Interview w/ Caitlin McNamara

As part of the 60 Day Challenge, I decided to interview the coaches at CrossFit Kingfield. They each play a key role in providing the help and support I need to achieve my goals, not only during this process but throughout the year.

I wanted to get to know them better, learn some of their best practices when it comes to training and nutrition, and see what makes them tick.

In my conversation with Coach Caitlin McNamara, we discussed her love for competition and how she compares coaching teenagers versus adults.

MMG: You were a Varsity athlete in high school, played club soccer in college and continue to compete today. Why are sports and athletics such an important part of your life?

MCNAMARA: There’s a moment when you’re watching a particularly close sporting event where you get chills.

It doesn’t matter if you’re invested in the teams or the athletes playing or if you even like the sport you’re watching.

When you get the opportunity to see fellow humans achieve something incredible, even seemingly impossible, you can’t deny that magical moment when someone hits a game – winning three or scores a diving header to go ahead in a big game.

It’s always been breathtaking for me, my version of thrill and excitement.

On another personal note, movement has always been a part of my life. Running, jumping, picking things up, and throwing them has been associated with fun ever since I could walk.

My dad taught me how to throw before I could stand. Once I was old enough to join organized sports, it gave me a sense of belonging.

Between the thrill that competition brings – whether participating or spectating – and being a part of something with others, it’s always kept me coming back for more.

MMG: Last year you competed in both the Granite Games in St. Cloud and the Sisu Summer Throwdown in Excelsior. What drives you to continue to compete?

MCNAMARA: It’s in my nature. I compete on everything. Back in my running days, training on the treadmill, I would, not joking, eyeball the person next to me to make sure that I was running faster.

It fosters achievement, it gives you something to work towards and directs your training, learning, or education. It’s a commitment and a promise to yourself (and to others if you choose to involve them).

Sticking to that can be empowers you in areas outside of your competitive area.

MMG: You’ve done individual sports – like running marathons – and been part of many team sports. Do you prefer one over the other?

MCNAMARA: I prefer the team. Feeding off of the energy from people working towards the same goals as you is a great motivator.

You rely on them, you lift them up, you share your burdens with them. Even when I was training or running marathons, you’re not alone.

Your fellow runners or training partners push you along, the accountability gets you to do things far beyond what you would’ve done on your own. The achievement might be yours but at the end of the day, you got there through the help of someone else.

That’s one of the many reasons why I love CrossFit.

MMG: Do you take a different approach in the actual competition itself as an individual versus being part of a team?

MCNAMARA: I don’t think my approach varies too much. Even on a team, I have a role to fill, an expectation, whether placed on my by my teammates or my coach or myself or a combination of those three, to do my very best.

I suppose the motivator is a little different – even if you’re not feeling up to it, your teammates can put you in the right mood or you might be more willing to fight through something for them.

But I always go into a competition – or hell, my training or coaching a class or writing a blog – wanting to do my very best, to set an example.

MMG: In addition to your role at CrossFit Kingfield, you coach the women’s soccer team at Orono High School. What’s been your biggest challenge so far working with the team?

MCNAMARA: The biggest challenge is managing talent. We have an extremely solid program at Orono and the issue we seem to face most is figuring out how to get the most out of the talent we have.

There are so many personalities, just like in CrossFit class, that you have to guide except that they’re at the age – a little more vulnerable, a lot less certain.

CEmpowering these girls and developing their self-confidence is the best but the hardest part of the job.

MMG: What has been the highlight coaching the soccer team?

MCNAMARA: Yikes. If you didn’t hear, we had a pretty fairytale season in 2014. We won our conference, going undefeated.

We won our Section against our archrival in a shootout where my goalkeeper – shoutout Dubs! – made a huge save.

And we ended up winning the State Tournament in dramatic fashion in another shootout with more huge saves from my keeper.

But the biggest challenge we faced was that our top player – named Ms. Soccer in the state that year – went down in the championship game with a severely broken ankle with 20 minutes left in regulation.

The way our girls rallied, picked up the slack and kept fighting still gives me goosebumps.

MMG: So compared to working with a bunch of teenagers, what has your experience been like working with adult athletes as a CrossFit coach?

MCNAMARA: Ha-ha, trick question? Umm, adults are more self-motivated than teenagers. There’s also a natural authority established just by age difference and dependency when you work with teens. Not so with adults.

