7 Things I Gained From Strength Squad

Posted April 5, 2019

This blog was originally posted on Peach In Seattle’s blog. Check her blog out! She’s awesome.

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, then you know that I’ve been concentrating on heavy lifting exclusively ever since November 2018. For the last 5 years, I’ve been doing high-intensity interval training programs up to 6 times a week (I’m crazy right?? Haha.) and I could tell my body needed a break from the wear and tear of cardio (mainly running).

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Three months ago, at the beginning of 2019, I finally found a group fitness class called Strength Squad here in Seattle at Rival Fitness in Capitol Hill. Strength Squad is a 3-month program with classes twice a week and the class size is very small – mine only had 8 people in the class. One of the main things that attracted me was how it focuses more on strength and heavy lifting versus weight loss or fat loss.

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When I first started, of course I had high hopes to get lean and lose weight. (It’s really hard not to think that way!) But as I got more classes under my belt, I knew that I’d be completing these 3 months with much more. So instead of focusing this post on what I didn’t lose and why I didn’t lose it, I want to concentrate on all the GAINS I made during the program.

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  1. Strength – Of course this one is first! I am very detail-oriented which means I love making to-do lists and tracking data. However, I have never consistently tracked my 1-rep maxes. Strength Squad gave me the opportunity to and I am so glad to now know where my body is at. Being able to add 40 lbs onto my back squat in 3 months is amazing and I can’t wait to see my progress moving forward!
  2. Better Accountability – Having a squad to rely on each morning at 7 am made it much easier to wake up at 6 am twice a week for class. To be honest, the early morning classes made me think I would miss a little more than just two classes (due to travel and a work commitment). But in my head, I got perfect attendance! 😉
  3. Community – Everyone is SO NICE at Rival Fitness. And when I say everyone, I mean both staff and members! I remember on my first day, people said ‘hi’ and ‘good morning’ to me in the locker rooms. That has never happened to me before at any other big box or boutique gym! And to put it this way, if I ever see any of my squad-mates outside of the gym, I would not hesitate to say hello.
  4. Laughter – When it’s early in the morning and everyone is trying to wipe the sleep out of their eyes, all we can do is catch up on all the useless TV shows we watched the night before while spotting our lifting partners. SERIOUSLY THOUGH. I’m an outgoing person but even I have never experienced this kind of almost-instant connection with 7 other people just based upon the fact that we are all working out together. From the first day of class to the last and moving forward.
  5. Healthier Habits – Waking up earlier meant having time to make breakfast plus sit down and eat before work. And also, in turn, would get tired and go to bed earlier. I loved seeing how one added healthy habit had a ripple effect impact on my daily life.
  6. Confidence – Trust me, I know going to the gym can be intimidating for a lot of people. Sometimes when I go, I still don’t feel like I belong. But lifting has definitely become my thing and, with that, I am feeling more and more in my element. That reassurance that I do belong and that I can lift however many pounds up off the ground or rack has released all my self-inhibiting thoughts.
  7. Self-acceptance – I have found that my self-acceptance and my confidence go hand-in-hand. It’s a great feeling and I wish it on everyone. For a long time, I never felt like I had confidence issues… in my head, I just considered it “knowing my abilities” so if I was bad at something, I would just accept that I was bad at it. Lifting has given me a whole new outlook. Accepting where my body is and believing where it can be in 3 months without disrespect or doubt has been the biggest gain from my Strength Squad experience. 

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I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it again: it is all about progress, not perfection.

In January, I would’ve wanted to walk away from this experience with loses – loses in fat or weight overall. (For those of you wondering, I didn’t lose any weight. I did lose body fat and gain lean muscle. But no difference on the scale from when I started.) Now, those are in my rear-view mirror as I look forward towards more mental and physical strength which I know will bring me an overall higher quality of life.

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If you live in the Seattle-area and are looking to try out a gym, consider Rival Fitness! You can even try it out for a week FREE!

Feel free to drop a comment or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions or advice to share. I love talking to my community so please don’t hesitate!

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