(Header photo model: Cassandra Martin)
Reaching Alpha status in the gym is no mean feat, and quite frankly, it’s not for everyone. You need to have “the right stuff”. And if you don’t have the right stuff, you need to get it, if you ever want to earn the position of Alpha Fitness Chick.
So what exactly does it mean to be an Alpha Fitness Chick?
Well, as you’ve probably figured, Alpha is the top of the heap. The Alpha Chick has 5 defining attributes when it comes to fitness, and life in general for that matter:
- She’s a legit bad-ass in the gym
- She oozes confidence
- She walks to her own beat
- She’s intimidated by no one
- She’s a leader, not a follower
Now, even though some women (and men, for that matter) might reach Alpha status more quickly than others, anyone can get there, if they choose to put the work in.
That doesn’t mean though that everyone will get there. Some women just don’t have the drive and the passion for fitness to make it that serious a part of their life. And that’s fine. It doesn’t mean they’re any less of a person. Everyone has their own priorities and goals for their life and that’s to be respected.
Others however will never reach Alpha level in the gym simply because they get trapped at other levels, as you’ll see when you read on.
Here then are 10 steps to successfully becoming a genuine Alpha Fitness Chick, and avoiding getting stuck forever at Beta or less:
1. Intensity is Queen
If you seriously want to be Alpha, then you seriously need to work like it. The gym isn’t the place for leisure, complacency, stress relief, relaxation, or anything else other than working out with intensity. It’s where you pay your dues. There’s no free ride to Alpha status.
In her book, Thick Face, Black Heart, author Chin Ning Chu said:
Whatever you happen to be doing in the gym, you should be doing it with intensity. Intensity not only develops your fitness and your physique, it forges your character and mental toughness. That’s what it takes to be an Alpha Fitness Chick.
Cardio bunnies in particular need to take note of this point. A daily leisurely session on the treadmill or elliptical is better than doing nothing at all, to be sure, but it won’t get you anywhere near Alpha level.
2. Lift Heavy
An Alpha Fitness Chick is strong, both mentally and physically. And she looks it.
5lb weights just aren’t going to achieve any of those things, no matter how many reps you do.
The bottom line is, if a woman is afraid of lifting heavy because she doesn’t want to get “too bulky”, she will never be Alpha. She’ll be forever trapped at Princess level, going through the motions with her tiny hand weights that will do nothing more than give her a false sense that she’s doing something.
Don’t be afraid of weight, and lots of it. That doesn’t mean getting under a bar you can’t cope with and risking hurting yourself. There’s nothing Alpha about a back brace. Of course, you have to work up to it safely and sensibly.
But the goal here is a mindset of constantly progressing with your weight and your strength. Constantly. You won’t get too big. On the contrary, you’ll get beautiful, toned feminine curves.
3. Mix it With the Boys
If you’re learning to fight, and you’re the strongest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. In that room you’ll be doing the teaching, not the learning. If you want to learn and to grow, you want to be the weakest person in the room.
In the gym, you’re fighting against weakness. That means being mentally tough and not being intimidated. By anything or anyone.
So give the women’s section of the gym a miss. And walk right by the cushy, stylish machines. Get in amongst the guys and pick up some iron. At first you might feel a little uncomfortable and even intimidated. After all, you’ll be the weakest person in the room.
But that’s OK, work though it and you’ll grow. That’s how an Alpha mindset is forged.
Pretty soon you’ll feel right at home in the Alpha-est section of the gym, along with the raw, primal feel of the iron in your grip and the cold sound of clanging steel.
4. You’re on a Mission, Act Like it
An Alpha Chick is a leader, and a leader always has a plan of attack and knows what she’s doing.
When you head into the gym, make sure you have your workout plan with you. Know what your goal is and know exactly what you’re going to do to complete your mission. Then get in there, execute it, and leave.
Without this purpose and direction you’ll just be wandering around and winging it as you go. You’ll waste time and will most likely have a sub-par workout. You might have a good one here and there if you’re lucky, but this hit and miss approach is no way to get to Alpha status.
You need to smash it each and every time you show up, and that takes military planning and execution. Remember the British Army adage, the 7 P’s:
5. Challenge Yourself
You have your fitness goals and you know what you’re setting out to achieve. It might be muscle growth, fat loss, or whatever. Every now and then however, do something different – something uncomfortable and new. Just because. Just to prove to yourself that you can do it.
For example, if you’re working on strength and muscle growth, you’re probably working around 6-12 reps most days. Throw in a few 24-rep sets, or even 50 reps. That won’t target your physical strength, but your mental strength instead.
Your muscles will burn and you’ll be in pain. Failure won’t come from limitations of your muscles but from your mind deciding to quit.
Throwing yourself into the fire like this as a regular part of your program will toughen you and make a woman out of you. It will make you a true Alpha Fitness Chick.
6. BS is For Bro-Science
Part of being confident within yourself and with what you’re doing comes from knowledge. The Alpha Fitness Chick takes it upon herself to educate herself and understand not only what to do as part of her workout program, but also how and why.
