Pushup progression | Four ways to get pushups into your warmup

Remember my New Year’s goal of being able to do the Astavakrasana move? I’m still working on that. That’s not me in that video.

And I’m starting with pushups. The most basic of bodyweight exercises, pushups will not only build my strength, it will get me used to using my bodyweight for training.

Here, I give the three warmup routines I’m using that let me throw pushups into the mix before the heavy lifting commences.

Need a refresher on the movement? Read this first. Continue reading “Pushup progression | Four ways to get pushups into your warmup”

Strong Mom Candice Escobar | Gaining confidence through lifting

Strong Mom Candice Escobar

For Candice Escobar, lifting equals confidence.

A mom of two boys — Emile (1.5 years) and Elijah (3.5 years) — Candice says that, for her, lifting is a stress relief and gives her a sense of control.

During her second pregnancy, she and her husband divorced. And all of a sudden she became a single mom.

“I was terrified to raise two alone,” she said. “Especially with a toddler too young to really help with anything. I was insecure about my body as there was an extramarital affair while I was pregnant.”

It was after her second son was born that she found lifting and a new relationship.

“Working out in lifting helped me feel confident,” she said. “The fact that I was having physical strength gains showed me there were still things I could control. As a stress relief it was huge and in my current relationship, we both recognize when I’m due for a lifting session.” Continue reading “Strong Mom Candice Escobar | Gaining confidence through lifting”

A gym-goer’s worst fear | And how to overcome it

Gym goer's fear pin

There are a lot of things that give me anxiety in the gym. Does that gal over there hacking up a lung have bird flu? Does this bench have ringworm all over it? Is that guy going to snap in half as he quarter-squats 350 pounds?

But there’s one fear that surpasses all of these: being called over the loudspeaker by the gym daycare center.

It happened to me. Twice. In one week. Continue reading “A gym-goer’s worst fear | And how to overcome it”

Pushup Progression | Methods to build to perfect pushup form

wish for it meme

Can we have a redo on New Years? It feels like this past week was a false start to 2018. For a lot of folks. Like the entire East Coast.

Going into the Christmas season, I had these grand plans of working ahead on my blog, working out hard, and starting the new year with a bang.

Instead, three rounds of flu walloped our household. Then we traveled to Kansas where the temperatures were in the single digits. My husband’s grandparents live down three dirt roads in a sod house and, because of the temps, any hopes of running sprints outside quickly fizzled. Continue reading “Pushup Progression | Methods to build to perfect pushup form”

Strong Mom: Angela Karr | How lifting made me whole


Strong Mom Angela Karr snatching
Photo by Flashfit Photography

As Angela Karr approached the bar, she felt the eyes of the judges and audience on her.

In her first Olympic lifting competition, the mom of six, grandmother,

nurse, and member of Team Some Assembly Required, bent over the bar to screw in her right hand as time ticked down on the judge’s clock.

“My heart was pounding,” she said. “It took several seconds for me to screw in my hand to the bar and the whole time I was worrying that the judges would think ‘Oh, this poor cripple girl, let’s give her three white lights.’ I didn’t want them to pity me.”

Born without her right hand, Angela grew up adapting to whatever sport or activity she wanted to participate in — playing on the monkey bars, jumping rope, tying her shoes, even starting an IV when she worked as a nurse.

Growing up, my mom and dad had an old-school way of thinking,” she said. “I had to figure it out myself.”

It wasn’t until she was in her 40s and tried CrossFit that she found a movement she couldn’t adapt — the snatch.

Working with a Hanger Clinic prosthetist, Angela developed an arm with the wrist mobility necessary to make the lift, but it requires her to be attached to the bar.

It’s scary because I can’t bail,” she said. “I’m stuck to the bar.”

But the time she put in with her coaches at Practice CrossFit and the modifications she made with her prosthetist paid off.

“Everyone’s equal on the platform,” Angela said. “You’ve either done the work or you haven’t. There’s nowhere to hide.”

With her arm screwed to the bar, Angela made her lift — a 57-pound snatch — and earned her three white lights.

Continue reading “Strong Mom: Angela Karr | How lifting made me whole”