Do you even lift?

I was 32 years old, working an office job and had had trouble with my back for a couple of years already. I tried a lot things: yoga, physical therapist, lots of walking, not being stuck at my desk for too long by taking breaks, working on my posture, you name it. But nothing truly fixed the problem. I was sick and tired of it. Sound familiar? Read on!

It was august 2018 and I had the idea to try out strength training once again. I did it in my early twenties when I was still studying, but I was afraid of the big weights because I thought women shouldn’t lift big weights in order not to grow too big (cringe).

This time, I got the help of a personal trainer because I had no idea what the hell I was doing and wanted to learn things properly. In the beginning, most of the stuff was pretty basic functional training like doing push-ups, lunges, squats with just bodyweight. In the beginning, I couldn’t even do a push-up on the ground because I was so weak in my upper body and core. During the first two months I started to feel progress already. My back pain was gone after just 2 months of light but consistent training (3x per week)! I couldn’t believe it.

It turns out that strength training is my medicine. 

I found some goals to work towards after 2 months. I wanted to be able to do an unassisted pull-up and I just wanted to find out how strong I can actually get. 

The pull-up succeeded after almost 6 months. It was pretty hard to get there. I had to start with assisted pull-ups on the machine and with bands. There are many types of elastic bands that can remove some of your body weight. In the end, working my way up to using bands that removed less of my bodyweight was the way to get to the unassisted pull-up. With the bands, you can experience the full pull-up movement as it is and you learn how to do it with proper form. When I finally ditched the elastic band I could do 5 pull-ups! Turns out I could have done one long before I ditched the bands….Sometimes our fear to fail is holding us back! That moment was really exhilarating!

The “let’s see how strong I can get part” is never finished. I moved from functional training to using the barbell and doing the powerlift exercises: squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. In just six months time I got my squat to 80 kg, bench press to 50 kg, deadlift to 90 kg and OHP to 30 kg. I thought I was strong and then I joined a powerlifting gym. People there are INSANELY strong, the women too. I’ve seen other women squat 180 kg, deadlift over 200 kg and other crazy stuff. It made me realise that I’m still just a beginner. 

Right now I’m on this journey to become strong, but I have already gained something beautiful: finally found love for a sport! Do you even lift? If you have back pain from working an office job I truly recommend it. 

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