Review: Base Strong, what it is and why I love it

So I did mention back in March (whoa) when I wrote Base review that maybe one day I’d get round to writing about Base Strong, which is the class I go regularly at Base. Have to admit there were times a couple months ago I wasn’t really into Base Strong that much because I was so busy and stressed at work. Yes, I tried to go as often as I could, but believe it or not, many times during class my mind was at work, and I had to rush back to Line work chat as soon as the class ended to respond to clients. Impossible to think of progress or what you want to achieve, fitness-wise, when you were at that crazy stage!

Feels great that now I’ve got my motivation back again. Motivation seems to come in waves anyway. It’s quite difficult to stay motivated all the time, so it’s best to stick to your routine and make it a part of your life, even though you don’t feel like it when it comes to exercise!

What is Base Strong? 

According to Base, it’s a Strength & Conditioning class limited to only 10 people with records and progress tracked. But if you ask me, it’s powerlifting training program, which means we focus on maximizing strength in 3 main lifts; Squat, Bench, Deadlift. We have program to follow in class, with everyone tracking our numbers and progress of those lifts. Many people in the class compete in powerlifting competition.

Who can join Base Strong? 

This is one of the misconception about Base Strong. As it’s the kind of class that only same people attending over and over again, it feels like this is almost an “exclusive club” when you watch from an outsider perspective. Everyone lifts super heavy, over 100 kgs deadlift for women is nothing. I have to admit it looks very intimidating as an outsider and people don’t really understand what people in Base Strong do. I definitely was one of them, and there was no way I would have joined Base Strong, if one of the coaches at Base hadn’t talked me into it. He said I should give it a try as this is a great class where you can actually see results.

I myself wasn’t strong at all in the beginning. Started joining this class in October 2018 and I could squat 35kgs, bench 20kgs (just the bar!), and deadlift 50 kgs. Now, 9 months later, my squat has gone up to 70kgs for 4 reps, deadlift 100kgs for 3 reps! Double the weight when I first started. Bench was slow to progress so now I am at 30kgs for 3 reps. So it has been one of the best decisions EVER! Before coming to Base, I started getting bored of training at We fitness, I could squat only 30 kgs and didn’t see how I was going to be able to do anything more, which, as a result, made me lost motivation. Switching the gym and joining Base Strong showed that indeed there is lots of room for improvement and I have progressed SO much since then (even though my daily protein intake is STILL inefficient, ha!).

So I believe anyone is welcome to join Base Strong if you have a bit of experiences in strength training. Or you can come and chat with our coach if you are unsure. I try whenever I can to talk and persuade people to join Base Strong or just start lifting in general for women. WOMEN SHOULD LIFT! The result has been nothing but amazing. Quite difficult to convince people, though. I’ve seen new people come and go quickly. There’s no way you can see the result if you don’t stick around. Coming regularly and training consistently with a program seems to be the key.

You just need to make sure you can commit and book 1 week in advance for this class though. Like I said it’s limited to only 10 people and the class fills up pretty fast.

What do you do? 

Base Strong class is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each day we focus on 1 main lift, be in Squat, Bench, or Deadlift day. And other accessory lifts to make you stronger. When people see some videos I post on social media, many don’t understand and think it’s so “scary” or “dangerous” But in reality there are techniques we need to follow and it’s a lot of details, not only pick up the weight and lift. We get feedback from our coach if we don’t lift correctly. Also we don’t lift heavy all the time. There’s a cycle and the weight we lift varies from week to week, slowly and gradually increasing. It’s natural for people to post “impressive” weight on social media, right? But that’s definitely not the whole picture here. The “highlight reel” on Social media can never represent the reality anyway!

Why do you find it fun? 

The whole thing is actually rather simple; trying to be the best in 3 lifts. And I love it because of its simplicity. When you first started fitness journey, everything felt so cool and confusing and intimidating all at once. So you could end up doing weird shit that just looks cool but doesn’t give any results (Why did the trainer make me squat with barbell on Bosu ball!? Looking back I really can’t believe it. What is the point!?).

But most of all I do think I’m into it because I can track progress and see result (Just like digital marketing, ha!). Looking back just 9 months ago, I’ve seen how much I’ve improved so far and how much more I want to improve even further. It’s an endless journey! I’m a firm believer in constant improvement and learning. When this kind of thinking can be applied in my fitness routine, it’s super cool and makes me want to get even better! And like I said many times, getting stronger with less flabby arms, stronger core and perkier butt doesn’t hurt.

Aesthetically more pleasing, yes sure. More confident in body image, absolutely. I’ve never felt this better! I’ve gained 2 kgs of muscles so far which drives my body fat % down to 22.5%, the lowest in my life so far as far as I know!? At one point it was as high as 27%.

But it’s more than just body fat % now. Performance matters. Learning to overcome my fear when the weight keeps going up is also another great practice as I tend to freak out easily. Believing in myself that I can do it, trying to overcome my fear of failure are also good. Funny how in the end it’s all about the mind, huh?

I have end of year goal/numbers in mind for my Squat, Bench, Deadlift. Tiny goal, but let’s see if I can make it in December!

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