Dear Future Lifting Buddyby Kourtney Thomas
Dear Future Lifting Buddy,
The very first thing I want to say is that I’m excited for a gym date with you. Someday, somewhere, I cannot wait to pump it out side by side. Look me up anytime you need your biceps-curl fix.
But…is training specifically for muscles and vanity worthwhile, in the long run?
When I first started training for hypertrophy, I was sure that my existing strength would disappear, my cardiovascular fitness would decrease, and since it wasn’t full of “functional training,” I would get all creaky. I was scared, so I understand if you’re feeling a little trepidation. I thought I knew it all and this “bodybuilding stuff,” with its single-joint movements and body-part-split training days, would not be the way to train for my goals.
And from a mindset perspective, I could not wrap my head around the fact that, while this style of training certainly focused on physique, it could have other benefits, too.
I was so incredibly wrong. And I learned my lesson quickly.
I went into hypertrophy training with a closed mind, but it soon opened wide my viewpoint on just about everything.
From fitness and training styles to nutrition, career, and relationships, training for Bigness — size and shape, physique and vanity — has transformed not only my body, but my life.
I stayed skeptical at first. Oh, how I argued against it! If I hadn’t have had a coach and a program and a few friends talking me off the ledge every so often, I’m quite sure I would have never stuck with it.
But then, the results started coming.
And I’m not talking about little things. Physically, I’m talking about big gains and major changes in shape. But best of all, mentally and emotionally, I’m talking about a huge mindset shift. If something I was so closed-minded about was working so well for me and making me so happy, I wondered, what else could I be missing out on?
Hypertrophy training opened so many doors for me, physically, mentally, and emotionally. As someone previously so hyper-focused on always being less and being small, the shift to consciously work for Bigness was liberating.
All these new possibilities and “what ifs”!
What if I didn’t care if I put on three pounds? Would it kill me if I did? What if it was all muscle? What if I had to buy new jeans? Would that matter? What if I ate that whole plate instead of leaving some behind? What if I didn’t worry about the woman at that other table thought about it? What if I tried the 30-pound dumbbells instead of the 25s? What if I tried that machine over there? What if I didn’t run so much? What if I looked different?
Or, what if I contacted that person in my industry I’ve been following for years? What if I went to this new retreat that scares the heck out of me? What if I put myself out there more? What if I introduced myself to that person? What if I put on this event? What if it failed? Would that be the worst thing ever? What if I spoke up? What if I owned my confidence? What if I didn’t worry about what those people thought?
Basically, what would happen if I actively started seeking and embracing opportunities for Bigness instead of continually living the small status quo that society expects of me?
Of course, it’s easy to determine that the answer is “all kinds of good stuff.” And more good stuff than I had ever imagined for myself before. And it all started with bigger biceps – yes, seriously. (#bigarmsbiglife, you know?)
But it isn’t always so simple to get there yourself. The Bigness Lifestyle isn’t an easy, magical road to greatness overnight. I still struggle with body image sometimes. I still struggle with owning my voice at times. I still worry about whether business decisions are the right ones for me at the time. But the lessons I have learned in the weight room have spilled out everywhere in my life, and have made all of those hurdles just a little less challenging. I know myself better, now more than ever, and every time I’m faced with that tug toward smallness, I know exactly how to stand up and walk right back to Bigness.
Embrace that mind-muscle connection in the gym, and suddenly, it becomes second nature to be more mindful in all of your decisions. Fight through the burn of a crazy set, and somehow, it becomes easier to push through a crazy amount of work. Navigate your way through an entirely new workout, with new exercises, new methods, new challenges, and all of a sudden, navigating your way through all the new things that pop up in daily life don’t seem so overwhelming.
Bigness truly encourages an openness to all things: to training methods, to food, to adventure, to new friends, to business opportunities, to confidence in creating the life you never dared dream possible. Over time, it creeps around and takes over, grounding you in the idea that taking up space—physically and energetically—is the way to go. Bigness encourages power, owning your choices, taking control of your body and your life, and standing in that power.
You don’t get muscles by accident, and you don’t get a big, beautiful life by accident either.
Hypertrophy training, and the Bigness Project, are all about physical gains, and you’ll get them. But if you delve into this realm with an open mind? Prepare for gains in every aspect of your life. Bigness is real, and it’s about to be yours.
When I started my journey, I didn’t have the kind of support I do now. But I want you to know that I’m the friend and coach and fellow bro who’s here to talk you off the ledge when you need it. Your strength or running or competitive buddy tells you you’re just wasting your time with this stuff? I’ve got your back, and so does the science.
Getting the side eye for taking a flexie? Just check out my Instagram feed. Your family or friends tell you “you’ll get too big and bulky?” I’m right here with you, big and bulky to back you up. That guy at the table next to you staring down your stacks of pancakes? I’m over here surveying my breakfast kingdom, too.
Whether it’s all new, or you’re seasoned in this department, you have a firm place in the League of the Unapologetically Strong. It’s a League that I wasn’t sure I had a place in, but again, Bigness solidified that “strong” has many meanings. I am so excited for your journey to discover exactly what Bigness means to you — physically and otherwise.
And no matter what anyone tries to tell you, remember: there’s nothing wrong with a feel-good gym selfie.
To your Bigness journey,
Do you secretly want arms as big as your life? Or, if that’s an overstatement, ready to really look like you lift weights? And have people go, “Oh my god your arms look so strong!” (If you’re not into that, go ahead and skip this free downloadable.)
If more muscular arms are something you’d like to embrace, input your email address here to get your FREE copy of Kourtney Thomas’s “Arm Pump”: a detailed, easily implementable tip list and three-workout arm plan that you can do in any combination to pop your shoulders and round your biceps. Each exercise in the plan is demonstrated and explained clearly through photos and thorough written instruction.