When I was fourteen years old, I went to a sleepaway camp for kids pursuing the arts. My best friend Adrienne and I took every dance class we could and were die-hard followers of the strength and conditioning class taught by the camp's meanest instructor, a man named Peanut. We did hundreds of situps and bicycle crunches in pursuit of having teenage girl six packs. They never came.
Today, I rarely do situps or crunches and am very proud of the croptop midriff I have. I lift heavy, I do windshield wipers hanging from the bar, and I hold myself upside down on my hands. It's safe to say my abs have never looked better. I was excited to show Adrienne my six pack when I visited her in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. And I am incredibly honored by the article she wrote about me and Small But Mighty. You can click here to read it in full!
FITNESS GURU JENNIFER MARGULIS ON LEADING OTHERS TO GREATNESS
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Deadlifts were my first love when I discovered strength training. I have always thought of them as the "bad boy" or "bad girl" of weightlifting, the sexy rogue that's a beast to tame. Deadlift day is my favorite in my training program, and it's always exciting for me when a new client finally understands how to deadlift.
Lately, the hardest thing about deadlifting has been my grip. I use a lot of chalk, but sometimes that's not enough. When I was maxing out last night, I was given the amazing suggestion to use a mixed grip (one hand over, one hand under). At first it made me nervous, but then I decided what the hell. The bar was falling out of my hands anyway.
I had already tried once for a rep at 185lbs and failed. My previous PR was 180lbs and that was well over a month ago. I knew my legs could lift more, but my hands kept giving out. I tried the mixed grip at 185 and it went up like cake. I could have held it there all day. I did another single rep at 190, and then finished with a slow, clean PR at 195. To the lyrics of "Legacy" and the cheers around me to "GET IT UP" and "PUSH" and on the way down "NINJA DROP." Hearing all my favorite cues warmed my heart as the nearly two times my body weight fired up my legs. I won't feel like a legacy until I hit my goal of 210lbs (that's two times bodyweight, now only 15 pounds away), but that night was certainly legendary.
Now that we're safely into September, I can reflect on all the amazing summer activities I was able to do and start planning my upcoming fall fun. I can't begin to imagine the amount of calories I burned fighting the waves at Jones Beach during high tide, or attempting handstands on uneven sand or rock climbing under the Brooklyn Bridge at Dumbo Boulders. My point is this: There are plenty of ways to burn off the extra calories in those sweet summer cocktails. And as you start to hunker down for sugary spiked cider and apple pie this fall, don't forget to brainstorm cool ways to offset that caloric damage. Hiking through the colorful woods of upstate New York or Vermont is one of my favorite fat burners. A late summer rafting trip along the Hudson is a dynamite full body workout and lots of fun. Take your rock climbing game indoors with some high up routes to build your upper body endurance. That kind of routine workout will get your arm muscles peeking out of any close fitting long sleeve T's.
Here are a couple upside down relics from my summer outdoors: One was snapped in front of the Flatiron Building and featured in Well+Good. The other was taken in Newport, Rhode Island inside of a cave on the historic Cliff Walk which naturally became a Cliff Run!
t's all about the steps. There are steps we take in our lives to become happier, more successful, better versions of ourselves. They can be big or small, daring or simple. Some feel like tremendous leaps, others seem more like a drag through the mud. But no matter the size of the step, hopefully it serves to advance us forward.
When you start a fitness program, I encourage you to count every step. From the steps you literally take in a day that burn calories and get your blood flowing, to the steps you take by saying no to an extra slice of pizza or drink at the bar. The most important step is deciding to be better, to care about yourself, your health, how you look and how you feel. Don't get caught up in whether you took as many steps as the person next to you, ask whether to you took as many steps as you reasonably could today. And if you didn't, throw on your shoes and take a lap around the block. If you think you could have pushed a bit more in your workout, get down and hold a sixty second plank. It may not do much for you today, but it will make you think harder about slacking off the next time. And that's a big step in the right direction. Talk to people in your life about the fitness journey you've decided to embark on. Allow them to act as a support team for you and hold you accountable for achieiving your goals. Hold yourself accountable for moving in the right direction, but never for moving at someone else's pace. So get up, lace up and get out there. Fitness is a marathon, and the secret to winning is simple:
I ran my first Tough Mudder in Old Bethpage, Long Island! I could not have done it without the inspiration and literal helping hands of my team and the new friends we met along the course. We crushed it, Team Beast Side! Next up is the Spartan Race on October 22 in Mountain Creek, New Jersey. Who's with me?!?