So much more grounded personality to contend with, specific goals they’re trying to meet and different kinds of stress that they carry that you have to take into account every time they walk through the door.

MMG: Almost sounds like more of a challenge than working with the soccer team. Any personal highlights from coaching at Kingfield?

MCNAMARA: This is going to sound so sappy but honestly every day I coach is a highlight. There’s always a new challenge that’s overcome by someone and as a coach you just feed off of that.

Teaching movement is really fun and to see it well-executed is rewarding. But the best part, hands down, is when you look into someone’s eyes and realize that because you believed in them, they now believe in themselves a little bit more, that’s why I do this.

MMG: So much of your daily life is dedicated to coaching, training and helping others. Who do you look towards for mentorship and coaching?

MCNAMARA: I lean heavily on my co-coaches. We all bring different ideas, approaches and experiences to the table.

I think what makes us good teachers is that we’re also good students, always looking to try and learn new things with minimal bias so we can help our members improve.

I follow a lot of coaches – not just CrossFit, but gymnastics, weightlifting, powerlifting, conditioning – on social media. There is hoards of great content out there if you find the right people.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I often test things out personally first before I bring them to an athlete too. I rarely implement something that I haven’t already done some version of because it’s easier to coach it that way.

The more you can speak to the feeling or the sensation of what you’re teaching, the better you can tailor the information to each individual.

MMG: What’s the best piece of advice you have received in terms of your athletic career?

MCNAMARA: So I played goalkeeper in high school, but I had started dabbling with it during youth club soccer. The dad of one of my teammates was one of our coaches and he was a former Vikings free safety, captained the team.

He took our mental toughness very seriously. Once, during a rainy game, I allowed a goal and I laid on the ground in the mud, mad at myself, frustrated with my failure and of course analyzing how I could’ve done better.

He ran out onto the field and told me “Get up. You don’t have time to be upset because they are watching you” and he pointed to my teammates. “They feed off of your leadership and you have to get up. No matter how bad it was. No matter how mad you are at yourself or them.

You have to get up.” That moment (and not making the A basketball team in 8th grade) changed my life. It reminded me that I represent something bigger than myself, no matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing.

That lesson reaches far beyond athletics, as you can imagine. Whether it’s coaching, it’s my family, it’s my relationships, I always strive to “get up.”

MMG: I’m sure that like myself self a lot of your athletes would be curious to know what does a normal week of training look like?

MCNAMARA: It’s changed a lot over the past three years, but right now I think I’ve finally found a groove that works for me that I can sustain as a base.

I train five days a week, Monday through Wednesday, then Friday and Saturday, with active recovery (if I feel up to it) on Thursday. Sundays are completely off.

A typical training day consists of 2-3 strength movements – think front squats, a clean complex & shoulder, for example, or heavy back squats and snatching – followed by a metcon.

The metcons vary widely from long to short, but mostly couplets or triplets or monostructural intervals.

I am always trying to focus on training my weaknesses too – right now it’s strengthening my shoulders. I really want consistency in my strict gymnastics game!

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of the old CrossFit Games Open workouts which tend to be higher rep, lower weight engine tests.

My engine is not what it used to be! I am usually game for just about anything. The biggest barrier is time and carving out enough time to get everything in that I want to do alongside running the gym and coaching classes and personal training clients.

MMG: How does diet and nutrition factor into all your training? Do you follow any plans or have any rules that you follow in terms of eating and drinking?

MCNAMARA: At this very moment, it’s calculated. I’m working with Emily (Field) on leaning out a little while maintaining body composition.

I’m macro-ing out my food and cycling my carbohydrate intake from day to day. It’s tough but it’s only week one so I’m optimistic it’ll become easier as I settle into more of a routine.

In general, I eat pretty Paleo – no refined sugar, no grain, no dairy, no soy, no legumes. That option has been the most effective for me over the years.

However, I love the not-so-good-for-your-body-but-so-good-for-your-soul food – donuts, french fries, burgers, fried chicken, pizza, tortilla chips, red wine, ice cream.

I’m a big believer in 80/20 and indulging when you want to as long as you recognize it as such.

MMG: Are there any other factors that are important to you in your overall physical and mental wellness?

MCNAMARA: Sleeping – I function beautifully on eight hours. More or less makes for a not so productive day. Second, making sure I have time to “recharge my batteries,” as my dad phrased it to me once.

At the end of the day, I’m an introvert so doing what I love – coaching, being around people, helping people – takes a lot out of me and need time to reset.

