Strong is the new beautiful

I’ve had a weak upper body for as long as I can remember.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

I’ve had a weak upper body for as long as I can remember.

My Reading Room

When I was growing up, I remember being amazed at my schoolmates who could swing effortlessly on the monkey bars at the playground. I was not one of them. It didn’t bother me then. Honestly, I wasn’t really a sporty kid.

But as I got older and started to develop a love of fitness, I became more aware of how a strong back, arms and shoulders could be beneficial. When I picked up yoga, basic inversions like the headstand were easy for me. However, I couldn’t master more advanced poses like forearm balance.

I’ve finally made a commitment to work on my upper body by going for calisthenics classes regularly. When I go for a run, I make it a point to do push-ups before I cool down. The struggle is real, but as with anything in life, you reap what you sow.

I used to think that bulky arms didn’t look good. That mindset has changed over the years, and I think it’s wonderful that there are many positive female role models who defy the old standards of beauty. Being skinny is so yesterday. Now, it’s all about strength.

Take this month’s cover girl, for example. Fitness star Cassey Ho, who created Youtube channel Blogilates, inspires women everywhere to embrace their bodies and focus on being healthy.

She has even come clean about a past eating disorder that negatively impacted her life. More on her on pg 20.

To tone up from top to toe, turn to the various workouts in this issue. The one created by Cassey has moves to sculpt your abs. We’ve got another one on pg 52 that requires no equipment, so you can do it anywhere, anytime, while the other on pg 58 requires just a pair of dumbbells.

Happy exercising!