July Spotlight: Rebeca

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What was your workout routine before joining LIFT Society?
After I moved to LA in 2016, I started doing mainly CrossFit style workouts 3-5 days per week. After watching one of my coaches compete in a powerlifting meet, I fell in love with the sport and decided to try to focus my training more on the three lifts: bench, squat and deadlift. Shortly thereafter, my gym closed suddenly. I felt a huge sense of loss of community and also felt a little lost as to where to turn for fitness. Then I saw a message from Dylan online welcoming all of us displaced gym-goers to LIFT Society. I decided to give it a try and I’ve been here ever since!
What was the reason you chose to make LS your home gym?
I absolutely love lifting, and I love doing it in a supportive class environment – LIFT Society is one of the ultra-rare gyms that has classes specifically for heavy weightlifting. I work out on my own, too, but I don’t enjoy coming up with my own programming. There are certain exercises I’ll never do on my own–burpees, I’m looking at you!–but if I’m in a class and they come up, I’ll do them with enthusiasm. Form is really important to me, so I appreciate that the coaches at LS give feedback, advice and modifications as needed. I had a shoulder injury and stayed away from overhead lifting for about 5 months. The coaches ALWAYS had a modification and they all taught me additional physical therapy exercises I could do to help rebuild. I love that I can learn different cues and techniques from all the different coaches–they are all terrific and they each have their own way of approaching the exercises, so I just try to be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge! LS isn’t specifically a powerlifting gym, but it’s a great place for a powerlifter to be. I feel so welcome here.

 

What motivates you in your workouts?
Mainly, working out itself feels great. I realized a long time ago that if I work out on a regular basis, my mood is MUCH better than when I’m not working out. I don’t say this lightly: going to the gym is like my therapy, my sanity. So that’s a huge motivator right there. Secondly, I’m in this for the long haul. I want to be a bad-ass old lady! I just keep trying to push myself so that future me will be stronger. During the workout itself, I try to break things down into chunks. If I’m getting tired and want to set the bar down, I’ll tell myself I’ll do 2 more reps and then set it down. And after those 2 reps, I might be able to do 1 or 2 more, and I keep going like that, setting lots of mini goals along the way and lasting as long as I can. Because 1 rep is nothing; I can hang in for just 1 rep more! I never want to finish an exercise feeling like I could’ve gone heavier or done more. This is why I’m obsessive about tracking everything I do. I don’t want to waste the first set by selecting a weight that is too high or too low, or spend months on end at the same weight. Instead, I pull up my numbers from last time so I know right where I should be.
Favorite/least fav exercise(s)?
Least favorite are probably pistol squats! Squats are difficult enough for me. I have long femurs and I swear they grow another half foot on squat day. Make that a one-legged squat and everything just falls apart. One day I’d like to conquer them, but usually I groan if I see them on the programming. Also, I dislike almost all cardio, most especially jumping rope. I love many, many exercises but my absolute favorite is deadlifting! The brute force of that move makes me feel like a beast. I have really long arms, so I’m sort of built to deadlift; may as well take advantage of genetics. I love single arm kettlebell swings because I always feel those in my core the next day. The cardio that I love is cycling. I don’t have a car which means I ride my bike everywhere I can. I love the feeling of freedom cycling gives me (assuming it’s not rush hour, haha). And it’s sort of like a tabata workout because of all the stop signs on my route!
What are you doing when you’re not at the gym?
You mean, besides doing endless laundry from working out? 😉 During the daytime, I make chainmaille jewelry. (Yes, like the same technique used for medieval mesh armor, except my designs are modern, colorful and elegant.) I also teach others how to make jewelry and sell kits and supplies online. When I’m not working or working out, I love playing board games and doing escape rooms. I get the tingles, so I watch ASMR videos to relax. I feel like I spend a lot of time at grocery stores and cooking. And I’m a crazy cat meowmy to an adorable father/daughter pair of orange and white kitties who like to pawty with their online furriends. (I know, the puns in that world are just terrible!)
Anything else you would like to add?
I’ve been working out for a decade and lifting for several years. At this point, my progress seems to happen at a glacial pace. So I don’t focus on week-to-week numbers, but rather month-to-month and even 6-month to 6-month numbers. So long as those are improving, I feel like I’m doing OK. I stopped comparing myself to other people, because everyone is different. I know I’m working as hard as I’m willing to work and I try to do better each time, but if I can’t “beat” my numbers from last time, I just keep trying until I do…because I know it’ll happen one day. Then I can celebrate. And then come up with a new goal! Also, can I just add that I am SUPER excited about this new programming! Beast. Mode. Activated. 🙂

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