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The First Women’s Strength Nation LIVE Event Motivates Women to Take Back the Weight Room

holly womens strength nation

Sunny San Diego was the backdrop for the first Women’s Strength Nation LIVE event April 10 – 12, 2015 and Diets In Review was there every step of the way. The kickoff was part of the launch of Westin Hotel and Resort’s new Westin Wellness Escapes, a series of weekend-long events devoted to helping you live your best life, even on vacation.

Hosted by celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, the weekend was full of enlightening information to equip women with everything we need to walk into the weight room, confident and ready to work.

The mission of Women’s Strength Nation is to improve the ratio of women to men in the weight room. In order to do that, WSN provides you will all the tools you need to confidently walk into the gym and crush it every single time. Using strength training as a metaphor for building strength inside and out, we learned that in order to illicit change, you must have adversity. Like your muscles, you must be torn down before you can be built back up. When met with resistance and adversity, either in terms of weight vs. your muscles, or life vs. you, in the words of Holly Perkins herself “how you show up for this is how you show up for everything.”

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Through individual and group exercises, group workouts, workshops and lectures, we learned the indisputable science that supports strength training’s affects not only on the body, but also the mind. We learned how a woman should train differently than a man, despite the fact that all the information out there is written for a man and a man’s body.

With so many takeaways from the weekend, it’s hard to choose which to highlight. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom:

Kelly Womens Strength Nation

EMBRACE  CHANGE

Change, positive or negative, is the biggest stressor: marriage is stressful the same way divorce is and a promotion is as stressful as a job loss. Our bodies crave homeostasis, to keep the status quo. Everything in our beings wants us to stay the same. The purpose of fear is to maintain that homeostasis. Whether in the gym or in your life, your body will naturally resist. To overcome, just breathe, acknowledge this, and do it anyway.

WOMEN CAN BULK

The women can’t bulk myth was busted. Rejoin, easy gainers! Women can bulk (if they want!) — it just takes a very specific physiology and/or a specific type of training. It has to do with testosterone and yes, some women have more than others which gives them a propensity to bulk, so no, you aren’t crazy if you fit the bill.

STRENGTH DOESN’T HAVE TO BULK

That being said, you can get stronger without getting bigger (they are not synonymous) you just need proper programming. To find the best program for your body type, pick up a copy of Holly’s new book Lift to Get Lean. It’s a female-focused strength training bible, and in it Holly shares four unique programs for each body type and goal type so you can bulk (or not!) how you want.

PULL vs. PUSH

Pulling mechanics are very important for a woman’s body, which is why you need to do three times as many pulling exercises as pushing ones. It has to do with our evolution from the days when we walked on all fours, and the muscles it takes to keep us standing upright.

FORGET THE EXCUSES

In the end, we learned to let go of the excuses that have been holding us back for so long and why it’s vital, as women, not to dim our lights to make others feel comfortable, but rather it’s our responsibility to let our lights shine to motivate and inspire other women to do the same. Together, thirty perfect strangers laughed, cried, shared, and bonded — and will forever be connected. We are strong. And so are you.

stronger she became quote

Here are three things we learned from Women’s Strength Nation LIVE! that you can work into your next workout:

The 3 rules of strength training

1. Technique trumps everything

2. Manipulate your speed of movement

3. The last 2 reps should threaten #1.

The 5 form cues to make every exercise a full body exercise

1. Pull up your arches

2. Push out your knees

3. Tuck your butt

4. Brace your core

5. Anchor your shoulders

5 essential exercises for every woman

1. Leg press

2. Deadlift

3. Reverse grip pulldown

4. Chest press

5. Overhead press

Also Read:

How to Strength Train Without Weights

4 Effective Ways to Make Body Weight Exercises Harder

5 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

images by Lauren Milner Photography courtesy of Westin



Molly Sims’ 9 Fabulous Ways to Live Like an Everyday Supermodel

molly-sims-everyday-supermodel

Swimsuit model, actress, supermodel…mom, wife, woman…the very real, yet very supermodel Molly Sims has added author to her resume. Her new lifestyle book, The Everyday Supermodel, shares her hard-earned fitness, fashion, and health insights. Before you assume taking wellness and life advice from a supermodel is not your thing, you’ve got to know that Sims’ book is written like she is talking to an old friend. Girlfriend to girlfriend, her advice is realistic, and she writes in a way that is easy to relate.

