There’s more than meets the eye

It is disturbing how many health + fitness pros still conflate being smaller and leaner (at any cost) with being “healthy.”⁠ When I started teaching fitness classes and was running track at the University of Oregon, I thought this was true. I’d exercise/train for hours, trying to stay lean and hoping my running times would improve… lol – not the case. This photo was about 12 years ago when I’d teach 2-3 fitness classes a day, and still feel the need to go on an hour long run! God  I wish sometimes I could go back in time and shake some education in my poor little head.
Can losing body fat improve health markers in some instances?⁠
I was sooooo unhealthy in this photo! Deep health is about SO MUCH MORE than body size.⁠ I was struggling with body dysmorphia, harboring unhealthy relationships with food and exercise, and doing harm to my mental/physical health… but being lean and fit was praised and I thought I was healthy…. lol not the case.
Here’s a short list of unhealthy behaviors folks use to get a smaller body (that the fitness industry often glorifies):⁠
✅ cutting out entire food groups without a medical need⁠
✅ counting, weighing, and tracking every morsel of food ⁠
✅ drastically cutting calories after eating more than normal⁠
✅ working out harder to “earn” your food⁠
✅ punishing yourself with exercise for eating more than normal⁠
✅ assigning morality to food and to yourself for eating certain foods (e.g. “good” and “bad” foods)⁠
It’s not an easy cycle to break and we want to make sure at PDXstrength that all this diet culture bullshit is not shoved down your throat. We want to make sure that we are taking a holistic approach to your health, and not glorifying weight loss/fat loss…. There’s more than meets the eye.
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Want more out of your PDXstrength experience?

Want more out of your PDXstrength experience? Keep these few points in mind.
1) Your membership is an investment in your long term physical and emotional health. It’s not an expense. Your effort(as long as you use your membership) will pay its value back many times over.
2) Encourage other members, they are trying to better themselves and have just as much right to be there as you do. Regardless of their skill or experience level, treat them accordingly. Be a positive role model for the people who haven’t yet figured it out. 
3) Try to remember to put weights away and wipe down equipment. We are human and forget from time to time, but taking pride in our space  is respectful to other members in the studio.
4) Maybe most of all, don’t judge someone else’s circumstance. You have absolutely no idea where they started, what their journey has been like, and the obstacles they’ve surpassed along the way. Have empathy and compassion.
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November Field Notes

October was the start of our final strength cycle of 2022…2 Rep tests, followed by a linear progression. This allowed us to start at a lighter % with higher sets/reps and increase in weight as the reps decreased.

For the first five weeks, we saw the same lift on the same day of the week. This will be switched around going into November. For our gymnastic micro-phase, the Strict Pull-Up was tested, practiced, and retested with hopes that our pulling strength improved, even by one rep!

We see the continuation of our strength cycle moving into November. This is the second half and is essentially a repeat of the first half, but with higher %s. As always, use these as recommendations based on how you are feeling on lift day and adjust as needed.

Our gymnastic focus will be on Toes to Bar. We’ll see an initial test, followed by accessory movements that will aid in the building of lat, quad, hamstring, and grip strength.

Let’s give thanks that we’re in the second half of the strength cycle and hopefully strength adaptation is occurring!


  • WEEK 6 (11/7): 6×5 @ 75-80% // TOES TO BAR TEST
  • WEEK 7 (11/14): 5×4 @ 80-85%
  • WEEK 8 (11/21): 4×3 @ 85-90%
  • WEEK 9 (11/28): 3×2 @ 90-95% // TOES TO BAR RETEST
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The final push for 2022 Group Strength and Conditioning

Happy October campers. If you are curious about where our GS&C programming is heading in the next few months… please read on!
Welcome to October folks, the kick off month for our end of the year gains; it’s gonna get SPOOOOOKY. This is the culmination of everyone’s hard work and an opportunity to showcase how to push, sustain, where to stay conservative, and when to go heavy; aspects that we have practiced since the start of the year. This cycle will be a bit longer than what we have seen in the past and it will hit most of our major lifts – drum roll please… The Deadlift, Front Squat, and Push Press! The first week of October will be dedicated to testing our Heavy 2-Rep for each of these lifts. From there, we’ve built out a classic linear strength program, with recommended % ranges; considering that we’ll have good/bad days and it also alleviates any expectations or anxiety that the lifter may have. The exertion should be the same but the sets and reps decrease, while the load increases. A gymnastic “micro phase” will be added into the mix, focusing on the Strict Pull-Up. (Tenet and Prototype are workouts that we will repeat to see how we have improved over the next few months)
  • WEEK 2 (10/10): 6×5 @ 70-75%
  • WEEK 3 (10/17): 5×4 @ 75-80% // “Tenet” Test
  • WEEK 4 (10/24): 4×3 @ 80-85%
  • WEEK 5 (10/31): 3×2 @ 85-90% // “Prototype” Test // PULL-UP RETEST
  • WEEK 6 (11/7): 6×5 @ 75-80% // TOES TO BAR TEST
  • WEEK 7 (11/14): 5×4 @ 80-85%
  • WEEK 8 (11/21): 4×3 @ 85-90%
  • WEEK 9 (11/28): 3×2 @ 90-95% // TOES TO BAR RETEST
  • WEEK 10 (12/5): DELOAD // RETEST (1 LIFT) // “Tenet” Retest
  • WEEK 11 (12/12): RETEST (2 LIFTS) // “ Prototype” Retest
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Let’s talk about… diet culture

Let’s talk about… diet culture

What is it? 

A set of beliefs that idolises thinness, appearance, size and shape above all else – including an individual’s wellbeing and happiness 

 It conditions people to thinking healthy = thin, and that by achieving this thin ideal image, you are morally superior to others 

It normalises negative self-talk and feelings of hyper-vigilance around food (inc. food choices, eating habits etc.) and can lead to feelings of shame

…basically it’s TOXIC AF and is rooted in capitalism, racism and sexism 

Here as some steps you can take to start to eliminate diet culture:

Avoid body-talk – both talking about your own body AND others! Even what you may think is a compliment may not be interpreted the same by the recipient. I need to work on this!

 Unfollow toxic accounts and instead, follow accounts that showcase a variety of different body types

 Get educated – read about body acceptance/neutrality, anti-diet culture

We are here to take more about this. I’ve been battling all of the above for years and it’s a day by day process healing.

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