It’s A Love Hate Thing

If you’ve been reading here for any amount of time, you’ll know that I am pretty in love with most aspects of my fitness routine. I’m not one of those people who hates the gym but goes anyway because I know I “should” — I truly, honestly love working out. Most of the time.

As with anything, there are ups and downs, and things that I don’t love quite so much. There are also things about lifting/training that I down right hate, if I’m going to be totally honest. Today I thought I’d do a kind of fun post about those things about training that I love, hate, and love-to-hate. I’m not going to take complete credit for this, by the way, as I remember reading a blog post similar to this a year or two ago. But unfortunately I can’t for the life of me remember who did it, and I can’t find it.. so if it was you, give me a shout in the comments so you can get proper credit!


  • Deadlifting. If this one wasn’t obvious, I don’t know what is. If I had to choose only one lift to do for the rest of my life, this would be it. It’s essentially a full body lift, working almost everything from your head down to your toes, and I think it’s the only lift that I actually love maxing out. Personally, sumo style works a little bit better for my build and hip structure, so that’s my favorite, but traditional and trap-bar deads are pretty high up on my list as well
  • Battle Ropes: There’s no better way to end an upper body day than with a battle-ropes-finisher. I absolutely love using them, even though they kick my ass every time. There’s just something that feels bad ass about swinging around some huge ropes, although I can’t quite figure out why.
  • Kettlebell Swings: I love KB swings because they are one of my favorite tools to combine a strength and cardio workout into one. 100 heavy KB swings in 5 minutes? You bet my ass will be on the floor, and I’ll be panting like a dog as well. As long as you’re doing them correctly and really firing those glutes to create the explosive swing movement, these are an excellent move for your entire posterior chain, which means that they are an excellent accessory move for my number one love, the deadlift. Anything that can help my DL is a-ok in my book!
  • Hill Sprints: Yes, it’s true, I really do love hill sprints. The steeper the hill, the better. I think I just really love that I can get so much work done in so little time — efficiency is a priority when the schedule gets too busy. Not to mention, hill sprints are a pretty amazing workout for your back-side too.

Hmmm… I think I see a booty theme in this “love” section.


  • Bench: Yup. I said it. I hate bench press. I hate it. I do it, and I do it pretty well, but it’s not a lift I enjoy. Maybe if I get a good coach and train for a powerlifting meet, I can develop some fonder feelings for this lift, but for now, it’s not ever something I look forward to. And my numbers on bench aren’t that bad, I really am not sure why I hate it so much. It might have something to do with the fact that I see progress much slower with bench than I do with squats or deadlifts, and that can certainly get frustrating. Whatever it is, bench day is probably my least favorite day in the weight room. I’m so not a bro.
  • Step Ups: I hate weighted step ups so much that I probably haven’t done them in a couple years, except for when I am forced to in a boot camp class. These are something that I have always hated — no matter how hard or easy I make the weight, I just can’t get over the tediousness of them. One set always feels like a hundred sets to me, which is why they never end up in my own programs.
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: I hate these almost as much as step ups, but unlike step-ups, I do include them in my own programming because they are such a valuable lift. So I guess I should amend this to say, I don’t hate them in their entirety, I just really hate doing them myself. Throw a barbell on my back, and it’s even worse torture, but I do try to include these in my lifts once per week because of the benefits of single leg lifts.

Love To Hate: 

  • Stadiums: Stadium runs are a special kind of beast. While I’m doing them, I hate life and everything about it. But the second I’m done, the feeling of accomplishment takes over all of that torture and pain and turns it into pride. Running stadiums is pure torture, plain and simple, but it honestly is one of my favorite workouts. I think one reason I love them so much is that they never get easy — sure, I may get faster, but never have I ever had a stadium run where I left and said “Boy, that was an easy day!”. This is quite possibly the reason that I hate them as well.
  • Burpees: I have a really strange relationship with burpees. When I’m doing them, I want to be doing anything (and I mean anything) else, but at the same time, it’s kind of fun in a sick kind of way. It’s kind of similar to my love of stadiums — for some reason burpees never get easy, no matter how fit I am, and for that, I respect them.
  • Barbell Hip Thrusts: Barbell hip thrusts actually make me angry sometimes. I’ll sit and think about how miserable they are in between sets. But they build the gluteus like nothing else, and in my opinion, strong glutes are a girls best friend. They are tough, no doubt, but it also feels pretty darn good to be able to lift some serious weight with these hips. Torture with great results? Sign me up.

Readers: What parts of your workouts or training sessions do you love? hate? love-to-hate? Does anyone else have some sort of sick love for burpees like I do? 



18 thoughts on “It’s A Love Hate Thing

  1. i know all about the love/hate thing. all your loves are my current favorite loves as well. I’d probably throw in some back squats, push-ups, and burpees! I’m with you on the bench, but I’d have to add…the stability ball. It seems so easy, but I did a few stability ball workouts last week and I was terrible. I hate that little ball.

    1. Haha, I don’t really do any work on a stability ball, but you’re right it can be a killer! And I think push-ups are on my hate list as well — I do them all the time, but I never enjoy it!

  2. Jess Rooney Gallagher August 13, 2014 — 7:38 am

    Love the new website design! Great job, Steph!!

    1. Thanks Jess!! It’s a temporary solution while I wait for my new custom header to be designed 🙂

  3. Deadlifts are also my favorite! However being a powerlifter I am find of the bench and squat as well. I have recently fallen in love with standing overhead presses.

    1. Ahhh Yes — I do love OHP. I’ll do OHP over bench ANY day 🙂

  4. Clean and press (from BodyPump)…I just feel I could be doing something more effective for my body like deadlifts..loooove deadlifts. I feel you on the step-ups..soo boring..and I’m always questioning ‘What IS this actually doing for me’..until the next day and then I”m glad I did them…

    1. Step ups can be great for you — but if you haven’t done them in a while, they definitely cause some DOMS the next day!

  5. This is a great list!! I feel similarly, particularly the “love to hate” burpee.

    1. Yeah I feel like burpees are on a lot of people’s “hate” list, but there’s just something about them..

  6. Totally agree with you on step ups – I’ve never liked them! I don’t really like deadlifts though – maybe because I’m never 100% sure if I’m doing them properly. Also they always leave my hamstrings so sore the next day, even when I do them with a super light weight. Do you have any tips?

    1. Hey Chels, it’s tough to say without seeing you do them, but one thing I’d suggest is making sure that you aren’t starting with your hips up too high in the air, and also focusing on “finishing” by locking out your hips with a good glute contraction at the top. Also, make sure the bar is very close to your body, it should basically be scraping your shins on the way up!

  7. I really don’t like leg workouts- especially lunges, but I know I have to do them! the only leg workouts I like are deadlifts- LOVE them. I hate mountain climbers because no matter how many times I do them, I can’t up my endurance! I love burpees… duh 😉

    1. Eew, Mountain Climbers are probably one of the worst exercises, in my opinion! All they do for most people is create super tight hip flexors, and we all have to battle that anyway from sitting all the time!

  8. I hate everything that’s done one side at a time. Especially lunges. It just gets soo monotonous.

    1. I agree, I get so frustrated having to do basically double the sets, haha.

  9. If a post could some up my training – this would be it! I loveeee to deadlift, I think it’s an addiction!

    1. Nice!! Strong ladies unite 🙂 And you are right — it is an addiction, I miss it when I haven’t done it for a while! (due to injuries, etc.)

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