Here are some of the best pieces of advice from Molly Sims that you can adopt right now to make your own life super!

1. Perseverance can get you anywhere.

Sims introduces her book by assuring readers that she worked hard to get where she is today, initially assuring her audience that she is not just a supermodel.

“There’s an everyday supermodel in each one of us.”

2. Love your body.

This is a message we hear all the time, but it is extra helpful hearing it from a supermodel. Sims discusses how she loved to learn her not stick-thin body, and encourages women to do the same, at all stages of her life.

3. If you look good, you feel good.

Sims’ book is peppered with mottos and motivational quotes. One of the best is:

“If you look good, you feel good–and when you feel good, you look good. So you might as well feel f-ing fabulous!”
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Is Your Target Weight Loss Realistic? It Probably Doesn’t Matter.

shattered-scale

When it comes to setting weight loss goals, most dieters are unrealistic. Medical experts, concerned with adequate nutrition and physical and psychological health, recommend an average weight loss of a half to one pound per week. But dieters want nothing to do with that. They expect to lose at a rate twice as high, at a minimum.

Scientists have studied, at length, dieters’ expectations about losing weight. Dr. Thomas Wadden, Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, found that even when patients were “informed repeatedly” that their weight loss goals were unrealistic, they still wanted to lose more than was recommended.

In another study, a group of women expected to lose 22 to 34 percent of their weight in six months, and when told that average weight loss is 8 to 10 percent during the first six months of dieting, they said that number was “unacceptable” and “disappointing.”

Patients undergoing gastric lap band surgery were no different. They expected to lose almost 100 percent of their excess weight when typical results are 20 to 25 percent.

But does it matter if a dieter’s weight loss goals are realistic? Apparently not.
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Flat Stomach, Flabby Arms, Who Cares? You Are More Than Your Body

Body paintbrush quote

PIN THIS!

“Your body is not your masterpiece— your life is.”

This comment from Huffington Post offered some great food for thought.

How often are we bombarded with messages to treat our bodies like a temple because they are all we have? Well they’re not all we have. We have our whole lives: our relationships, our spirituality, ourselves as a whole being, not just a pretty form with thighs that may or may not touch. It is too common to see women, and men too, constantly obsessing over every square centimeter of their body like it’s the only thing they’ve got to offer the world. It’s not.

Aren’t you tired of comparing yourself to every woman you pass on the street or see on TV? Wouldn’t it be nice not to hate yourself a little bit more every time you see someone who has a flatter stomach than you?

Aren’t you tired? 

I am.
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The Top 5 Push-It-Over-The-Top Workout Power Songs

We’ve all lost motivation from time to time. We’ve all hit the wall. We’ve all wanted to stop mid-mountain climber and lay down on the cool gym floor.

But then THAT SONG comes up on our playlist and somehow we find the strength to push on. That song has become known as the POWER SONG.

power song

Perhaps it’s a line that brings back a memory of a past struggle overcome.  Maybe the message in the lyrics helps you remember what you’re really working for. It may be nothing more than a driving beat. Something about our Power Song makes us push on, push forward and push over the top. We know we can count on it to drag us through the last mile or help us get through the last set of deadlifts.

I’ve got a couple Power Songs I keep on my iPhone for just such occasions. I’m sure you do too. But are you curious what the most “powerful” Power Songs are? I’ve done a little research to find the top Power Songs from around the fitness world.

 1. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. At the FuelBand launch at SXSW in 2012 one of the Nike executives challenged the audience with a trivia question: What is the top Power Song on Nike+? This was the answer (and the winner was rewarded with a FuelBand)
 2. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses. The team at Muscle and Fitness named this 80s anthem the Top Power Song of All Time. I wonder what Axl Rose would think of that?
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