Check out our interview with Tara, a personal trainer and gym manager, inspirational fitness blogger and a journalist. Find out where she get’s her inspiration and motivation and her tips on how to become a strong(wo)man.
1. Your blog is an inspiration to others, what inspires you to keep fit and share your experiences with your readers?
As cheesy as it sounds, my biggest motivation is myself. I love competing against myself and I’m always trying to be stronger, faster and more of an all-round athlete. About a year ago, I was told that I could never lift weights again, which was a large motivation for getting into strong(wo)man training. Knowing that you have a competition against some of the strongest women in the country looming also provides some great motivation! I have overcome quite a few setbacks in my life, and I like sharing my experience on my blog to hopefully inspire my readers to overcome their own challenges.
2. Finance journalist to personal trainer seems like a big change. What motivated you to take this step?
I was relatively successful and making decent money in the field of financial journalism, but it didn’t make me happy at all. I have always been very passionate about fitness, and I wanted to teach others to love lifting weights as much I do. Making the change was very scary but I don’t regret it at all! I have never done a personal training session that actually felt like work, as changing people’s lives is an incredibly rewarding job. After gaining a couple of years of experience as a personal trainer and gym manager, I was able to combine my love of training with journalism to work in public relations for a sports centre.
3. Women are often put off by the idea of weight lifting. What are the common misconceptions you’ve encountered?
Most women are scared of bulking up and looking like a man, so they stick to lifting weights that are lighter than their purse! The truth is that females can’t gain muscle mass without a lot of dedicated hard work and a large calorie surplus – I have been trying to gain muscle for years and I eat like a horse! Women have about 1/20th as much testosterone as a man, so they just cannot gain muscle at the same rate within the aid of some ‘special’ vitamins.
4. What advice would you give to other women looking to start doing serious weight training?
I would recommend either hiring a trainer for one or two sessions or watching a lot of Youtube videos. You need to learn the basic movements – get away from weight machines and learn how to squat, deadlift, row and press. Start with lighter weights until you master technique but don’t be afraid to lift heavy, as that is when your body will see change. I am a self-taught weight lifter and if I can do it, anyone can!
5. Which of your blog posts do you think everyone should read?
This post (www.sweatlikeapig.com/2013/08/28/overcoming-metabolic-damage-part-one) explains how I went from eating no more than 1200 calories a day as a runner to now consuming almost 4000 calories a day. I wrote a series of posts targeted towards beginners in the weight room, and this one (www.sweatlikeapig.com/2012/11/07/beginner-lifting-series-putting-it-all-together) explains how to put together a basic program. This post (www.sweatlikeapig.com/2012/09/12/5-reasons-weight-lifting-is-better-than-cardio) is also very popular and has been influential in changing the way many people think about working out!
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