Wonder Woman – Gal Gadot Workout (And A Bonus Amazons Workout)

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Ah, Wonder Woman.

The movie that changed the lives of millions.

Every time I think of the scene of Wonder Woman putting on the crown from Antiope and marching into No Man’s Land… My body feels something very real.

I’m currently reading Women Who Run With The Wolves, and in it the author discusses the idea of the Wild Woman archetype. It’s something inside every woman that we’ve lost touch with through the years.

It’s a lot deeper than just a woman out in nature. It’s the basis of who we are when we’re allowed to get in touch with our deepest feelings.

“The archetype of the Wild Woman and all that stands behind her is a patroness to all painters, writers, sculptors, dancers, thinkers, prayermakers, seekers, finders–for they are all busy with the work of invention, and that is the instinctive nature’s main occupation. As in all art, she resides in the guts, not in the head. She can track and run and summon and repel. She can sense, camouflage, and love deeply. She is intuitive, typical, and normative. She is utterly essential to women’s mental and soul health.” – Women who Run With The Wolves

This is something I believe Wonder Woman touches on. That gut feeling. That story that we all feel within our bones but we’re unable to articulate. The reason we feel restless most days.

I’ve seen a lot of movies with women kicking ass. They’re tough, they can shoot guns really well, they are great with stunts… but Wonder Woman was something different in a way I’ve never seen in film.

While you read through this article, feel free to listen to the theme music. (Warning: It will make you want to run around and start jumping on top of every piece of furniture in your home.)

If you’ve followed any of my character workouts, you know I like to break these workouts down into different parts:

  1. What the actor said about getting in shape for the role
  2. My take on the workout (I worked as a personal trainer for years, so I combine that knowledge with what the actor said… also because finding the actual workouts always seems impossible)
  3. The diet
  4. The mentality behind their characters, so you can use it to become mentally stronger
  5. The gear you’d need if you wanted to become the superhero

Gal Gadot’s Workout

If you want to cut right to the chase, this is what her trainer said about the workout and here are two women going through that workout so you can see how it worked.

Gal worked out for six hours a day for six months. But keep in mind, that also included sword training, horseback riding, and other skills she needed for the movie. So although 6 hours sounds intimidating, you could easily do it in less.

Overall, it looks like a lot of high-intensity whole-body training. Every exercise had about 6-to-8 weight training and metabolic exercises.

Each day, you could pick between the following (but be sure to balance each exercise out throughout the week):

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Push-ups
  • Planks
  • Burpees
  • Bear crawls
  • Mountain climbers
  • Tricep dips
  • Calf raises
  • Donkey Kicks
  • Overhead press
  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Goblet squat
  • Hanging leg raise
  • Bent-over rows
  • Bench press
  • Rope crunches
  • Pull ups (substitute with lat pulldowns if you can’t do them)
  • Overhead squat
  • Crab walk
  • Burpee broad jump

Gal said she works out with two minutes of exercise and two minutes of rest. (Be sure to warm up, too! Gal warmed up with rows, mainly to keep herself safe so there were no injuries before filming.)

So, theoretically, it would look like:

Monday: Squats, mountain climbers, overhead squat, tricep dips, planks

Tuesday: Bear crawls, burpees, tricep dips, overhead press, hanging leg raise, burpee broad jump

Wednesday: Bent-over rows, calf raises, donkey kicks, lat pulldowns (or pull ups if you can do them)

Thursday: Deadlifts, planks, goblet squat, rope crunches, crab walk

Friday: Push-ups, Romanian deadlifts, hanging leg raise, bench press

Then add more exercises as you become stronger. It’s up to you if you want to do things in circuits or one at a time. Doing them in circuits increases your endurance and usually helps with weight loss (depending on your diet), or do them in sets.

(Circuit means you do one exercise, pause for a few seconds, then go right into the next exercise and when you’re done you start at the first exercise again. Sets means you do something like deadlift, then wait about 30-60 seconds, then deadlift again for about three sets.)

