Inspiration and info for midlife women who lift—or want to start

Category: Habits for Success

Tips, tricks, and words of wisdom to help you master the behavior and habits of successful people, in lifting and in life.

Older woman holding smartphone in the gym, smiling because she knew how to get motivated and stay consistent.

How Do I Get Motivated and Stay Consistent?

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I’ve been going to the gym on and off for five years. I go from fully committed, getting great results, great diet, etc. to falling off and starting again. I can’t figure out how to get motivated and stay consistent.

If this is a priority for you, stop allowing training and good nutrition to be a choice based on how you feel, or on motivation. 

Build habits. 

Airplane high above the clouds, traveling to a powerlifting meet

Tips for Traveling to a Powerlifting Meet

I recently returned from competing at WRPF Nationals in Las Vegas, a five-plus-hour flight away from my home. (It went well!) This was something like the sixth large meet to which I’ve had to travel a long distance (including a couple internationally). Through all of those trips, plus hearing stories from fellow lifters, I’ve picked up a few pointers you may find useful if you’re new to the experience of traveling to a powerlifting meet.

Older woman in superhero cape flexing biceps on a mountaintop.

Recovery: The Unsung Hero to Build Muscle

Ask most people what they’re doing to build muscle and they’ll tell you all about which training program they’re on, which exercises they’re doing, how much protein they’re eating and how many hours they spend in the gym every week. They may even brag about their dedication and “no days off” mentality.

Unfortunately, most lifters don’t understand a key principle:

If you want to build muscle, the real secret is outside the gym.

It’s called recovery, and it’s the unsung hero of gains.

Stop Procrastinating: Start with Just One Thing

You can’t do everything, but you can do one thing, and then another and another. In terms of energy, it’s better to make a wrong choice than none at all. You might begin by listing your priorities—for the day, for the week, for the month, for a lifetime. Start modestly. List everything you want to do today or tomorrow. Set priorities by dividing the items into A, B, and C categories. At the least, accomplish the A items. Try the same thing with long-term goals. Priorities do shift, and you can change them at any time, but simply getting them down in black and white adds clarity to your life, and clarity creates energy.

George Leonard, Writer and Aikido teacher, in his book Mastery

Push—or Pull Back?

Learning when to push and when to pull back is an important part of athletic maturity & something I still struggle with a lot. LISTEN to your body and learn to understand when you need to pull out the grit and push through and when you need to put your ego aside to successfully get the best out of your body THAT day. Even if it’s not the most ideal session.

Mattie Rogers, olympic weightlifter
Unmotivated woman sleeping on bed instead of morning training

How to Train When You Don’t Feel Motivated

This morning, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Daily Pump Club email mentioned something I often share with people:

Smiling makes you feel better.

(By the way, Arnold’s newsletter is terrific. Great value for a small time investment. Ten out of ten would recommend.)

People tend to assume they need to be happy to smile—that the feeling should precede the action. After all, isn’t smiling a signifier of our mental and emotional state? If we feel miserable, why in God’s name would we grin?

Woman's bare feet walking a tightrope with sunshine behind her

Real Talk About Balance

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a confession to make.

I launched this blog at a really bad time.

As I sit here writing, I’m three weeks out from IPL Drug-tested Worlds in Australia, and two weeks from getting on the plane to Sydney. The intensity of training is ramping up, along with the anxiety that always comes with impending competition.

Work stress also happens to be high at the moment. I have all the other usual stuff in my life (a partner; friends; kids who, though semi-grown, still require some hand-holding; mice in the house; cars that need inspection…).

And let’s not forget the part about being menopausal, which means unpredictable and often disrupted sleep and even more anxiety thanks to the effects of hormone imbalances.

So why in hell did I decide to start a website and blog now?

5 Podcasts to Improve Your Mindset and Build Resilience

During the more than seven years that I’ve been strength training, I’ve discovered and become a devoted fan of a small handful of podcasts that are designed to help build resilience and improve your mindset. These have become important resources for me and I even credit some of them with helping me perform tangibly better in competitions.

Sunrise over the trees in Vermont

A Single Step

I may earn a small commission for purchases made using links in this post. I only recommend items I know, use myself, or have otherwise vetted.

I got up early this morning.

This is, for me, quite an accomplishment.

I am NOT naturally a morning person. I’ve been a night owl as long as I can remember. If left to my own devices with no clocks and no responsibilities, I’d be one of those vampires (along with teenagers) who goes to bed at 4 a.m. and wakes up at 11.

In fact, I DID that my freshman year of college. I purposely never had a class before 11:30 a.m, and I routinely stayed up until 4 a.m. doing my work.

I love the quiet of the night; it makes me feel creative and full of possibilities.

Or it used to. That kind of life hasn’t been viable for a long, long time, thanks to kids and day jobs.

But I digress.

There’s a reason I’m telling you about my sleep habits.

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