lift like a qunari


A decade ago I was late for work and peddling frantically up a hill to get there. I came to a cross street, and saw the jeep coming, but he had a stop sign so I went on ahead. He ran his sign and hit me, but I threw myself off the bike so only my leg was trapped between the bike and the grille. The rest of me landed hard on the arm I’d flung back behind me to catch myself (no helmet, like a fool), and my shoulder popped briefly out of its socket before popping back in when I hit the pavement. At least, that’s what the ER people surmised.

A year ago I was riding the bus home, standing and clinging to the overhead bar when the driver slammed on the breaks, sending all of us flying forward. Same arm as before, and with my weight plus the weight of the person who flew into me yanking on it, the muscles attached to that shoulder screamed bloody murder, and I couldn’t do much with that arm for months.

After these events I decided running wasn’t enough, and that I needed to strengthen my upper body, as much to keep more harm from coming to it as to be a badass (always a selling point). I have to be really careful with that arm, so as not to tax it too hard too fast again (hence the light weights you see here), but I’m tired of the same three moves and have started doing all of these instead.

Actual fitness bloggers have much more to say on the issue of women lifting than I do, and all of it is more informed and eloquent than anything I could bring to the table. So I’ll skip all that, save for the obvious note that if you want strength you should seek it, other people’s complexes be damned. But! I’m going to make it a little easier for you by providing that MF workout on one page (they sign up for terrible ads that take over the page and blare noise at you and are terrible to navigate out of on mobile, ugh), and by providing you with a soundtrack** to boot! Because I’m used to only lifting for like 10 minutes at a time. If I’m going to be doing it for half an hour, I want to listen to something inspiring while I do.

Qunari MF Dumbbell Workout

Floor Press

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

One-Arm Bentover Row

Sets: 3 Reps: 15 (each side)

Get Up Sit Up

Sets: 2 Reps: 5 (each side)

Renegade Row (? who names these?)

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 (each side)

*Note: I just use a hand flat on the floor instead of trying to push off a parked dumbbell. It kills my palm, driving the damn bar into it.

Goblet Squat

Sets: 3 Reps: 15

One-Arm Push Press

Sets: 3 Reps: 15 (each side)

Single-Leg Deadlift

Sets: 3 Reps: 8 (each side)

One-Arm Swing

Sets: 3-5 Reps: 15-20 (each side)

As to the title? Well, the qunari are, generally speaking, ripped. Hell, even their mages are ripped.* Look at this character I just rolled:


That lady can light the fire with a flick of her fingers, and haul the ram carcass over for roasting. So yeah. Lift like a qunari! And if you feel like you’re missing some soft fluffy pink things in your life as you work on those muscles, do it in this shirt if you must:


Or, you know. This one:


If that is more your thing. (Did I finish ME3 this weekend? Yes I did. Will I write about it? Yes I will. But not right now.)

*Not that qunari mages are alone in this regard. I’m looking at you, Master Pavus:


**In, um, another post. Sunday enjoyment must be maximized. Sitting through YouTube ads to make sure the song I’m linking is legit does not equate to maximal enjoyment…


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