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I <3 Brutal Workouts

For those of you unsure of what ❤ means – it is a “heart.”

I “heart” brutal workouts.

Do you think this is cool?

That was the sign hanging from one of the crossfits around here.

And every time I see it, I get annoyed.

There recently has become an obsession with gnarly, brutal workouts. People want to seem “bad-ass” even if it means risking injury.

Like even the other day at the gym, a new woman in her 40s said to me, “I was doing insanity before I came here.”

I said, “Oh yea?”

This woman has movement patterns that NEED improvement. She can’t do half the moves yet and she has no aerobic endurance so the idea of her doing insanity made me cringe.

She said, “Yea it’s super intense. You like want to pass out.”


She was doing these workouts because they were known to be “brutal.” She decided that because they were “brutal” they must be good.(And note when I say “doing” these workouts, she wasn’t actually doing the workout as it was laid out….just like half the people now aren’t truly “doing” crossfit.)

She was doing “brutal” workouts because that is what is cool even though her body wasn’t NEAR ready to handle them!

And what happened?


Yep she came into us with an injury. AND on top of that, her movement patterns were bad enough that it was only a matter of time before she developed other injuries that could affect her for the rest of her life.

BUT it didn’t really matter that she got injured. She still liked the workouts…She still RAVED about the workouts.


BECAUSE THEY ARE BRUTAL. And apparently brutal is the new cool.



Why is doing some so intense that half the people who do it get injured cool?

And don’t get me wrong, I love an intense workout as much as the next person. I LOVE pushing myself hard.

But I want a purpose. I want a goal. I want to be pushing myself hard in a way that is actually going to get me results – make me move better, feel better and be healthier!

Can we please stop promoting barfing, passing out and injury as the measure of if a workout is good?

Can we get back to a focus on progression and workouts that actually drive you toward some goal?

Are you brutal workout obsessed? Do you get it?

Please…someone explain to me this obsession with brutal workouts!


Everyone wants a quick fix. The diet miracle that will make them trim and beautiful – a magic exercise pill that will do all the work for them. Shoot I would love a quick fix that gave me superman strength and six-pack abs! I mean, who wouldn’t!

But unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We have to struggle and battle. It costs us sweat and even tears to achieve the bodies we desire – which honestly is why most people fall short. It is easier to give up on finding a solution; it is easier to not stick with a plan than to battle day in and day out.

But is it really easier to give up? Are we really happen when we don’t achieve our goals? I’m not!

Always trying to find a better, EASIER way to achieve my goals has led me over the last few years to experiment with both my diet and exercise regime.

I’ve tried P90x. I’ve tried Insanity. I’ve done power lifting and bodybuilding workouts. I’ve tried those routines in women’s magazines.

I’ve tried low-fat diets. I’ve tried eating whatever I want (which was fun until my pants started to not fit because I’d gained 10lbs). I’ve tried portion control and eating everything in moderation.

I’ve experimented to find out what works best for ME. Because let’s face it…Everything I’ve listed above works for someone…yes even the eating whatever they want works for some lucky SOB.

Only by trying out lots of different things have I found one solution, one plan that I feel I can stick to for the rest of my life.

For me that one eating plan is my own take on Primal and enforcing the 80/20 rule. 80-90% of the time I maintain a Primal diet – a healthy diet. But then there is that 10-20% of the time when I just freaking want a huge slice of pizza – and I eat it! For me, giving in and cheating every once in a while is fun and worth it. I’ve found a good balance of eating healthy and cheating that allows me to easily maintain my diet. I’ve also found that for me Primal works. It is a LIFESTYLE I can maintain for the long run. It isn’t some crash diet.

The exercise plan that works best for me is VARIETY. You may think that isn’t a plan, but it is. I like to vary up what I do. I always do some form of heavy lifting each week (I have a hard time gaining muscle and keeping it on), but I also love to do crossfit style workouts, spinning and yoga (when I find the time to). Ok so maybe even more than variety I like a challenge and lifting heavy, heavy weights….like the guy on the Planet Fitness commercial that “Picks things up and puts them down!” haha

Anyway, to sum up my ramblings…The message of my blog is about more than lifting heavy weights…it is about experimenting to find what works for you. It is about not fearing something new and different. It is about taking risks. And for most women, the fitness “risk” they should be taking is trying out lifting. Most women fear it will make them huge so they never give lifting a chance. Just try lifting for 60 days. Let me know what you think then….

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