TransActive Fitness:Less Can Be More

He hands me the dumbbells and tells me to do overhead presses. I aim to please. 

Halfway through...I just can’t. I am surprised, and I think he is too. They aren’t THAT heavy, and definitely nothing compared to the burly guys around me grunting and groaning and straining. 

Here let’s give you less weight then…(me, mortified and grateful)

So he does, I am able to bust out the set, and I am also silently judging myself.


I get through this workout...I work really hard, and I feel awkward that I am just not pushing the weight I think I can, no matter how much I focus my mind and muscles.

I come home and ponder. Is it my diet? Is it because I have been gone for a month travelling? Am i getting old? Is it because I had strep throat the week before?

The next day I wake up and my arms are wrecked, in a good way. I message Mike and tell him so, and he reminds me, “If the muscle engagement is on point the low weight can be a tool to help you contract the muscle. It's not always necessary to get as much weight up as possible. Like in life, it's all about how you engage with it.”

That helps me adjust my perspective about what I accomplish and what I struggle with…”it's all about how I engage with it.” 


I give myself permission to listen to where my body is at without judgement, to advocate for it when it tells me less weight means more precise form, and to have compassion for it when it is vulnerable. 

Now I can't wait to see what kind of conversation I get to have with my body next session.