Gym Life

Bouncing back from injury

Injuries – we’ve all been there one way or another. But how we bounce back is everything, and how we prepare to ensure we don’t end up with a reoccurence is even more important.

When I was first taught how to lift I was taught the basic movements and told to practice that until it became natural. That approach did work during my “beginner gains” period. After a while, things started to go poorly for me because even though my lifting looked and felt natural, it wasn’t technically proficient which lead to some interesting issues. I don’t want to talk about these issues though – I want to talk about what happened next.

I had to go back to basics – I’m talking breathing, goblet squats, hinge patterning, etc! The sort of stuff that we now drill into our new lifters, but for me it was an important step that I missed; hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we’re so lucky to have a coach that understands nailing the basics! So today, I want to talk about how it’s important to accept that going back to the basics is not a step backwards, but should be seen as a massive leap forward.

Let’s talk about breathing as an example. We all get told to take a deep breath in before lifting, and to “push against your belt” – but are you actually doing it correctly, or are you causing more issues for yourself? One of our members recently discovered that she was struggling to breathe correctly and so she sought help from a physiotherapist. Our Valkyrie ended up being rather frustrated at how “basic” the exercises were and how she just wanted to throw the heavy weights around instead! I’m pretty sure we have all felt that way at some point with our training.

My advice is this: you need to think of your training just as you would think of building a house – you must lay the proper foundations first. Yeah, you can build a house on shoddy foundations just as you can learn to squat in an inefficient manner, but one day your walls will come tumbling down when your foundations fail you. Take the time now to work on all the basic movement patterns, to set yourself up for being technically proficient before you start adding huge amounts of weight.

From someone that has had to relearn how to squat, bench, AND deadlift, I know that I am stronger and wiser from taking the time to work on my breathing, and basic movement patterns – squatting, pressing, pulling, hinging and carrying.

Originally posted on VALHALLA Strength – South Brisbane

Gym Life

Finding your “people” in training

What many people don’t understand is who you train with can (and will) make or break your session.

I want to share with you something that I only just realised for myself this year. If you want to succeed at training, and if you want to give yourself a reason to turn up to the gym when you really don’t want to, I recommend “finding your people”. Some refer to this as “finding your tribe” but for me, that’s synonymous with the beautiful teenage girls I teach and so I use the term “my people” instead.

Having your people around when you’re training can be a game changer. I have had a bad session turned around just by checking in with one of mine. I’ve seen others experience something similar, over and over and over again. It’s a powerful thing. Why is this the case?

When we go to the gym, it’s easy to bring our work or personal baggage with us. It’s easy for our terrible days to drag us down. When you have your people expecting you at the gym it can be a motivator. When you rock up to the gym feeling like you’d rather be anywhere else, these people can remind you of your goals and push you to get your training done. And the best part? Your people don’t even have to be training for the same reason that you are.

When you find someone that understands your goals, that gets what you’re working towards and offers to share your journey, it forms a connection that is strong. I know that I personally have only been training consistently since the beginning of the year because I know that my people will be at the gym, ready to train with me and to get me through sessions when I’d rather not be there.

So for everybody out there who is lacking inspiration at the gym – go and find your people. It will be the best thing you ever do for your training.

Originally posted on VALHALLA Strength – South Brisbane

Gym Life

Dreaming big, bigger than just me alone.

About a month after the opening of our gym, I had a real moment of self doubt. My life as I knew it was crumbling around me and I wasn’t sure I could do what was being asked of me. I sat down and wrote out my thoughts and it helped me process my emotions, everything became clearer. 6 months later and we’re doing better than ever, so I thought I’d share with you all my moment of doubt that lead to some serious self discovery.

To the partners,

To the partners that have found themselves doing jobs they’d never think they’d do to support their significant others, I admire you. For the…

  • hours you put in for a job you don’t get paid to do
  • time spent learning new skills on top of your existing ones
  • never ending thoughts about how this is going to impact on your own career and if you even care at this point
  • friendships you neglect without meaning to in order to survive
  • social events you decline because you’re either unavailable or too tired to attend
  • family events you never make it to, have to arrive late to or leave early from
  • help you ask for from your parents, whether that be borrowing things, physical labour, financial support, looking after your pets or kids, or generally accepting your reasons for doing what you’re doing, no matter how crazy it seems in the beginning
  • sleepless nights wondering how it’s all going to work out
  • late nights and early mornings you choose to take on so that your significant other can get some sleep
  • worrying over their health because you know that if they get sick, you’ll struggle even more
  • missed meals or take away that you end up relying on because who honestly has the time or energy to shop?
  • constant battle of knowing they need your help but meeting resistance every time you offer because they don’t want to make your life harder
  • fights and frustration
  • tears and the emotional storm that comes with having to juggle everything and not just survive, but somehow thrive

But on the other hand, there’s there…

  • pride you feel when you see how happy this new venture makes them
  • statements made about how well they’re doing
  • knowledge that they are doing everything to give you the empire they think you deserve
  • satisfaction of looking around at all that you have achieved and knowing that you helped build it
  • people you meet and the new friendships you form
  • promises of freedom and adventure when everything works out in the end
  • love and gratitude you feel towards and from your partner

This path I now walk was one I never even dreamt of doing. When I met my significant other it had never crossed my mind that one day we would be running a gym together. I am happy in my career, I have my dream job and I can never see myself leaving it for anything else, but I will do whatever it takes so that my husband-to-be can feel the same satisfaction from his chosen profession. If that means that for now I take on many more roles, so be it. We do what it takes to help those we love achieve their dreams. Valhalla Strength – South Brisbane has been his dream. It’s now mine too.


Image attribution: Ivan. Dreaming about the starts. (CC BY-SA 2.0)