BodyLogos Blog

Workout Warriors Take Warning

Motivation Question

7AM fitness clients are high achievers! We’re warming up in the dark and seeing our day take shape before the sun comes up.

Holiday socializing may have overflowed into the work week and made these early workouts painful. One of my high achiever’s responded to feeling over-done by over-doing some more!

Did she believe that overriding her body’s exhaustion would make her stronger?

As her trainer, I had to help her decelerate and work with willingness rather than will. The willingness to listen rather than demand; and recognize that muscle failure is not the same thing as physical exhaustion. Muscle failure challenges a restored muscle to full capacity—till it fails. Physical exhaustion is an unrestored muscle.

Fitness resolutions need to abide by the same willingness; listen and discern between physical exhaustion and muscle failure!

Meet limitations anew each day by being present. Presence offers truth to your strength training that is both empowering and humbling.

Empowering because you experience your limitations from a place of respect. Meeting your limits, not beating your last performance, is the definition of self-love. Overriding your limits is the definition of self-betrayal.

Humbling because it’s a “real” exchange. Not with what you can and can’t do, but with what you’re willing or not willing to do.

My client was willing to exhaust herself further, escalate her body’s tension and beat up her self-worth over how heavy a dumbbell was and how hard she could drive herself. The question becomes, are you willing to sacrifice yourself—your wellbeing—to feed what you think “should be” versus what actually is.

Stop thinking and feel! Train for relaxed strength, and leave the tension of self-betrayal in 2019!

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Redefining Strength

I want to change our perception of strength. Strength is the ability to meet resistance and influence an outcome without compromising ourselves. And we already have it.

Strength is not an attribute; it’s a state of being. Gladiators, bodybuilders, and football players demonstrate strength through brute force, sheer willpower, muscle mass, and relentless pursuit. But we’re also quick to identify dancers and martial artists as strong. Their medium taps into a sense of vulnerability, balance, alignment, controlled power, and grace—but no one can deny their strength. Strength may look different on each of us, but it is an inherent part of who we are.

You are not weak by nature; you are stronger than you think. Your strength is not something you need to kill yourself to gain—it is already within you, waiting to be excavated. The key is to stop chasing something you already have and tap into it, so you can manifest that strength in your everyday life.

Because we don’t think we’re strong, we approach resistance with the idea that we’re not enough. We throw everything we have at it and push past our physical, mental, and emotional limitations. We see strength as domination, but it’s not.

When you learn to listen to your body’s divine wisdom, you cultivate a sense of where your body is developing tension instead of standing in its strength. You end the vicious cycle of unrealistic expectations, injury, and self-criticism and learn how to consciously embrace responsible growth. You stop compartmentalizing your strength into emotional, physical, and mental pieces and operate from the strength of your being at all times.

You learn how to align yourself with gravity—instead of working against it—so you can channel your strength to meet life’s resistance. As you meet resistance with equal parts power and alignment, you transform tension into strength

As in the sword dance above, the power lies in bringing just the right amount of force—not too little and not too much. By meeting the sword’s weight, I meet gravity. I am tapped into a larger source of energy, free of tension, and discover a strength that is wholly and uniquely mine.

About Tammy Wise

Tammy Wise is a widely respected mind-body fitness expert based out of New York City, owner of BodyLogos, Inc. author of The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind. A former Broadway dancer turned Tao minister, Tammy was voted the Best of Fitness by Time Out New York and has appeared in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, New York Magazine, Natural Health, Shape, and Thrive Global. She’s a Transformational Authors Contest Winner and regular contributor to Honeysuckle magazine and Medium. Visit her at bodylogos.com.