The Amazons Workout

Between all of the characters, the Amazons are a little more #swole than Wonder Woman herself. Now, to be fair, Wonder Woman is an actual super hero. She’s given superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek gods.

Also, to keep it real, Gal Gadot would have needed a lot, a lot, a lot of time to get as big as the other women on set (spoilers: not everyone in the movie industry is on steroids, even though that’s the common narrative that people say because it makes them feel better for not working out).

Don’t get me wrong. Gal is in incredible shape, but you can see a lot of the Amazon women had been training for years before they were in the movie. They’re #swolegoals for me.

Overall, the women trained for about four months together. (That video breaks down a good overall idea how their workouts looked. ALSO WARNER BROTHERS PLEASE LET ME COME WORKOUT WITH ALL OF YOU FOR THE NEXT ONE. They’ll never see this but COULD YOU IMAGINE? Okay, nerd moment over.)

A few of the actresses who are fellow Amazonians in the film talked about their past experiences in the fitness world. (The workouts are toward the end.) A lot of them were professional athletes, cops, and fighters before they came on set, which gave them an advantage.

To look like the Amazons vs. Gal Gadot in the movie, you’d train in a completely different style. If you want that look, your best bet is Crossfit or Olympic/powerlifting-style training. Basically, lots of heavy weights and lots of food. You’d follow something much closer to the Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow workout I posted or Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Size.

The Diet

When sites break down food for actresses, it always kills me. They almost never take into account someone’s height or muscle mass.

Gal Gadot is 5’10” and every website pegs her around 128 lbs. There’s just no. way. she’s only 128 lbs for this role. It creates an unrealistic expectation for women when they step on the scale. Gal herself said she gained about 17 lbs for this role, so she was closer to 145, so keep that in your mind.

Gal also said she focused on three main things: meals based on green veggies and protein, drinking 1 gallon of water each day, and reminding herself that food is fuel.

I love this approach.

Before you eat something, really analyze how something is going to make you feel.

Those cookies are not going to make you feel well in a few hours no matter how good they sound in the moment (I’m writing this while I’m on a cookie hangover and feeling horrible today, so it’s more of a personal reminder).

Food IS fuel. It’s the basis of everything. Start eating healthy and then have a day of binging and see how you feel the next day.

The water tip is genius, too. Most people do not drink as much water as they should. Period. I thought I drank a lot of water until I started measuring and realized it’s barely even 1/3 of a gallon.

If you want a run-down on different diets from the Amazon warriors: here’s a good overview. Basically, lots of protein, don’t be scared of fats (seriously, ladies, fats are just fine), and timing carbs around workouts.

The Mentality

Wonder Woman is an extremely complex character while at the same time being an extremely simple character. This is going to dive into the complexity of our world, and if you’re just here for the workout and diet, you don’t need to read any further. However, if you’re like me and you love to dive into the complexity of embodying a character you want to workout like and become, keep reading.

To get into Wonder Woman’s state of mind, you have to pursue truth, honesty, love, justice, and compassion before anything else. There’s a reason she struck such a cord with so many people: because we see these values as something lacking around us and within us.

This sounds like an easy idea, but to apply it at every given moment is not always easy. For example, in the movie we see her in a state of panic when she sees men injured from battle, a horse struggling to get through mud while is owner whips him hard (something she struggles to understand), and a mother and baby crying.

She’s overwhelmed.

This is so far from the world she came from where everyone took care of one another.

Look, I’ll keep this from getting too political, but it is politics/greed/fear/anger/etc that has made the world the one she wouldn’t recognize compared to her home. She loves everyone who is struggling and shares that love with the world and those around her. You can’t love Wonder Woman and consider her a role model without at least attempting to embody the traits she believes in the most.

Wonder Woman is ready at any given moment to give everything for the sake of helping someone.

