Angela Gargano is a 4x American Ninja Warrior and the creator of Strong Feels Good and Pull-Up Revolution. In this episode, Angela discusses making a career out of her fitness lifestyle, the power of mindset, overcoming a serious injury, her fitness programs, and more.
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TM: What is the “Strong Feels Good” concept?
A: What’s really interesting about it is, I actually had this “strong feels good” concept since I owned my gym. My gym in Rhode Island was actually called AG Athletics, so Angela Gargano Athletics, but we always had the saying, strong feels good, strong feels good. It came because I was doing those fitness competitions and a lot of it was flipping around, but you had to look good. The whole point was, you look good on stage and they judge you by your body and what you look like. There was a certain point where I was like, I took a lot of the seasoning off my food, I was training a lot, and I wasn’t feeling good. I actually felt awful. Like I would stand up, I would get vertigo, I wasn’t feeling great. Then, when I switched to working for Ninja Warrior, everything switched. You got to eat more food because you’re doing a lot more like obstacle course things and stuff like that, and you’re not really worried so much about how you look. It’s like can I perform? Can I be strong? How strong can I get? And I started doing that and I realized, I looked just as good as I did when I was depriving myself. I realized that wow, strong really does feel good. It really does. It feels good and it also looks good.
So the original saying was strong looks good, but feels even better, and it’s so true. So the concept came because I was so tired of people and clients coming to me being so worried about how they look and what their weight was. The weight was a major thing like, “Oh, I can’t drop my weight.” I’m like, “Yeah, but can you do more push ups than you did yesterday? Can you climb up that rope over there? What are things that you can do?” Realizing that strong really does feel good and if you focus just on strength and feeling really good, your body is going to look great. It’s going to come along. But if you put your focus only on looks, you’re going to feel miserable the whole time focusing on what you look like and comparing yourself to somebody else. So the concept, strong feels good” really came from that. I wanted my focus to be not on weight, so we don’t do any weight measurements at all. The only things we do for progress is we do strength tests every single month, so we do strength tests at the beginning and the end of the month. I love doing them. There’s also advancements, so let’s say you get really damn good at push ups and sometimes my clients were crushing like, they went from, like, five push ups to like, now they’re doing like 60. I’m like, how much can you really beat after that, so then we have advancements and phases every month that they have something to look forward to. So we do those every single month and the only thing we do to see your body is by pictures and measurements, so you can really see, because what really does feel good is when your jeans are fitting a little better and stuff like that. That’s the stuff that like actually really matters. So that’s really the concept of strong feels good, and I feel like it’s very different from a lot of other concepts because you go into a lot of these other programs, and right away, they’re like, we’re gonna help you lose 20 pounds, we’re gonna like talk about how shredded you’re gonna get. I don’t talk about that at all because it’s not about that. It’s all about strong feels good. A lot of the clients say when they come on to my spotlights, “Yeah, I decided I’m so sick of that. I just wanted to feel good.” And I’m like, “That’s why you’re here.” There’s a lot of times through my program where all of a sudden, they’ll be like, “Wait, strong really does feel good.” I’m like, “I know it does!”