I started uploading lifting videos of in the summer of 2014. What started as a journal of personal records and training footage, slowly turned into more of a diary of what it meant to be a strength athlete.
Lift attempts that were trimmed and compiled to show only form, soon turned into longer full sessions with voiceovers. Then came along updates on how I’m feeling or preparing for a competition, which then snowballed into a community of over 125,000 Strong Strong Friends.
The first video from 2014 that I shared on my YouTube channel!
This Strong Strong community now tunes in for multiple reasons such as watching interviews of other strength athletes (Matt Vincent, Marisa Inda, Kevin Oak, to name a few), learning how to get their first pull-up, or even knowing how to make friends at the gym.
I’ve had hundreds of men and women tell me I got them into powerlifting. I’ve had a strongwoman national champion say she watched a video for tips on water cutting. Women all over the world have discovered that they’re not the only ones peeing their pants (stress incontinence) a bit while lifting. They’ve also learned there are special doctors and physical therapists who can remedy that situation. I’ve explained to first time competitors how to pack for their meet, or introduced them to some of the strongest men and women in the world. All because I made the decision to share my strength journey.
It’s not necessary to go off the deep end and quit your job to edit and upload YouTube videos, but I’m going to convince you why sharing your experience in the gym can make you and the world around you stronger.
You Should Document Your Progression
As cringeworthy as the”On This Day” flashback feature on your Facebook may be, reminding yourself of where you started is essential. Your form has improved. You’re repping out a previous 1-RM. You’re probably a different lifter. Take these reminders as a moment to truly appreciate your strength and how much you’ve progressed.
Lifters all come to a time where they never feel strong enough. The ‘I’m so weak’ mindset is just an internet meme away, so take a moment to truly appreciate how far you’ve come.
It’s important to note that you’re experience is valuable. A ton of people want to know why you’re deadlifting with a mixed grip. You know that answer. If you can teach one person, you just made the world stronger. Never forget the men/women out there who can only lift in their home gym, and don’t have access to a super strong gym buddy.
Lifting is huge on the internet. Explain things. Help people. The strongest guy knows exactly what you’re doing. Don’t document something you’ve learned to impress him. The rest of the world is waiting to know what you do.
There are women in the world who are still afraid of getting bulky. Many people want to take up as little space as possible, and physically shrink into a size that is supposed to photograph well. They’re not yet aware of what the strength world could mean for them. They haven’t been exposed to what it’s like to being and feeling physically capable. Don’t let them continue to live in the space where barbells are scary and that they have no place in our little section of the gym.
Regardless of what you look like, there is someone who can relate, or wants to relate with the happiness, physique, sheer ‘badassness’ of what you have. Show them what’s possible, then welcome them to join.
Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.
Feature image from @megsquats Instagram page.