By the looks of my Facebook timeline, there seems to be a growing number of women that are becoming passionate about lifting weights. They are taking the time to learn how to properly execute the squat, deadlift, and pull-up, along with other compound movements and working them into their training repertoire. This absolutely thrills me because of the myriad of benefits that a solid strength training program can provide to people, both in and out of the gym.

However, I have also noticed another growing trend on the ol’ Facebook timeline: A plethora of people bashing and belittling others for doing certain exercises or activities, ranging anywhere from bicep curls and lateral raises to distance running or Zumba. Can’t we all just get along?

Facebook status update from a female fitness bully:  

 “I deadlifted a new max tonight while the dude next to me did bicep curls. What a loser!” 

Time out.
Trust me, I get it. Doing bicep curls isn’t recruiting nearly as much muscle as a deadlift. However, not everybody A) cares, B) likes to deadlift (cray cray, I know!),  C) knows any better, or D) aspires to have the beefiest deadlift in all the land. Plus I have a secret to tell you: while I love to deadlift, I also do bicep curls. That’s right, I said it! I love doing bicep curls and I happen to think that good ol’ curls give arms a nice shape – a shape that is not always achieved by some people without a little direct work.
I am a trainer, elite level work-er out-er, and all-around fitness enthusiast, which means I have seen and heard it all; from crazy eating fads to exercises that only a Cirque de Soleil performer should be doing. A lot of the stuff I see is admittedly quite disconcerting. We’ve all seen ‘That Guy’ at the gym wobbling violently on an upside-down BOSU ball while squeezing a Thighmaster between his knees and simultaneously attempting to throw a 30lb medicine ball overhead. But here’s a crazy thought: what if he actually enjoys the challenge of that acrobatic movement? Or what if he really thinks it’s helping him? Does that give anybody a right to make fun of him? Hell no. Different strokes for different folks.
And what I find the most disturbing about all of this, is that some of the derogatory comments I’ve seen are coming from “fitness professionals”. Isn’t it the job of a fitness professional to support, encourage, educate, and help? Recently I too have been guilty of poking fun at ‘That Guy’.
And in defense of the people that love Spinning, Body Pump, Zumba, etc…

I participated in and taught Group Fitness classes for years and years and I don’t regret a single moment of it. In fact, I’m grateful for those experiences and it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had at the gym. While my personal opinion is that Group Fitness likely won’t deliver most people the body of their dreams, it does have many upsides.

Neil has accused me on occasion of having what is known as “fuck-around-itis” in the gym. Well… guilty as charged. “Fuck-around-itis” is to workout with out a set plan or any rhyme or reason. Granted, this isn’t the most effective path to take for strength or performance gains but OCCASIONALLY it makes me happy, and that, my friends, is my top priority. Some days I go in and pull a 250lb deadlift, but other days I go in and do circuits that you better believe includes bicep curls or lateral raises. Sometimes a girl just needs to sweat, get a good pump, and feel the delicious rush of endorphins.

If somebody asks me my opinion on what is more effective – x, y, or z – I’ll be happy to give them my input. But until then, as long as you’re taking the time to do something, whether it be squats, bicep curls, leg extensions or cardio kickbox, then you have my support. Agian, my apologies for any disheartening comments I may have spoken in the past.


Balzie Fitness Cookies – (approprtiate for the clown on the BOSU and a elite lifter at the squat rack)

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup almond butter

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp carob chips

2 tbsp dried raspberries


1/4 tsp baking powder




1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Combine ingredneints, and form into 12 balls.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Store in a sealed tupperwear container to enure a moist cookie.

MACROS – calories:49 – fat:2g – carbs:7g – protein:1g

With love from the Trench kitchen,