It wasn’t until I started exploring the possibility that I was transgender that I realised that the anxiety and restlessness I suffered was all part of the ongoing feelings of mismatch between my body and mind. The gym and training was and is pivotal to managing these symptoms.
For most of my 20’s the only place where I really started to feel myself, and to engage with myself, where I got a taste of who I am/wanted to be was at the gym. Moving my body and developing strength made me feel more myself than anything else. Being strong physically made me strong emotionally and mentally which helped me cope. Not only this but it gave me something to hold on to, a part of me that I could live with...more here
What drives you? What is good motivation and what is bad motivation? Isnt any motivation good motivation??
Recently, I've made the space to reflect and really think about what drives me. To try to identify internal and external motivation and to think about the difference between the two... more here
"What I am trying to say is that you could not be there (The Arnold Classic) without thinking about PEDs. It would be impossible. And if you are willing to say you have been at any female strength competition recently and NOT had some thoughts about issues in relation to PED use, then I am willing to suggest that you need your eyes tested." more here
INCOMING - The Arnold 2017
This time of year, a strength fan's social media feed is in a frenzy. It seems that almost everyone is peaking in competition or in the lead up to some of the most important strength events in the annual calendar. The American Arnold's has just taken place and we are smack bang in the middle of the CrossFit Open. This weekend, the best of Australian Powerlifting*, Strongman and bodybuilding is taking centre stage at the Arnold Sports Festival in Melbourne. It is exciting! It's overwhelming actually. The hard work of so many women is about to be showcased. More here...
Recently I received an email asking for advice. The letter itself covered many of the themes of a student feeling let down by their gym/coach and questioning why their coach is failing to fulfil their needs. I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly share so that you might have the chance to gain insight that may help you (or those around you) build a better relationships within your gym. To take what feels like a crisis and create opportunity. An easy way to turn a seemingly negative situation, into a beneficially positive one. If I knew any of this when I first started, my journey would have been much smoother...More here
The term strength "athlete" is widely used - almost to the point of overuse. It's also a term that's often misused... to be fair, just becaue you train or compete, I don't think it is a term that can be used lightly, Athletisism in it's truest form, calls for a combination of physical qualities such as strength, fitness, agility and adaptability. It is fairly safe to say that Tahina Booth is a strength athlete of the highest calibre. More here...
40 badass women and 12 of the best female Australian strength coaches gathered together in late September 2016 at the sold out Barbelle Club's inaugural Strength Camp. Held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, it was an epic weekend of learning, lifting and laughing. Each one of us moved the earth to prioritise ourselves and our training, coming together as a collective to make this groundbreaking event happen. Maryanne Brezovic from The Iron Women Project was one of the women who joined us, here are some of her photographs from our epic weekend.
This weekend, there are three separate powerlifting events happening across the country which are specifically for novice female lifters. One of those lifters contacted me about sharing an email I sent out to my subscribers last week. Currently coached by Annie Short of Lifter's League, she said that Brisbane's Pretty and Powerful would be her very first powerlifting competition!
So, freakin' hooray Erin!!
My hope is that each of us, whatever level, is pushing headfirst into challenges that will make us better humans!
Full article here.
Unleash The Beast
16 female competitors from all over the country turned up at Unleash the Beast - A novice strongman competition - which was held in Canberra in July 2016. The deadlift was the third of five events. Each woman had three attempts to reach her max. Many personal bests were smashed and some seriously impressive weights were moved! We're excited to be bringing you more videos of some of the other events and competitors over the coming weeks.
Bex Prior is not only a ferocious competitor but also the brains and brawn behind Canberra Strongwoman, an organisation which supports, teaches and encourages women to participate in this fairly fringe strength sport.
I feel like I travel a similar path to her, we share a joint desire to spread the gospel and grow the community of women who thrive in pursuing strength. It's also worth noting that when I met her, she was WEARING a blanket and I thought, "this is definitely my kind of chick".
Check out our full interview with Bex here.
In a society where women are taught from a young age to fear and dread the ageing process, there is nothing like watching a woman older than yourself kick every arse on the floor. Each Regionals that I have been to, Amanda Allen destroyed the competition. Her performance was guaranteed to give me shivers every time. That said, it's pretty easy to admire high achievers and to idolise elite performances but a flawless hero is pretty fucking boring. Finding out recently that Amanda has spent parts of her life struggling with suicidal depression and alcohol abuse took my admiration of her to another level. We caught up with Amanda recently, you can read more here
Although she's been involved in Crossfit for many years, I get the sense that Cindy Garard is only beginning to take herself seriously. This year she's committed to getting involved in more high level competitions and to chipping away at her perceived weaknesses. With increased confidence and continuing improvements I can't wait to see where she can take herself in this sport. More here...
Kara King is a 45 year old mum of 2, who works full time, and who up until recently hadn’t exercised since leaving high school. She's been lifting for two years and competed twice where she managed to take out first place in her weight division both times - She's a little beast! We talked with her recently about her lifting and her experience setting up a fully equipped powerlifting gym in her home. More Here
A couple of weeks ago we looked at some of the similarities between lifting and surfing but in part two of The Barbelle Club's foray into the land of surfing, performance coach Ryan Bailey takes us through his pick of the five best assistance moves for improving your ability to catch a wave. More here...
Wouldn’t it be great if you could help Mum get into strength training? It’s never too late to start, and the great thing about being a novice is that your Mum can make the most fantastic gains in the first few weeks that will amaze you both, and hopefully keep her motivated to continue training. More here...
Strength training is almost the antitheses of surfing. Not only does surfing require an athletic dynamism seldom called for in strength training, if you want to surf, you will need to be good at dealing with huge amounts of variability. There are many things that learning to surf can teach you about lifting. Here’s some of them;
The Barbelle Club rubbed (ripped) shoulders with part of the "American Fitness Mafia" in the fine forms of Neghar Fonooni, Jen Sinkler and Jill Coleman when they were in Bondi, Australia for their first international Radiance Retreat. A game changing weekend of work on our bodies, our businesses and our minds was had by all who were lucky enough to attend. We have some photos to share here.
The Barbelle Club talks to Olympic lifter & CrossFit games athlete Pip Malone, strongwoman/powerlifter extraordinaires Jo Greagan, Rebecca Buckley & Venecia Bachee, powerlifter Elizabeth Craven as well as BJJ Brown Belt Jess Fraser about their weight cutting experiences and tips. More...
I’ve watched heavier weights start to pop up (eek!), conveniently avoided certain lifts (sorry coach, secret’s out) and watched the program change to focus predominantly on the main lifts. The accessories decrease as comp day gets closer and closer....
We’ve all heard the myth that if a woman lifts weights she’ll become bulky, but what if you come into the sport already bulky? And by bulky, I mean fat...more here
I was really looking forward to the Pan Pacific Championships 2014. I made a game plan. I worked toward it. I blogged about it. I had my team working with me on it. I changed work rosters (mine and other peoples). I hit the grind hard, pushed past it, ate right, slept right, planned right. I. Did. Hill. Sprints.
Fkn. Hill. Sprints...more here
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