my workouts most of the time. They say variety is the spice of life and with that in mind using a few different lifting programmes and mixing and matching workouts I really enjoy has kept it fresh, exciting and the strenngth improvements rolling in.
2017 has definitely been the year that I’ve trained more consistently throughout the year than ever before. In part this is due to having fun and enjoying it but also I think it has so much to do with where I’m at mentally. In the past when I’ve been exercising to earn food or burn off food or to change my body shape/appearance, it wasn’t a joyful activity. Being in a place now where I’m lifting consistently for fun and not restricting food or trying to lose weight has meant that my strength has upped so much. In order to gain muscle, in reality you have to eat more calories than your body is burning day to day. Eating intuitively, after you’ve lifted heavy, you get HUNGRY, so that is probably happening naturally.
Not only did I get stronger in 2017, the lovely Megan came in to my life. When I started lifting heavy again earlier this year, I put an advert on Gumtree looking for a gym buddy who was weight neutral (in terms of the scales) who could spot me on heavier lifts I’d be too scared to do on my own. Enter Megan – a gym newbie who has been the biggest cheerleader on my mission to bench my body weight. I’m not quite there yet but every PB or failed rep Megan is in my corner. We’ve become more than just gym friends and I’m grateful to my love of heavy weights that she is in my life.
I’ve had really long periods of time this year where I’ve been wanting to go to the gym all the time and I’ve been absolutely smashing it when I’m there. That period seems to have passed for the time being, the dark nights and the associated mental health dip have not led to much in the way of desire to schlep to the gym of an evening but hopefully when my gym buddy Megan has recovered from her cold we will be back at least a couple of times a week.
Have you been working on any aspect of your fitness this year or do you have plans for the New Year? Leave me a comment below. I think 2018 will be the year of the squat and deadlift for me.