When Steve lies to his bosses, she’s complexed. There is no lying where she comes from. They say what they feel and believe. Although he is a spy and uses it for the greater good, as you go throughout your life, simply think about the times you want to use a white lie to make something easier instead of speaking your truth.

Wonder Woman never backs down from a fight. She will always stand in her truth, no matter the consequences. She walks onto No Man’s Land because she sees no other option. It’s what she must do.

You can use the Wonder Woman mentality in your every day life.

Every day you can choose love over fear.

Every day you can get yourself to the gym because it’s what you must do.

Granted, going to the gym doesn’t feel as life-and-death as saving the world, but it’s also important.

The Gear

The Lasso of Truth. Unfortunately this isn’t something you can buy at the corner store (could you IMAGINE if there was a real lasso of truth?). However, it’s something you can mentally create by learning how to tell when people are lying. An interesting fact about the lasso is that it only breaks when Wonder Woman won’t accept the truth she’s been told. Accepting the truth when you’re told it is important when it comes to embodying everything Wonder Woman stands for.

Bracelets – Technically called the Bracelets of Submission, these bracelets are used to absorb incoming attacks, which is why she can use them to deflect bullets and anything else that intends to harm her. According to Wikipedia, “They were an original creation by William Moulton Marston as an allegory for his philosophy on loving submission and the emotional control associated with it in order to balance out the strength of the human ego.” Meaning, you have the power inside of you to absorb any attacks that come your way. (Okay, it can’t stop bullets, but emotional/verbal attacks aimed at you.)

Tiara – In the movie, the tiara is given to her by her aunt, Antiope. Diana only puts it on before walking into No Man’s Land. Meaning, she only puts it on when she’s ready to embrace who she really is and to pursue her mission in life. There are a million ways you could apply this lesson to your own life, but if you truly want joy, you must find your purpose and pursue it relentlessly.

 

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(Generic disclaimer: *As always with any fitness program, talk to your doctor first / see a trainer / it’s not my fault if you hurt yourself / please don’t sue me / you assume all risk / etc etc. Also, if any exercise ever hurts in a bad way, stop doing it immediately.)

What superhero workout do you want to see next? Leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

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Lessons From The Gym – Why I Train

Today marks the five year anniversary since I started to turn my health around.

Five years ago, just before my 21st birthday, I discovered I had an ulcer that was basically trying to kill me. My habits were a mess, and that was the result of that. I hadn’t discovered any of my food allergies yet, I thought coffee was a complete meal, I had fast food every single day, I was running on about 4 hours of sleep for a year, my stress levels were through the roof, I was a full-time student with a full-time job, and I had the occasional cigarette to deal with the stress. My health was waiting to implode and I was doing all this way too young.

Blacking out from stomach pain in the middle of a park in Denver was my wake-up call.

I immediately went to the doctor and she said I had to reduce all my stress ASAP. I went home, e-mailed my boss, and quit. I also decided to not take summer classes that year.

Of course, I still had to make an income, I just couldn’t do it as an editor at a paper any longer.

I marched into my local gym, and due to a really nice girl at the front desk (who ended up being a really good friend all these years later), I was able to get a meeting with the head boss of the gym. He didn’t really have any other positions available, but I told him I really needed this job and I’d even clean the whole gym from top to bottom every single night. This got his attention, and I went right to work starting the next day.

Most people would think that going from hot-shot editor to cleaning a gym at night would be some kind of low-point, but it was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I had never really been in a full-blown gym yet with all kinds of squat racks, machines, and all kinds of new equipment I had never seen before. I could blast the music, close the doors, and get to work. Some nights I wouldn’t even play music, I would just think. It was incredibly relaxing to have some silence with no phones, no one bothering me, and just time to go through each machine and clean it while also learning what it did.

I quickly worked my way up to being a personal trainer during the day while cleaning the gym at night. I’d walk home around 10 PM through the streets of downtown Denver, but instead of being completely stressed, I always felt better.