I typically go about that by watching movies or TV shows – yes, I have a few obsessions – Game of Thrones, House of Cards, New Girl, The Office, Friends. I also have a penchant for crossword puzzles and adult color books.

Finally, people. My support system around me is what keeps me moving from day to day. Alex is my front line. His unwavering support gets me from day to day.

He never questions what I ask of him and is always there – when I coach late, coach early, when I’m going just a little crazy. He’s my rock and my best friend.

Then comes my family – my parents, my two brothers and my sister. My folks live just west of the cities in Maple Plain.

I make a point to go out and see them and my baby sister (senior in high school) at least once a week. We always prioritize family time when everyone’s in town. And lastly, of course, my gym people.

From day one, Danny has never failed to be there for me and has never stopped believing in me. The opportunity to grow, as a coach, a business owner, an athlete and a person started with being introduced to this amazing community.

The people are what make it and I will never stop bragging so hard about how awesome it is be a part of Kingfield.

MMG: How do you define strong?

MCNAMARA: Strong is feeling comfortable in your own skin. Whether you come to that on your own, you’d like to lose weight or you’d like a bigger back squat or snatch, I think everyone is capable of finding their own version of “strong,” they just have to know where to look.

MMG: With such a wide age range, from 15 to 75, what is your overarching goal for all your athletes?

MCNAMARA: I want them to leave their time with me feeling accomplished, empowered and like they’ve taken a step, no matter how big or small, towards their goals.

MMG: What are some of your favorite lifts, movements or WODs?

MCNAMARA: My favorite lift is the clean. I love all versions – power, hang, full, squat, light, heavy – doesn’t matter. The raw expression of power & strength that the clean allows for is unparalleled for me.

Secondarily, I love squatting. I used to hate it but now it makes me feel like a badass. Rope climbs and handstand push-ups are becoming favorites as well.

Also, wallballs. I know most people hate them but they might be a favorite non-barbell movement – #sorrynotsorry.

My favorite WOD is a challenge. Anything that tests me, where I have to decide to keep going, to push through even though it hurts.

I like the hero workout “D.T.” which is 5 rounds of 12 deadlifts, 9 hang power cleans, 6 push jerks at 155/105. I love the community approach to “Murph” too – nothing like slogging through 2 miles and 600 reps with your gym to honor our fallen servicemen and women and those who continue to serve.

MMG: What is your goat?

MCNAMARA: In CrossFit, toes to bar. I am terrible at that movement. I always have been. I keep trying to find drills to get better at them.

I know one day they’ll get better but they are the movement that when they come up in the workout, I’m already slightly defeated in my head.

The first step to overcoming this goat is to reframe my mindset, to attack the movement as best I can. I know they’re going to take time. Eventually, I’ll get over this goat but for now, you see toes to bar come up in an Open workout and I’ll cringe (inwardly) a little.

Interview w/ Amanda Sullivan

As part of the 60 Day Challenge, I decided to interview the coaches at CrossFit Kingfield. They each play a key role in providing the help and support I need to achieve my goals, not only during this process but throughout the year.

I wanted to get to know them better, learn some of their best practices when it comes to training and nutrition, and see what makes them tick.

In my conversation with Coach Amanda Sullivan, we talked about her experience at the American Open and she mentions a lot how she wants to beat her husband Danny in workouts.

MMG: Amanda, thanks for your time. I have a lot of questions and lot to cover but always like to start chronologically to provide people with some background and context. So were you an athletic kid?

SULLIVAN: Yes, my parents always signed me up for different athletic activities. Pretty much anything I ever had interest in they would find a way to get me signed up for it.

I was in gymnastics, swim lessons, tap dance, running, soccer, softball, basketball, ice skating, biking. I think I came out of the womb running.

MMG: With your interests so broad and varied, how did you get into CrossFit?

SULLIVAN: Well, at first I was kind of against CrossFit. I liked all of the movements involved, but I thought it was unsafe to do them with such intensity. I was judging before I really even knew what it was about.

Of course it was my now husband, Danny Yeager, that convinced me to give it a try. Some of my first workouts were Fran and the 7 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) burpees to a 6 inch target. (7:30 and 83 reps).

What I found was that it wasn’t CrossFit that was dangerous but letting your ego take over your best judgment. I always preach form and movement standards over speed.

