Play the hits, Swole Woman

Here are all your favorites from the 5+ years of writing about strength, plus, because I can't resist, a few you might not have seen before.

Play the hits, Swole Woman

Here we are again in that most delicate of body and health times: The New Year.

I mentioned in a recent newsletter how struck dumb I’ve been in recent weeks by that Annie Dillard quote about how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. There is nothing special about this time of year. But in that spirit, as someone who will betroth herself to all manner of dark patterns with only dim awareness that things in life seem very hard, I do find it useful to look at how I’ve spent a year of time altogether, and if it’s how I want to be spending my years plural. And if it’s not, I sit myself down like a stern but loving parent to see if I can change how I spend my hours and days to change how I spend my years. And I don’t even mean in a productivity sense; earlier this year, I realized that despite my regular workouts, I was in wild hip pain from sitting so much during the panini, so I instituted daily 10-minute midgirl walks that pointedly have no purpose except to go outside and walk for a bit. And that actually, truly made all the difference; my hips don’t hurt anymore.


A post shared by A Swole Woman | eating/lifting (@swolewoman)

There are SO many new people around here now, thanks in large part to Chris Hayes, who invited me on his podcast to talk about being strong and lifting and the cultural critique of it all. I’m really glad you’re here, whether from there or elsewhere.

As an intro to what all it is that we do around here, I used to offer up this Starter Pack of past Ask A Swole Woman columns. But now the Starter Pack has been dethroned by LIFTOFF: Couch to Barbell, which not only gives you the ‘why’ of lifting, but a fully-formed program for going from not knowing what a barbell even is to tossing one around like a ragdoll, like your favorite M*rv*l actor/actress. If you are looking for a real intro to the whole strength training “thing,” I hope you check it out; it’s 50% off through January 6!

In addition, I’ve dug up a bunch of juicy columns that should help keep your head right in these sometimes-turbulent New Years’ times. None of these categories are exhaustive, but if you were to dig around here or or here or here or here, you might find even more good stuff.

Thank you all so much for reading and supporting this experiment, and I’ll see you in 2022.

You don’t want to ‘lose weight,’ Will Smith edition
The myths of bodyweight training, Part three
A simple guide to periods, birth control, and strength training (paid)
Introducing noted powerlifter Lana Del Rey
The beauty of periodization
Why pay Noom’s prices when any celebrity’s Instagram will give you the same bad advice for free?

New Years’ selections

How to be ok with starting all over again (at the gym and elsewhere)
The last article on workout motivation you will hopefully ever have to read, amen
'How do I lose weight?' is the wrong question
How to become perfect in the new year
‘I’m sick of my belly fat—how should I deal with it?’
How to create a ‘mindset bubble’ for the New Year

Indulgences department

I got high to see if weed would help me work out
Sports bras for big boobs: a guide
How to break the cycle of working out and then being so sore you can’t move
How to work out effectively without completely giving up alcohol

Influencers et al.

What do influencers eat, and why does it matter so much to us?
Why do fitness influencers end up pushing junk science?
The myths of bodyweight training, Part one
The myths of bodyweight training, Part two
The myths of bodyweight training, Part three
Here is the big secret to looking more like your Instagram fitness crush
'How do I get a big juicy ass in time for summer?’

Disordered behavior coping

Against clean eating
Is this program really enough? What about accessories?
Does nothing taste as good as skinny feels?
When you want strength but you ‘love’ cardio
Wait, you mean I don’t have to do cardio?
How do I set goals and still like who I am now?

If you don’t feel like going to the gym

The at-home workout compendium, Part one
The at-home workout compendium, Part two
Warmups are the low-stakes workout you need right now