This was the first time I drew a connection between working out, spending time in silence, and overall life happiness.

These habits have stuck with me through the years until now. Fitness has always pulled me through no matter what was going on in my life. I didn’t start training seriously until about a year and a half ago, but I spent so much time studying and taking baby steps that I have spent very little time on any injuries or setbacks.

Now that my 26th birthday is tomorrow (the 24th), I thought I’d reflect on all the ways fitness has changed my life and the reasons I will continue to train until I die.

1. Being strong bleeds into all areas of life.

I have never worked out just to look good. I work out so I can handle everything else going on in my life. When I’m strong, I feel confident in asking new clients to hire me, making new friends, and sticking to the decisions I make. When I feel weak, I can feel myself shrink away from life and wallow in self-pity.

2. It brought supportive people my way.

Most of the people I meet through fitness are extremely positive and encouraging. I know it’s overrated to use the word “fitfam”, but there truly is an element of a fitness family when you start lifting. Sure, there’s a lot of rude people who think they know everything because they lifted a weight once, but thankfully they rarely cross my path.

3. I know how to fix my health problems.

When I wake up feeling groggy, have sore muscles, am tired throughout the day, or anything else that comes my way, it all has a solution. I diligently track everything I do, so I can go back to the past few days and see where the mistakes happened. Most people wander through life completely exhausted, aching all over, and then go to the doctors and get medication and surgery. Preventative care > everything.

4. Self-reliance.

I’ve noticed a surge in my thoughts on self-reliance ever since starting to lift. It started with being able to move things around all by myself. I’ve moved plenty of times and most of those times I wasn’t in a position to hire movers, so it wound up being me trekking up and down flights of stairs for a few days to get everything moved myself. It was never a fun experience, but I could do it on my own. I have no doubts this evolved into me starting my own business.

There is also something to be said for having relationships out of mutual respect instead of neediness. In the past, I had friendships and relationships because I felt like I needed the other person. This, of course, always ended horribly. When you’re needy, people can walk all over you, lie to you, cheat on you, and you take it. Two self-reliant people who come together out of mutual respect, friendship, and love always end up in a healthier place.

5. Studying the deeper parts of life.

Health is not everything, but without it, life is miserable. It’s a building block to build the rest of your life upon. When I felt better, I was able to think better. When I was able to think better, I realized an internal shift from less selfish thoughts to thinking about other subjects that interest me. Now, I spend a lot of time reading philosophy, trying to understand this life.

There is so much wisdom to be learned from our ancestors. Emerson, Seneca, Thoreau, Aristotle… You don’t need a mentor if you have the timeless wisdom from the greats. Understand your own mortality; embrace it. There is so much more to life than I originally knew. This also leads to the next point.

6. The desire for less.

Feeling content with life is the ultimate happiness. Knowing you have everything you need to life a fulfilling life, ridding yourself of the desire for “more”, brings peace. There are still huge goals I am pursuing, but I have stripped myself of my materialistic cravings and feel so much peace within caring for the things I currently have.

This also applies to my fitness. While every company out there tries to sell you on all kinds of supplements, equipment, workout plans, or whatever else, 99% of it is simply frivolous.

I say this as a recovering consumer addict. I wound up with more bullshit than I ever needed in an entire lifetime. Debt is slavery, and it’s something I’m currently at war with. I WILL win, but I would definitely go back in time to change that habit if I could. The only things I have purchased all year are protein powders, books, pens, and notebooks. No clothes, no household stuff, nothing. It’s all bullshit.

7. All of life has a greater meaning.

We’re here to help each other. We are not here to have the most toys or the most money. When I worked as a personal trainer, the best gift I ever gave my clients was the gift of reclaiming their health. By reclaiming their health, they also received the gift of life. Even as a professional writer now, I help people claim their voice. I only find joy in work by helping other people make their lives better.

8. “The more you bleed here, the less you bleed in battle.”