What I love about CrossFit is that it pushes you to be well rounded. Learn to do many things pretty well. I also love the competition side, striving to be your best, and working out with friends!

MMG: Lifting is clearly a big component of CrossFit and a key focus of most classes. How did you start getting into Olympic lifting and competing?

SULLIVAN: My first exposure to weightlifting was in college at the University of Minnesota. I was actually not allowed to snatch because I kept hurting my back. Now it’s one of my favorite exercises!

I started competing because Chris, Danny and I knew my lifting numbers were really close to qualifying for the American Open and I thought what the heck let’s try it. Oh yeah and it’s fun too.

MMG: I’m glad you mentioned the USAW American Open in Reno as that leads to my next question. Can you tell us a bit about that experience?

SULLIVAN: I was super nervous for the American Open. It was my second weightlifting meet ever and I was feeling a little beat up from travel and training.

Making a weightlifting total (which is having at least one good snatch lift and one good clean and jerk) was definitely a high.

It’s hard to say that there were any lows, it was such an amazing experience. But I will say that I had hopes of lifting much more weight than I did. I ended up with a total of 156kg (70kg snatch and 86kg clean and jerk).

MMG: How did you prepare mentally that weekend to step onto the platform?

SULLIVAN: I had a lot of me time. Some of it was spent on visualizing my lifts and thinking positive thoughts.

I watched Chris (Yang) compete but after that I needed to be alone because I was getting nervous just watching everyone else compete.

MMG: For some, Olympic lifting can be the bane of their existence. Clearly that is not the case for you. What is it about Olympic lifting that you enjoy?

SULLIVAN: I love that it is so technical. I have always been an athlete, and for those that know me I love winning (especially when I beat Danny)! Weightlifting for me has always come naturally.

The technical aspects of it challenge me to stay focused. There comes a point in which lifters cannot excel without perfecting their craft and working on the little things. Danny always tells me that when I lift it is just me and the weights.

I like the simplicity of that. Pick heavy shit up. Put heavy shit down. Repeat. Hopefully with heavier shit.

MMG: So what’s next for you in terms of your lifting?

SULLIVAN: I’ve recently injured my tush, so my main focus right now is to get that healed and back on track.

MMG: As an athlete who continually trains and competes, who do you look towards for coaching and mentorship?

SULLIVAN: Coach Chris is my weightlifting sensei! He programs for me and keeps pushing me to be a better weightlifter.

I’m also working with Zach Greenwald of Strength Ratio to help me with fixing all of the holes in my CrossFit game. He is also integral to helping me get past my injury along with Dr. Ross and Danny.

MMG: What’s the best piece of advice you have received in terms of your athletic career?

SULLIVAN: The best piece of advice I have received has to do with trusting the process while you are training. Progress is not built in one week. PR’s [personal records] don’t come because of one day.

I have learned that we only evolve and progress as an athlete if we are able to stack consecutive, consistent training days each week.

I have learned to be okay with the days that don’t go my way. It is all part of the process.

MMG: Speaking of training, I’m sure many people like myself would be curious to know what your week looks like. Would you mind sharing?

SULLIVAN: Right now I’m working out about 5 days a week. Usually I take Thursday and Sunday off.

I work on Olympic lifting 3 times per week and my Strength ratio 3 times per week. I also often get sucked in to class workouts when I’m feeling good.

MMG: Much of the gym’s 60 Day challenge is centered around diet and nutrition. Do you follow any plans or have any rules that you follow in terms of eating and drinking?

SULLIVAN: Nutrition is extremely important for performance and recovery. I work with Emily Field to learn balance in my eating as well as how to fuel for training and competitions.

She is amazing and helped me make weight for the open. Now that my goals have shifted she is helping me to balance my nutrition for growing babies!

MMG: Ha, you are making transitioning from one question into the next really easy for me. Let’s talk about your husband, Danny, for a moment. You both have a very unique situation in that you not only workout together, but you also work together. What role has your relationship played in your own personal success?

SULLIVAN: Danny is always my rock. He’s the one who keeps my mind right, whether I’m nervous for a big comp or I’m bumming after a poor workout or sustained injuries.

That being said, sometimes no matter how well it is intended I cannot handle being coached by him. It’s something that anyone with a significant other would understand.

MMG: What has been one of the personal highlights during your time so far coaching at CrossFit Kingfield?

SULLIVAN: This year we started having a “Friday Night Lights” Open workout party. It’s been really fun to see the community come together and cheer each other on and just be pure badasses!

