Macros Over Meal Plans

As fitness enthusiasts, we can easily get carried away with our primary goals. These are things like muscle gain, strength increases, fat loss, and—let's be serious—having a legit answer to questions that start with the word "howmuchya?" These are a good thing, for the most part. However, they can also lead to becoming unintentionally enamored with the "cool" exercises and elite strength benchmarks.

You know what I'm talking about: the muscle-ups, weighted dips, and conventional deadlifts with plates on plates on plates. There's something about them that just looks and sounds so badass. Close your eyes and you can see yourself ripping hundreds of pounds off the floor while everyone nearby peeks sheepishly at your strength feat. You'll gingerly kiss your biceps as you strut across the gym floor, because you'll have earned the right to do so.

But wait. Have you asked yourself if you're really ready? Think about the following: Have you mastered the basic movement patterns? Is your hip extension explosive enough? Do you have any injuries or mobility limitations which restrict the proper execution of an exercise? Do you have the baseline strength to do it properly? Does it cause you to feel what can only be described as bad pain?

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Sohee Lee, NSCA-CSCS is a personal trainer, online coach and writer. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in human biology from Stanford University, she interned at Cressey Performance before her current position at Peak Performance as a performance coach. She specializes in women’s fat loss and the fitness mindset.