Am I a Strong Woman?


I’ve decided to start my off season by training for a strong woman competition. For my 50th birthday last year, I pulled my husband’s 4-Runner. It was really fun. That’s when I first started thinking about strong woman competitions. Since I’m not going to compete in a bodybuilding show again until next summer at the earliest (considering a two year break to put some energy into neglected aspects of life and to try and catch my competition in size), I thought it might be fun to change the training up a little bit just to see what I can do.  I’m a little concerned that I have not done enough to improve my functional strength – just in case there is a zombie apocalypse, I can’t pose them to death.

Yesterday, Coach gave me a new training program using the events I’d most likely be doing if I do the competition I’m considering at the end of September. I’m not gonna lie. I’m intimidated. There are some things that don’t concern me too much, but there’s a couple that scare the crap out of me. Reflecting on it, in order to do this I’m going to have to deal with the mental barriers I have about lifting heavy stuff over my head. My right shoulder has never been strong. I have been rehabbing it for my entire lifting experience. It’s stronger now than it’s ever been, but I have learned to protect it this whole time. My legs have always been strong, so when I pulled my hip flexor last November, I lost strength, but I didn’t develop the same mental barrier about pushing it because I knew I had strength in my in my legs from before.  It just hurts when I push it.  I’m not as afraid to try.  But while I’m probably strong enough to handle heavier weight for chest or shoulder work, I don’t when I’m alone.  I always opt for more reps or more sets instead.  When Coach hands me heavier weight than I think I can handle, I put up a fight.  No confidence.

And starting a new training program, with brand new activities, taps into my insecurities about looking stupid and silly.  Especially at my gym where every third person is a badass lifter.

So the proper way to approach this would be to grow a pair (figuratively). My focus and mental attitude will need to be stronger. I will not get hurt. I will probably look stupid, but I don’t care. The more time I spend lifting “logs”and kegs, the better.

Coach is not sure I can be ready to compete in 10 weeks. We decided I would do this training for four weeks, then decide what to do. Bodybuilding is still my passion, but I am excited to see what happens to my physique as I push it in a different way.

My workouts on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays will be these exercises…

  • Log press
  • One arm press
  • Farmers carry
  • Tire flips
  • Sled pulls

This video shows a woman doing most of these, plus some others.

On three of the other days, I’ll do my bodybuilding, assistance exercises and cardio, but with less intensity.  Recovery is a priority.

The competition I’m considering has two weight classes for women – below 145 lbs and above 145 lbs. My weight seems to have stabilized at 140, and I have to eat to keep it from dropping. (Yeah, that’s a new development since the show). If I make it a goal to get stronger while staying in the smaller weight class, that seems like an interesting way to start my off season.  I won’t let myself overeat just because I’m doing “strong woman” stuff.  It’s not necessary for me to gain too much.  If I gain muscle, it will only be about 0.25 to 0.5 pounds a month at most.  No reason to do what some other people do and bulk.  My body does what it does.

Uh huh, I know what you might be thinking – muscle needs calorie surplus. But I’m not tracking calories or macros right now, so I have no idea if I’m in surplus or deficit.  I’m eating what I feel I need when I need it. Pretty much following the same pattern I’ve been on for a long time.  I have good energy and weight is stable.  I eat more when my brain knows I need it – like after 5 sets of dead lifts.  🙂

I will keep you posted – either here or on the Facebook page.   Any prayers for bravery you’d be willing to send would be much appreciated.

(Please excuse typos.  I’m tried to catch them all.  The “L” key on my laptop is being difficult, the show nails are still on my fingers and I kind of hate them now, and I think I need new glasses.  I have walked into our hanging birdcage at least once a day for the last week.)


Filed under Competing, Life, Workouts

4 responses to “Am I a Strong Woman?

  1. I”m looking forward to following this adventure too!!!


  2. Colin DeWaay

    Outside of your shoulder concern, it sounds to me like you need to dig into the same mentality you had when you started this whole journey. Break through your fears. Know that you are doing it for you and nobody else. Know that you are doing it because you want to and it’s important to you and nothing else matters. The key to success right? You taught me some of that post you know.

    IMO it comes down to this. Would you not do it because you are literally afraid of destroying your shoulder, or are you using it as a potential excuse? Only you know the true answer to that.


    • I’m a little concerned about getting hurt, but I’m more concerned about stalling out with the bodybuilding if I don’t push through it. If I get proper training for technique, I think I’ll be able to make incremental increases.


      • Colin DeWaay

        Changing things up may actually help you, and if you aren’t competing for a long time, more reason. Totally up to you obviously, not trying to push you into it. I just don’t want you to not do it because you are scared. No regrets.


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