"Never Be Afraid Of The 2.5 LB Plate"

“Never be afraid of the 2.5 pound plate.” ~Coach McB

I have been a fitness person for most of my life. I decided at the age of 13 I wanted to avoid the deleterious health issues that ran in my family. High cholesterol, weight gain and ultimately heart disease, the illness that took many of my family members through the generations. So, I started educating myself and became very interested in fitness and nutrition. I feel as though it were Providence because I find it a bit out of the ordinary for a 13 year old to self -start on such a health campaign without any significant direction or leadership. My internal desire lead to life long love for nutrition and wellness. With this knowledge it comes as no surprise that I would marry one with the same philosophies and interests as I.

When John and I were newly married I spent some time volunteering at a women’s health non-profit in town (Pregnancy Help Center) that later lead to a job as the organizations Office Manager. The women that I worked with there would always ask me questions like, “Does your husband make you workout?” I also worked in early childhood education at the local junior college and would receive very similar questions there. I found this humorous  in the most endearing of ways. I would then explain to them how it was a common interest for us…something we both enjoyed on our own prior to coming together.

Over the years I have learned a lot from my husband about strength and conditioning. He is a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) through the NSCA and has also been on a life long quest for human health and performance. In the weight room, a passion for us both, one of the first things I remember him teaching me when designing programs and setting strength goals was to never be afraid to use the 2.5 lb. plate. Just look at it…it’s so small. It’s so non-threatening…seemingly insignificant. How could anyone really make substantial strength gains by slapping one of those on a bar? But he is right. The gains that can be made by just adding a little bit more stress to the bar can result in profound long-term strength development. Here is something else I have found…this powerful analogy rings true for so many areas of life, not just the weight room.

Simply by adding just a little more pressure to our personal comfort zone, we can accomplish extraordinary break-throughs and accomplishments in ANY area of life. We can erase the lines of mediocrity and venture into new territory. Then we can continue on and truly live a life of no limits.

I have also observed the following to be true, people do not like to leave their comfort zones. People do not generally like to try anything new. Even if it is a small effort and all the potential and possibility is dumped into their laps, they commonly do not move. Why? Why do you think this is true?

Leaving your comfort zone is uncomfortable and people don’t like uncomfortable. It is also true that growth and gains will not come unless it is done. Sitting still and waiting, wishing, hoping, praying for the added blessing of success will never bring it. It is going to take discomfort and action!

So, how do you help someone reach their potential, whether it is in their fitness journey or in their overall life journey? First of all, you must paint a vision of what will happen…the positive rewards that will be reaped if they should dare to push a little. The vision must be crystal clear so even the least visionary person can follow your lead and see in their minds eye what you are suggesting is possible. Use analogies and word picture, fictional examples if needed, to help them see why they should desire to muster the courage for victory if the individual should  “dare to add the 2.5 lb. plate”.

Next, you must give them ample encouragement, support and belief. It is powerful what can be done when you hear someone cheering you on and telling you to go for it! It makes you feel like someone’s got your back giving you supplemental strength. When the pain comes, because the pain will always come when we stretch and reach for something new, that encourage will pack power to see you through.

Whether it is the pain of a workout, charting new territories in your career or personal life, there will always be a season of growth. An example would be my personal training clients. It is my job to get them results, but they are the ones who have to achieve the results. So, I design the workout and walk them through it, but they are the ones who have to perform the movements and push themselves to a certain level of intensity. Some may not push very hard at all, just go through the motions. Others will push at a moderate intensity. Some will be afraid to try while others look at a challenge and say, “bring it on!". Every personality, purpose and desire is different, but ALL of my clientele  over the years have universally told me that their workouts go faster and they forget how hard it is because I am speaking to them and encouraging them through the entire session. Before they know it the workout is done and they have accomplished more than they could have on their own.

The third thing you must provide is resources. I can encourage you to “use a 2.5 lb plate” but if I fail to bring a 2.5 lb plate then who cares? What resources are you going to need to reach your objective? How will you acquire them? A resource may not always be an object. A resource can also be a person. Again, let’s use the workout analogy. My clients, some of them very fit and active, but they chose to come to me for guidance, direction and design to create a new level of purpose in their goals. They became intentional about what they wanted to achieve.

This is my final point. If you want to succeed you have to be intentional. You cannot meander about and talk about something happening. You have to chart a coarse and make it happen. When all comes together it is like the perfect storm. You will have your resolve to push through the pain. You will have your resources in place (where is the 2.5 lb. plate!), you will surround your self with the right people to help you reach your goal. You will seek out the proper encouragement. You will be intentional. Adversity will come and it will come hard. The greater the purpose or objective, the stronger the adversity will be. You must be mentally prepared to put on the blinders like a race horse, stare down that track and be intentional…GO FOR IT!

Never allow your self to think you are too small, too insignificant. Never believe your efforts or contribution to a given task or goal isn’t valuable. You have tremendous value and worth. You are powerful. You are wonderful. You have a reason to achieve and accomplish. There is a reason the desire is in your heart…the vision…the quest…the journey. Just like that 2.5 lb plate, you can add more and achieve more with even just the tiniest extra effort of push. So, push away your deleterious thinking and take on clear mindsets full of optimism and belief. The best is still locked inside of you waiting to be unleashed. It’s in your destiny.

In His Strength

Powered by His Grace

And fueled with His Love,


*I dedicate this blog to my husband, John, the most amazing leader I have ever met, my mentor, my friend.