Pull-up progression | Your first steps to pull-up success

For a lot of us, we may have been “tested” on pull-ups in elementary school, failed to do even one, and decided we would never be able to do a pull-up ever.

Do not despair!

There are tons of pull-up progression programs and YouTube videos providing instruction on how to do a proper pull-up. Most gyms have multiple bars and at-home pull-up bars are adjustable, portable, and affordable, so there’s really no excuse.

Here, we go over why pull-ups should be part of your lifting routine and how to progress to the perfect strict pull-up. Continue reading “Pull-up progression | Your first steps to pull-up success”

Weathering the storm | Strong Mom Sheila Chester

When the doctor diagnosed Sheila Chester with infertility, she was devastated. She was in her 20s. She was at her peak fitness. She was in a loving relationship with her husband. She did everything right.

It wasn’t fair.

My dream in life was to be a mom,” she said. “I received a degree in fitness in 2008. I chose that degree because I knew the flexibility of the fitness industry would work  well with being a stay at home mom.”

Sheila and her husband tried embryo transfers and IVF, but still she couldn’t get pregnant.

I used exercise to ‘punish’ my body for not getting pregnant,” she said. “I completed a half Ironman in 2010 (70.3 miles). … My body fought me hard during the entire training process. I ended up with Mono and anemia a month before the race yet I still finished what I started.”

For the next eight years, Sheila said her desire to workout came and went. She began infertility treatments, and with that came hormones and major body changes.

Throughout this, Sheila and her husband adopted two children, Nikolas, now 4, and Elli, 1 year old.

She’s still undergoing fertility treatments while juggling life with a preschooler and toddler. Here, she shares her story. Continue reading “Weathering the storm | Strong Mom Sheila Chester”

Keep it simple, Cupid | Fit lovers’ guide to Valentine’s Day

It’s the season of love and you may be getting ready for a spicy night with your significant other. No, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be an over-the-top event. You can have a wonderful evening and keep things simple.

Of course, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year and you have to factor in work; shuttling the kids to school and after-school activities; and then squeeze in that run or gym session before heading out to that romantic dinner.

Here, we cover some do’s and don’ts to ensure you won’t have to sweat your  special Valentine’s Day. Except in the gym. See what I did there? Okay… moving on. Continue reading “Keep it simple, Cupid | Fit lovers’ guide to Valentine’s Day”

Crushing the platform and topping the podium | Strong Mom Veronica Card

Veronica Card

When Veronica Card first started weightlifting three years ago, she kind of hated it.

Three weeks ago, she crushed her first powerlifting competition, squatting 275 pounds; bench pressing 170 pounds; and deadlifting 358 pounds. She nabbed first place with a Wilks score of 397 in the 63-kg weight class.

“I hated sports,” she said, laughing. “I hated running when I started. But I really hated feeling weak in the gym.”

A mother of two boys, Veronica said she tried couch to 5Ks and she warmed up to running.

“I ran because I was competitive,” she said. “It got me out of the house and active.”

She gave weightlifting a shot after her husband began a beginner strength training program.

“I hit 95 pounds on bench press really quick,” she said. “My husband was impressed with how much I was lifting. Then I was able to do chip-ups and I realized I could tell that I was getting stronger. Then I was hooked.” Continue reading “Crushing the platform and topping the podium | Strong Mom Veronica Card”