Reader mail 5

I am 23 years old and just getting into lifting. I used to weigh 220 lbs. This is a picture of me deadlifting 225 lbs at a country fair push-pull meet in Maine last weekend. I won first place (well, okay, I was the only woman there…) but I was really proud of my deadlift, since I only moved to the weight section of my gym about 2 months ago.

My story isn’t unique. I was the heavy girl never picked for teams, yada yada, until lack of a car in college/”the real world” forced me to walk everywhere in rural Maine, then I took to biking, then hiking, and then the gym. I weighed in at 157 lbs here, but I am a size 6/8 on a frame 5’11” tall!

Right before this meet, my best friend of 7 years told me that I was getting too muscular. That hurt, but I ditched the friendship and went to your site for some female support. I love the sensation of getting stronger, I love the calluses I’m getting at the base of my fingers, I love outlifting a few men even… now my strength is “cute” but I can’t wait till I’m pulling some serious weight around the gym.

Oh, and believe me, the fact that my hips were too high was drilled in by everyone there. I got some bad advice somewhere that said that I should do it in two steps then haul it straight when my legs were straight… now I know that that is horrible advice… I’m glad I competed so that I could get that feedback before my weights actually start to get high. I got kidded that I grunted it up with sheer back power and nothing else, kinda like a demented good morning!

You can print my email address. I would love to hear from anyone else excited about weightlifting.

Thanks Krista!


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I have written you a few times over the year. Last year around this time I think I wrote you and told you about a young woman named Kelly Kobold. She had just started training with me and was starting to fight (mixed martial arts).

I know she read your page and got a lot from it so I thought I would write you tell you a little about her last year.

She now has 7 professional fights; more fights then any women has ever had in one year – not to mention her first year. In 7 fights she has won all 7 including 2 fights in International Cage Combat and Ring of Fire – 2 very high level shows. She is now the Ring of Fire World Champion. On top of becoming very much like a daughter to me in the last year this young women has undergone some spectacular changes. She has really found her inner light and lets it shine brightly. In the last year she has become more then a fighter, she has become a woman.

She will be featured in an up coming issue of Grappling magazine where you can see her whole story.

Here is her web page on

I’m sending you this not because you may not hear very often how you have touched people. Your page really encouraged her and taught her a lot. You can feel very proud of helping this self doubting girl become a proud woman and champion.

Thank you

Mike Reilly

Team Bison coach and proud Dad J

I’m a 52 year old who started to weightlift this past year. Here is a pic of my first competition last weekend. I deadlifted only; opening lift was 185 lbs, then 205 (a personal best); then 220 (got it up but hitched at the last moment instead of locking shoulders so it was
disqualified…! *&%$#!). But I did it and it was a great moment of personal victory. Next time I can open at 220!

Thought I’d share… I’m now back to working on my benching (such scrawny little muscles – how come?) and squatting, as well as deadlifting. I think I’m a pretty damn good SLOB (Strong, Loving, Outrageous Broad!).


Excellent rant about fitting training into your day. I have a 10 month old who has just started crawling (read: rampaging) and by the end of each day I’m so utterly knackered I just want to collapse onto my couch and drool quietly for a bit in front of whatever telly passes before my eyes. Hauling my weary arse to the swimming pool/gym/Power Yogalates (wtf?) is furtherest from my mind. However neither do I wish to suffocate in my own body fat. So here’s what I do.

Every day I take my wee one and her huge, heavy, three-wheeled pram, and I stomp vigorously around the streets for a couple of hours while she has her afternoon nap. Even on the coldest of days I return home warm and shiny. Pushing an overloaded pram around for two hours a day is really good for your triceps. Since I’ve been doing this my post baby ‘bingo wings’ (British term for flappy fatty bits on the underside of the arms of women of a certain age) have disappeared.

And following advice from, of all things, a Mother and Baby website, every day I put my daughter in her playpen, grab some dumbbells (or pop in a Pilates tape) and exercise in front of her while chatting to her. The plan is that she sees Mummy exercising every day, just for 20 mins or so, and comes to regard this as normal healthy behaviour.

I also use my daughter for squats and calf raises. I sit her on my shoulders, and she loves it, especially if I do it in front of a mirror. She currently weighs about 20 pounds and is growing, so this provides, as you say, progressive resistance. Split squats are a bit more tricky so I still do these with dumbbells. As for the upper body, you can also incorporate a baby into chest and shoulder presses. Or sometimes I sit her on my stomach and do crunches – works better it you say ‘Boo!’ at the top of each crunch.

Oh and there’s nothing like weaning and mealplanning for a baby and trying to encourage good healthy eating habits from the start to kick one’s own nutrition up the arse.

Keep up the inspirational stuff for us ordinary mortals who want to be healthy.


Hi Krista,

Just wanted to let you know that I am a HUGE fan of your site and you are such an inspiration to me… I have lost about 130 pounds over
the last two years, and I always check your site for weightlifting tips and tricks, and of course, inspiration to keep me on track.

Ok so the main reason why I feel I need to contact you… TRICEPS PUSHUPS kick my arse!!!

I started doing elevated pushups (I never felt the need to start slow, just kind of jumped right in there) with a 65cm stability ball, not a
chair, and when I started, I could do 2. Now I can do 150 at a time… but. I thought I was as far as the pushup training could go… so of
course, I come back to your site and you tell me to try some triceps pushups… and I think I felt a little like your husband – but I did
not laugh for long. The first night I managed to get out 3, and my form went to poo so I stopped. Last night I managed to squeak out 11,
after my full run of 150 elevated pushups…. you are the goddess of all that is good and painful in my life 🙂 I thank you for the time and effort you put into your site and the advice you give to get more out of a workout, and I thank you for the pain that my triceps are feeling as I type this…

You rock – you are the queen, the mistress, the princess, the goddess, and the voice inside of me, right there on the net, and you keep me
going when I think I do not need to train any harder than I do…

I am going to send you video when I have the pull-ups mastered (ok, at least 10 pull-ups in a row so it is actually worth sending) The
pull-ups are my goal this year, I would like to be able to get at least 50 out with proper form… and I know I will get there, because you
keep me inspired…

Many many thanks from this small gal in Tulsa, Oklahoma