Reader mail 3


Just wanted to drop a line to let you know how much I appreciate the advice and encouragement your site provides. I stumbled across the site in August and was inspired to try my hand at free weights.

That first day when I was reading through all of your info, I didn’t think I could actually do it. I was so out of shape I was sure that I would hurt myself if I tried to lift, but I got hooked when reading your section on squats. I was sure that if I tried to do one, even with just body weight, my knee caps would go flying across the room! But I wanted to try, so I stood up in front of my computer, and carefully following the instructions, went all the way down and came all the way back up! Then I did it again, and about ten more times.

Now, five months later, I am much stronger, weigh 45 pounds less, have a power cage in my living room, and can do more pushups than my boyfriend. All thanks to your inspiration! Just felt like I had to tell you.

I am going to be forty (oh no!) in a little over a year. I was dreading it, but now it doesn’t bother me at all because of how much better I feel about myself.

Thank you so much.


Here is a picture of Lynne Nelson. Lynne lifts in the 148 Open/Master Classes. She is the present AAU World Champion and record holder. She also holds World, American, and National Records in the USAPL/WNPF/USPF and the APA. Her best competition lifts are Bench: 180lbs, Squat: 315lbs, Deadlift: 479lbs, with a total of 957lbs.

She is 43yo and the mother of two, aged 10 and 13, and works full time as a Medical Technologist. Her website is Maybe you can run a short item on her, or include her site on your page.

Frank Nelson (proud husband and workout partner )

Dear Krista,

I found out about your site a few months ago and I really love it! There’s so much extremely useful information on it.. The tips & tricks you give regarding pullups really helped me a lot. For a few months I’ve been doing assisted pullups (my gym owner is so nice, he’s always willing to help!) and today, I did my FIRST unassisted pullup!! I thought you should be one of the first to know!

Actually, I started out with weightlifting in August this year, because I was underweight. Yes, while most women want to lose weight, I wanted to get heavier! I weighed 50 kg (let me see, that’s .. 110 lbs) at 1.64m (appr. 5′ 5″, damn why do you still use those obsolete units at the other side of the Atlantic?!  My ribs were visible on my chest above my breasts and I thought that was extremely ugly. After almost 5 months of eating well (and a LOT, 6 meals a day), and heavy weightlifting, I now weigh 56 kg (123 lbs). The ribs above my breast are now covered by muscle, and my arms got thicker. And it’s not over yet!! I continue eating and training, because I want to get as muscular and strong as a woman can get without anabolics!

I send some pics that were taken in July this year (before I started training) and in the beginning of October (after 2.5 months of training). The pic on the left was taken in July, the pic on the right in October. Soon (by the end of January or so) I’ll ask my friend to make some new pics; I’m really curious to see what the difference will be. Probably mostly my legs… I trained at home for the first 3 months and didn’t have the heavy stuff one needs for leg training. Now, at the gym, I started doing sumo deadlifts and am able to do sets of 8 reps with 45 kg (100 lbs). So those babies should start growing 😉

Thanks again for your great website, Krista!

Kind regards,

the Netherlands

I would like to thank you for your fantastic site that has provided me with inspiration and information like nothing else. My first
introduction to weights occurred when my chiropractor told me that I had to start training because of lots of back problems. I soon found a Finnish book about weight training for female fitness-athletes. This was fair enough, but your pages gave me much wider perspective on the benefits of my new activity than the book, and lots more information about training itself, but also about nutrition etc. Your attitude appeals to me as well, it is something that I can identify with, which I cannot necessarily do with 18-year old fitness-babes…

Now, 4 years after I started, even the daily newspapers here in Scandinavia have started to tell people how useful strength training is
for women and the elderly! I was 54 when I started, now I’m 59 and very, very pleased with my achievements so far – and I see no reason to stop!

Leena from Norway

Leena before Leena after

Dear Krista,

I am 34 years old, and I started weight training again (after not doing so for about 16 years!) in January 2003. This return to physical activity was mostly due to the inspiration of your site.

I have been struggling with bulimia, on and off, for the last 20 years. I’ve had periods of years where I was in “remission” and didn’t binge/purge at all. Recently, however, I had plummeted back into the cycle, bingeing and purging at least once a day, for several months. I can’t say what “caused” it–personal problems, depression, getting older, dieting (this was, I think, the key cause)–but weight training has helped me get back in control.

Last year, for the first time in my life, I made the horrible mistake of reacting to a small weight gain (caused by eating too much crap and not moving!) by dieting. I cut calories and carbs drastically. I lost weight, of course–especially since I starved myself so much that my brain went out of whack and the bulimia came back with a vengeance. It was the absolute worst period of bulimia I have been through. After several nightmare months of eating, puking, eating, puking, saying “this is the last time,” and then doing it again the next day, I was horribly depressed, malnourished, and desperate.

During this time, a friend at work had started going to the gym. She had never exercised before, and she was really excited about learning weight training. Since I am good at finding information on the internet, I did some searching for her and found some weight training sites. Yours was the best I found, and I spent several hours reading through everything on the site. Your enthusiasm and sense of humor caught me (and my friend, and her gym friends!).

That was it. I got online, ordered a bench, and got weights at Wal-Mart (of all places). I started with your All Dumbbells All The Time routine while I waited for the bench to be delivered. I stopped “dieting.” I also started taking 5-HTP and my obsessive thinking on food and weight slowly came to an end.

I’ve been weight training for around 6 months now. I got my mother back into it, and got my sister interested, too. I’ve never felt better, and I love seeing my muscles move beneath my skin. I’ve stopped weighing myself. I’ve stopped vomiting. I’m eating better than I ever have before: tons of vegetables, protein smoothies for breakfast, lean meats, fish fish fish, salads, fresh fruit, good fats, and lots of small meals throughout the day. I’ve stopped having to fight the urge to drive directly to the grocery after work to raid the bakery aisle for binge foods. I started dancing again (ballet, jazz, and tap) after a 14-year absence. On my first day of jazz, my teacher said “Oh, now you look like a dancer–how long have you been dancing?” I told her I hadn’t in 14 years, and she said, “But you have such great muscle tone!” I said, with pride, “I weight train.” My strength has improved my dancing. I have grace and control I never had before. Ballet *looks* easy, but is incredibly difficult if you don’t have strength in your legs, back, and abdominals.

I’ll stop gushing now, and just say thank you for helping me change my life.

Name withheld by request