This is what King Leonidas says to his son in the movie 300. There are many variations of this quote, but the point is if you put in the hard work NOW, when you are truly tested in life you will win.

I meet a ton of people who completely crumble with any amount of stress because they never push their own limits. They hide behind their problems with drinking, partying, weed, vacations, buying things, or whatever else their weak souls need. Sure, there is a time and a place for celebration, but not as a crutch to deal with the things life throws at you. I love a good drink, but one of my rules is that I only drink for celebrations. I don’t ever drink because I’m stressed out. Sometimes it is an annoying rule, but when life punches me in the face, I handle it better and better with each passing year.

The same applies to everything I pursue. The harder I work, the more I practice, the more I train, the better I handle everything that comes my way.

9. Pursue the best version of myself.

This is a direct influence from Elliott Hulse (you can watch the actual video, HERE), but it’s basically the idea of growing as a person and becoming the best YOU that you could possibly be.

Another way to think of this: “Someone once told me the definition of hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became, meets the person you could have become.”

Younger me was always full of excuses. There were a few things I was excellent at, but those excuses ate me alive. There were so many times I held myself back from my potential because I had all these bullshit reasons as to why I couldn’t achieve them.

The real problem is that I was personally identified with certain character traits, and that was really what held me back. For example, I never defined myself as being “smart” throughout most of my schooling, so I avoided harder classes (except for Physics, which I took as a Sophomore because that sounded fun when everyone else in my class was a Senior), because I didn’t put in the work. I didn’t put in the work, because I didn’t think I was too bright. I’m definitely not a genius, but with a little extra effort and care I could have ended high school with a much better GPA.

10. Realizing I can reach for higher goals.

Once you break personal records you didn’t think were possible before, a whole world of possibilities opens up. You realize that you are absolutely capable of more. Life truly is what you make it. I moved to Denver with absolutely nothing, I put myself through college, I built a business, I added muscle, I changed my diet, I broke a ton of habits I thought were “just part of me”, I released people from my past… I never would have thought any of those would have been possible just a few years ago before I began this journey.

I’m realizing the boundaries of what I consider possible in my own life and I’m finding ways to challenge them. This is the top thing I hope to pursue throughout the age of 26: I want to challenge everything and see what is really possible.

I’d love to hear what YOU have learned on your journey of strength. Leave a comment below!

What to Ignore on Your Fitness Journey

Everyone will have an opinion about your life and your journey.

While it’s great to get feedback, many people start to think everyone else is “right” and ultimately get off track.

The fastest way to success is picking one path and sticking to it for a while before you decide to possibly change what you’re doing.

This problem plagued me for years. I would chase the new study, research, blog post, or expert’s opinion and get off track. I’d start with a goal, like gaining size, and start lifting, but then I’d see some new research about optimal eating time after a workout and think all of my work was going to waste because of this new information.

I’d get off track, and actually stop what I was doing because it wasn’t “perfect” yet.

It was ludicrous and got more off track than if I had just stayed with what I was already doing. There is no such thing as perfect and any progress is better than NO progress. There will always be new research, but if Arnold Schwarzenegger could be in shape all those years ago without 80% of the research we have today, there is no excuse.

So, that leads me to all the things you should ignore on your fitness journey:

1. New research

While you’re starting out, stay far away from all new information until you have formed the habit. Don’t we all know that out of shape friend who is a walking encyclopedia of information? Yeah, except they don’t actually apply what they know, and if they are it clearly isn’t working. This flows into #2.

2. Only take advice from people who have what you want

I want this quote on my tombstone I love it so much. Everyone I meet has an opinion on fitness. I post a status about going to the gym and I get a boatload of comments about what I should be doing from people who clearly are struggling with their own health. This is why I don’t have a relationship blog or a “how to work in corporate America” blog: because I am horrible at both those things.

3. Any opinions about your journey

Everyone will have an opinion about your diet, body, or routine. They’ll say you’re gaining too much muscle/losing too much weight/not eating enough/eating too much/having too much sodium, blah blah blah.

