How To Strength Train After A Mastectomy

It had been about six months since my breast reconstruction surgery and bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. I was at the gym, following an old training program I wrote. Back to training for months, I’d mostly avoided chest training until recently. I glanced down to see which exercise was up next: Push-ups. I felt a little flutter in my stomach and made a spur-of-the-moment decision: I would try push-ups this time instead of skipping them. Since it would suck to lower myself down and choke at the {Read More…}

Eyes on the Prize (Part 2): Secret Rituals of Muscle Building Women

While I was in nirvana last week, doing my weightlifting thing after a four-month layoff, all the subtle techniques (or rituals – I hate the word rules) I use to get results kept popping into my head. Guys ingrained in the lifting culture already know these rituals, but for us, these training subtleties can seem mysterious and unnatural. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do them; we just need to validate the fact that women need muscle-building rituals too. These rituals aren’t optional for building muscle and strength, {Read More…}

Why Am I Plateaued? Training Q&A with Suzanne

You got questions, I’m answering ’em in my new Nirvana Training with Suzanne Q&A feature. You’ll get my perspective on strength training and nutrition for your goals, along with insights into my own training. To participate in next week’s mailbag, post your question on my Facebook page, ping me on Twitter, or drop me a line! Q. I’ve been following a popular strength-training plan consistently. Why have I plateaued? A. When people come to me for help and say they’ve been following {Read More…}

Why Owning It Is Critical to Aesthetic Goals

Something that will put a pit in my stomach every time is watching a woman downplay her assets, sell herself short, or put her true desires under wraps in an effort to avoid subtle shaming about her goals, aspirations, or body. That’s why I talked about training-for-aesthetics shaming in a previous, passionate post. All this has me thinking about why owning it is a huge, non-negotiable part of getting fantastic results and staying motivated when it comes to strength training for women. In and of itself, I still maintain that training for aesthetics is a {Read More…}

10 Weightlifting Gifts for Women Who Love Muscle

I admit that I’m muscle-obsessed, but I have other obsessions as well. Like being a strong, powerful woman in a weight room filled with dudes… Knowing I’m using elegant, drop-dead gorgeous form with pull ups… And having complete control over what my body looks and feels like. But oh, muscles…  Tweet this! I’m also obsessed with gymwear, gym toys, and anything else that helps me lift weights like a mofo badass. That’s why I’m sharing my top 10 weightlifting gifts for women who are well-muscled or working towards becoming so. Since {Read More…}

Women Empowered by the Iron OWN It

A turning point in my life was when I became a fan of other women instead of their competitor. This happened more recently than I like to admit. I spent many years overwhelmed with insecurity and doubt that turned outward as hot envy and judgment. I hardly ever think of that time now; I’m a vastly different woman. But I can still remember its wretched hold over me. Who’s That Girl? One day, as I sat in my car waiting for the crosswalk to clear, a woman caught my eye as she walked by. {Read More…}