The Care And Maintenance Of Lifters

Isn’t it just the best feeling when you find out your doctor lifts? Doctors who lift say things like, “Let’s keep you working out.” I get a fuzzy feeling when this happens. Recently, this happened when I went to a hand doctor for a sore thumb (no, really). A lifter himself, he said something else that resonated: “When something starts hurting, I know it’s just a matter of time til something else comes up.” He shrugged and smiled. If you’re frustrated by aches and pains {Read More…}

Starting Over After A Training Layoff: One Year Later

I just realized that it’s been one year since I returned to training after my surgeries.  Wow. Returning to strength training wasn’t a seamless sort of thing. No “Bam, it’s time to lift heavy again.” After four months without heavy lifting, it took weeks just to feel comfortable in the gym again. Then I had to regain enough flexibility and neuromuscular control to lift heavier – much longer than I thought, actually. Coming back was a slow process. My upper body changed fundamentally after having my bilateral prophylactic mastectomy with {Read More…}

I’m Not So “Strong” – I Just Got F*cking Goals, See?

Not counting a couple of interruptions due to a car accident and the birth of my daughter, I’ve been lifting weights for over 15 years. Weightlifting’s been my mama, spanking my ass one day and wiping my tears the next. But four months off is not gonna kill me. It’s been two weeks since my exchange surgery and I’m on fire, taking one-mile walks and doing bodyweight squats. And today I’m doing split squats. For 10 weeks I had awesome, immovable jugs installed in my chest to stretch my skin to a smooth shine and {Read More…}

Why Am I Always Injured? Q&A with Suzanne

Each week I’ll answer your strength training and nutrition questions in this feature. Sure, you can Google your heart away for any ole question these days, so why should you ask me? Because you want the opinion of someone who knows what it’s like to be a woman in the weight room. Because you can trust that I walk the talk. And I don’t mess around with fads, ads, or bullshit. To participate in next week’s mailbag, post your question on my Facebook page, {Read More…}

Digging Deep with Self-Myofascial Release

Using foam rollers and other self-massage tools to eliminate aches and pains and improve flexibility is becoming more mainstream for good reason: Self-myofascial release is one of the best things you can do for your muscles and joints. When your muscles are tight and and your range of motion is decreased, joints and muscles don’t function properly. The result is often pain and even injury, sometimes occurring “out of the blue.” For example, if your hips are tight from sitting all {Read More…}

Just Do It: How to Protect Your Shoulders

If you could see into the future and knew your strength training workouts would be shut down by a shoulder injury, would you start doing things differently today? Not many people spend time maintaining shoulder health, but a lot of people spend time being injured. Shoulder injuries are ridiculously common, and those of us who lift weights should be focused not only building strength and size but on keeping our shoulders healthy. It’s a relatively delicate joint that we punish {Read More…}