Get your information from someone credible and follow their advice for a few months, then look at your results and see what you want to change. As you know, I love Jim Stoppani’s work, programs, and supplements. He allows quite a bit of caffeine in the daily diet, yet half the people I know have a panic attack about drinking more than a cup. Let me do me, and you do you.

4. Anyone who says you have to buy something to reach your goals

No, you don’t need:

  • New shoes
  • A food scale
  • A new outfit
  • A program
  • Any fitness equipment
  • Any kitchen materials
  • Pretty much anything else outside your own determination

Sure, those things can help, but are they essential? No.

You already have everything you need to start living the life you want. It might not marketable, but it’s the truth.

 

Become Your Own Hero and Save Yourself

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Too many people are waiting on someone else to make them happy.

They make every excuse in the world to do what’s not important to them. They wander around on Facebook, go out to happy hour at the bar every night, smoke weed, play video games, and do every other thing to avoid the hard work of pursuing their dreams.

The thing I’ve realized about becoming an adult is the importance of saving yourself. To look yourself in the mirror every night knowing you gave that day every ounce of passion, work, and sweat equity you could.

My nerd heart was stoked to discover the Nerd Fitness website where Steve Kamb wrote about Captain America and the importance of old school thinking.

Basically, you need to focus on the essentials.

I’ve gotten caught up in my own tidal wave of mindless drivel recently. I got off track and paid the consequences.

Last night I sat down all huffy realizing I am off track and wrote down my three most important areas of focus:

1. Business.
2. Fitness
3. Rocky (my dog).

That’s it. Everything else that seems to take over my days needs to head to the back of the list and never take precedence over those three things.

One of the only shows I watch on TV is Agent Carter. If you haven’t been watching it, I’d highly recommend it.

Hayley-Atwell-as-Peggy-Carter-in-Agents-of-S-H-I-E-L-D-season-two

It follows the storyline spinoff of the first Captain America movie, picking up with Peggy Carter and her career in New York as an agent.

A constant theme throughout every episode is that Peggy is always focused on what is important and wastes no time waiting to be saved by anyone. The love of her life is at the bottom of the ocean, she’s working as an agent in 1940’s America which wasn’t exactly a welcoming place for women at the time, and people are constantly trying to kill her.

Captain America: The First Avenger

However, you don’t see her moping around wondering when someone is going to save her, complaining about her circumstances, or wishing she was doing something else. She just gets to work.

All of which are attributes I’m trying to strengthen in myself and I wish I saw more of in the world.

Especially around this time of year, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, all of my social network feeds become full of “woe is me” kind of posts about being single. If you want to feel special on V-Day, spoil yourself. Don’t wait for someone to buy you things in order to prove they love you.

The fact that The Bachelor has higher ratings than Agent Carter speaks volumes about our values in this society. The Bachelor is the epitome of victim “waiting-to-be-saved” mentality.

Watch any hero movie. You will see they spend no time whining about their lives. They work harder when times get tough. They focus on the essentials.

1. A mission.

Everyone needs a mission. Maybe your mission isn’t to drive the tesseract (from the movie) into the bottom of the ocean, but it doesn’t make it any less important.

The problem comes when people don’t know their mission. They don’t have that drive, a goal, to work toward.

I would challenge you to pick any goal for just 12 weeks and see it through. Don’t spend any time wondering if you chose the right goal, studying it on the internet, or comparing yourself to other people who have that goal.

Just pick the one you feel a strong pull toward. This could mean writing a page every day, trying out a new bodybuilding program, reading a chapter of a book every day, practicing your interviewing skills daily… Just pick something.

See, the secret sauce lies in the fact that it matters less about the specific goal you pick and more so who you become in the process. You become someone more disciplined, mentally tough, and determined.