This is particularly important for two reasons. Firstly, the gym is filled with “bros” who believe they know it all when it comes to fitness, but actually don’t. And secondly, a good number of these bros will take it upon themselves to do you the favor (as a clueless and vulnerable female) of enlightening you with their misguided opinions.
From my experience, it seems to be that the individuals who know the least are quite often also those who seem the quickest to offer their unsolicited help. Unless you’re confident enough in your own knowledge to stick to your convictions, these bros will quickly have you second-guessing yourself and chasing your tail in confusion.
Not very Alpha.
The best way to deal with unsolicited advice from strangers in the gym is to give them a courteous smile, a quick “Thanks, I’m good”, and to keep doing what you’re doing. The bottom line is everyone has an opinion and regardless of what you do, whether absolutely correct or imperfect, there will always be people who will think you’re not doing it right. Ignore them.
I’ve seen a number of top level fitness women doing exercises less than correctly in online videos. So what? They’re as Alpha as they come and their results speak for themselves regardless.
There’s a lesson there. Just do your best, keep doing your own thing, and forget what everyone else thinks.
7. Bars are For Socializing, Barbells are For Lifting
Nothing screams Beta level more than someone chit-chatting away in the gym, in person or on the phone, or texting, or posting to social media.
An Alpha Fitness Chick takes her gym time far more seriously than that. She doesn’t just dabble with her workouts or make them social events, she’s there to dominate. As I mentioned before, she’s on a mission, and would never allow such inconsequential distractions to interrupt her focus.
8. Forget Image, Let Your Guts Do the Talking
The Alpha Fitness Chick isn’t concerned with appearances. She doesn’t feel as though she needs to make a good impression or look good for anyone else. She has no fear or concern of being judged.
At the end of the day, if you’re working out with Alpha intensity then that will be making all the impression anyhow. In reality, Alpha Fitness Chicks are rare enough that if you’re working out like one, no one is going to be noticing what you wear anyhow. They’ll be too busy being impressed by YOU.
Don’t take that to mean you should intentionally dress down however. In a way, that’s just as bad, because either way you’re going out of your way to create an impression for people.
Just be yourself.
If dressing in brightly colored gym clothes is you, then do that. If you prefer to dress in black, dress in black and don’t worry about people thinking you look morbid. If your thing is having painted nails and even some jewelry, knock yourself out, and don’t be concerned with people thinking you’re too showy.
It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you.
As I said, just be real about it. Genuineness and honesty are always very Alpha.
9. Don’t Try Too Hard
This is mostly the domain of male gym-goers, but women need to be aware of it too.
Trying to appear Alpha in the gym, by doing things such as lifting more weight than you can cope with, or intentionally making loud noises and dropping weights to draw attention to yourself, doesn’t fool anyone. On the contrary, it labels you as a “try-hard”.
A tiger doesn’t feel the need to show its strength, or to appear intimidating. It just goes about doing its own thing without regard for anyone else, and even so everyone respects it for what it’s capable of. The Alpha Fitness Chick is the same.
Some people are also under the impression that being rude to others and walking around with a constant scowl or a frown on their face makes them some kind of an intimidating bad-ass, and therefore Alpha. It doesn’t. Once again, it just makes them a try-hard.
They’re simply trying to project an image that isn’t genuine. They’re trying to impress. The Alpha Fitness Chick doesn’t try to impress anyone, but it just happens naturally anyhow.
Being friendly and civil to people in the gym doesn’t prevent you from reaching Alpha status. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly. There’s nothing wrong with a brief chat before or after your workout session, or even a friendly comment here or there in between sets. As long as you don’t let people take liberties and you limit your interactions so that they don’t interfere with your focus or what you’re doing, it’s all good.
10. Pay it Forward
The Alpha Fitness Chick is a leader, and a leader always serves as a positive role model and mentor when she can. Helping others on their fitness journey, whether it’s through advice or simply encouragement, is very Alpha behavior. Just be careful about giving advice that isn’t requested, however.
A try-hard feels the need to put herself on a pedestal above everyone else and so won’t give the time of day to anyone she sees as being beneath her.
An Alpha Fitness Chick isn’t so insecure and has way more class than that. She never forgets where she came from and is always willing to help anyone who’s on their own fitness journey, or who’s interested in starting out.
I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that each and every one of the top-name fitness celebrities that I’ve personally met have been extremely friendly and generous with their time, advice and encouragement. It’s because they’re all true Alpha women.
Hopefully these 10 steps have given you something to think about. I’d like to think however that you don’t use them for labeling or judging others in the gym based upon their non-Alpha behavior. Alpha Fitness Chicks don’t do that.
Just work on yourself, work on improving each and every day and leave everyone else to do their own thing. We all travel our own path.
These 10 steps are by no means exhaustive, they’re just the top ones in my opinion. If you can think of any other points that define Alpha status behavior please mention them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!