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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Frnka

Get Strong with Jen - Setting Yourself Up for Success with Strength Training - Part 2

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Last week we discussed that one of the ways you can set yourself up for success in strength training and falling in love with your body is to read and learn more about how your body works, as well as, gain a better understanding about the basics of strength training.

This week we are going to talk about some of the strength training items that are recommended to help you be successful as you start your journey into strength training and falling in love with your body.

What You Will Need:

o Pen/Pencil/Notebook

o Starting Strength Coach/Trainer

o T-shirt

o Knee high socks/ankle length sweatpants/yoga pants

o Starting Strength App

o Power Lifting Shoes

o Power Lifting Belt

I tried to list these items in the order of importance.

1) Pen/Pencil/Notebook – these are absolutely necessary from DAY 1! In your notebook you will plan your workouts ahead of time and if you are training you will want to take notes about your diet, sleep, and about how your body is feeling before and after the workout. This will become your personal strength training bible. Your coach will be able to best assist you in adjusting your workouts when you take thorough notes.

2) If you are new to strength training and especially working to fall in love with your body a strength training coach is necessary. I recommend Starting Strength because they are a phenomenal group of individuals who have been extensively trained in how the muscles work to keep everything else working correctly in your body. They use a simple program with simple lifts – add 5 lbs every workout and Do your 5s! I mean there is a little more too it, but that’s the just of it. Of course, you can use any strength trainer, I just cannot promise that you will consistently find success.

3) T-shirt – probably seems funny to mention that, but honestly tank tops/sports bras do not cover the areas of your body that the bar will sit on. On a light day, a tank top/sports bra may work just fine, but when you are training heavy days (which is every workout when you are first training) the bar can rub against your skin which will cause you to feel discomfort, so a t-shirt works best.

4) Knee high socks/long sweatpants/yoga pants – you will want to wear one of them for your deadlift and the power clean. I mean you can certainly complete the lifts without either knee high socks or long pants, but you might not have any skin left on the front of your shins.

5) Starting Strength App – if you are using a Starting Strength Coach, they will probably recommend this app to you. If you are using another trainer, they may not recommend this app, but I love it. It calculates your workout for you. You just put in your work set weight and it takes it from there. There are also links to the Starting Strength videos, articles, and a vast of array of other resources. It’s just a great tool to have in your toolbox when you are strength training.

6) Power lifting shoes --- I may get some criticism for where these hit on my list because honestly, they are essential to the process and your success. When I first started lifting it took me a little over 3 months before I purchased them because I really didn’t see the need. I mean, weren’t my tennis shoes good enough??? There is a clear difference though between lifting in tennis shoes vs power lifting shoes. For one thing, I noticed almost immediately that my knee and hip pain improved.

7) Power lifting belt – this is not exactly essential to have from Day 1, but within the first 3 weeks, I would say. I would recommend purchasing a belt that is the same width all the way around – most females will want a 3” belt, while most males will want a 4” belt. I would also recommend a 2- prong belt – they are just more stable. Once you decide on where you are going to purchase your belt, they can help you with all the measurements. Make sure to read their directions carefully or call them to ensure you measure correctly. Remember you are setting yourself up for success.

For those of you working to break an unhealthy habit/cycle:

Every day this week, I encourage you to stand in front of the mirror and say aloud all the things that you love about your body from week 1.

Then, sit down every day this week and write a letter to God. Let him know what it is that you struggle with about your body and tell Him what you want. Then ask for his guidance and help in building a healthy body and healthy relationship with food.

When you sit down each day, you might be adding to or revising your letter, or you might simply be in prayer with your letter allowing God’s healing love and mercy to wash over you.

Regardless, of whether you decide to start strength training or choose another activity, my hope is that you work to set yourself up for success each day! Have a beautiful day ya’ll!

All my love,


To see prior articles visit Get Strong with Jen Strength Training

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