What I learned by finishing Shortcut to Size had nothing to do with the muscle gain (although that was nice) and had everything to do with realizing I could finish something I started. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities. “If I can finish this, what else am I capable of finishing?”

wonder woman

2. Spend less time being comfortable.

Our ancestors would laugh at our complaints today. I know if I was hanging out with Agent Carter and complaining about the snow on the ground she would look at me utterly baffled.

“My generation beat the Nazi’s so you can sit here and whine about the snow?” is what I imagined that look would say. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you get what I mean.

The point is, stop seeking comfort. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Suck it up when you’re in the cold. Walk to the grocery store instead of driving. Wait just a little big longer before turning on the air conditioning.

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” Theodore Roosevelt.

3. Remove complaints from your life.

Generations before us did not sacrifice their lives so we can live in misery.

Nothing good ever comes from complaining. If anything, it only brings other complainers into your life and pushes away the people who want to build you up. We all know those people who continue to complain even though you have tried everything you can to build them up.

Sure, vent about things once in awhile, but after you’re done do everything in your power to change the situation at hand. If you find yourself complaining about something for more than a month, you aren’t working hard enough to change it.

4. Make your own way.

Self-reliance is the most important trait any human can develop. To look at your own circumstances and shortcomings and to decide you want something better in your life. Then to work tirelessly day in and day out to make it a reality.

There will be days when it seems hard and you want to quit. It wasn’t meant to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would be a self-reliant hero.

5. Empower other people.

The true mark of a hero is the sacrificing for others.

“A hero or heroine is a person or character who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage or self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good.” – The meaning of the word “hero”

The world needs the strongest version of you. Your family needs it, your friends need it, your community needs it.

There is a hero within you, and if you’ve read this far, I’d suspect you feel it, too. Quitters already stopped reading this article about 1,000 words ago.

Pick something.
Stay committed.
See it through to the end.
Discover you are capable of so much more.

Why Everyone Needs to Pursue Strength

With 2015 quickly approaching, everyone is talking about new fitness plans, what they want to do, and setting New Year resolutions.

While I love goal setting, the problem with most fitness goals is that they are completely shallow with no real meaning behind them.

Some of the biggest feats accomplished throughout all of history were on the heels of an emotional cause.

I signed up for the Bodybuilding.com 200K Giveaway challenge. It is basically a body transformation challenge where everyone participating tries to change their body in about 12 weeks. (It’s also free to sign up for anyone interested!)

As I was writing out my plans, thinking up fitness routines and diet strategies, I was thinking about why strength in general is so important.

While most of our society talks about bodies in general, from pushing the “perfect” body image or the acceptance of all shapes and sizes, there is rarely a discussion about the internal strength needed to handle life in general.

Life is always there to knock you around, give you new challenges, and generally beat you up. This is what I mean when I talk about the importance of strength.

My definition of strength is entirely different.

We lack strength in America. Our leaders are weak-minded. School only teaches us to shut up and obey. Everyone is scared for their jobs. No one has time for fun. Breaks consist of substances and couch time with hours of endless Netflix.

The smallest stress breaks their spirit.

I can only be so harsh because I’ve been there. My own weaknesses in my life brought about the worst times. I saw myself as the victim instead of understanding I was simply a coward.

I needed internal strength to leave my last long-term relationship a lot sooner.
I needed internal strength to get better grades.
I needed internal strength to stick with a fitness program.

I didn’t learn about the multiple layers of strength until I read Elliott Hulse’s Four Layers of Strength ebook. (for free on his site!)

Strength. Resiliency. Character. Virtues.

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s important to develop them to their fullest.

I needed strength of mind, body, and spirit.

Compassion without strength makes you gullible.
Empathy without strength makes you weak.
It’s a ying and yang type of thing.

Strength comes in many forms. It comes in resiliency. It comes in having the strength to know you deserve better.

The world needs the strongest YOU that you can be.

So, while you go through and set goals for 2015, don’t forget to throw in some goals that make you a stronger person for your goals, your family, your community, and ultimately the world.