I loved seeing Mary and Hannah get chest to bar pull-ups for the first time and Louis battling through 16.2 like a boss. It’s a special time where everyone brings their best and has a blast doing it!

MMG: There has been a lot of conversation centered around all of us at the gym defining strong for ourselves. What’s your definition?

SULLIVAN: I don’t think I can give you one definition of strong. I think that people who are motivated to better themselves and change create their own definition of strong.

On one hand I would say strong for me is measurable by what I put on the bar.

But the other side of me would say being strong is staying true to who I am and make sure that I lead by example. And also beat Danny if need be.

MMG: Given all our discussing of Olympic lifting this might be easy to guess, but what is your favorite lift, movement or WOD?

SULLIVAN: I think snatching is one of my favorite movements. It can be super frustrating and technical, but when you do it just right it’s like butter! So smooth and easy, I love that feeling.

MMG: Finally, my James Lipton / Inside the Actors Studio type moment is that I always ask in my interviews the same final question – what is your goat?

SULLIVAN: Currently I would have to say my engine. For the better part of this last year I have been focusing on weightlifting only.

It has been extremely rewarding, but it hasn’t done me any favors in terms of improving my 5k time!

Interview w/ Tony Christopherson

As part of the 60 Day Challenge, I decided to interview the coaches at CrossFit Kingfield. They each play a key role in providing the help and support I need to achieve my goals, not only during this process but throughout the year.

I wanted to get to know them better, learn some of their best practices when it comes to training and nutrition, and see what makes them tick. This week, I spoke with Coach Tony Christopherson.

We got super specific about his training regime and talk about how he is trying to master B-boys skills.

MMG: Tony, it’s good talking to you. While much of our conversation is going to be focused on you as an adult athlete and coach, I want to start at the beginning. Were you an athletic kid growing up?

CHRISTOPHERSON: As simply as possible, not at all. Not even remotely close. Growing up I was always a heavier child and I didn’t even really try sports.

I spent more time being focused into music. I think it’d be safe to say that I’ve been obese for the majority of my life.

MMG: That probably would be surprising to most people who know you today and saw you killing these CrossFit Open workouts. What “switched” that led you to decide to start going to the gym?

CHRISTOPHERSON: My switch actually started when I graduated high school. It was actually a looking into the mirror moment.

It was really the first time I realized where my weight was and, more or less, what I’ve let myself become. So I needed to make a change. Ever since it was gradually figuring out what worked for me and just keep on progressing.

MMG: You’ve eloquently talked on the CrossFit Kingfield blog about the importance of failure in your own personal life. How do you think athletes can better embrace failure in workouts and their daily lives?

CHRISTOPHERSON: The best athletes I’ve dealt with are able to deal with failure in not just a graceful manner but also in a way in which they don’t hold onto their failures.

They allow a failure to be a lesson and nothing more. They learn from what happened in the situation but don’t spend time reliving it as a true failure.

MMG: When did you start doing CrossFit?

CHRISTOPHERSON: I’ve been doing CrossFit for three or so years now. My first workout was “Murph” on Memorial Day.

The largest thing that I believe keeps my interest is how there isn’t a limit in which I can practice.

There are so many avenues I can travel down to figure out what is my personal limit and I’ve been able to constantly push forward into skills I never thought I’d be able to accomplish.

MMG: What motivated you to become a coach?

CHRISTOPHERSON: I’ll be honest, I more or less fell into coaching. Growing up it was never a dream or aspiration.

Actually I never even imagined I’d do anything in the health or fitness field. I’m very glad this is what I’m doing but this all started as one of my mentors telling me to talk to some guy named Danny at some CrossFit gym.

MMG: What has been a personal highlight for you as coach over the years?

CHRISTOPHERSON: Getting to work at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. I never imagined I’ d work at an OTC, so that was a huge moment and very major highlight for me.

MMG: On the flip side, who do you look towards for coaching and mentorship?

CHRISTOPHERSON: I’ ve had many mentors and even a few coaches of my own. The biggest thing I look for in a coach or a mentor is I need them to make me feel like I know absolutely nothing in this field.

That is the moment I know I want to spend as much time with that person as they’ll let me.

MMG: You recently started teaching a skills class at CrossFit Kingfield. What essential skills should an athlete focus on to improve their overall strength and ability?

CHRISTOPHERSON: The most important skills that an athlete should focus on is simply a foundation in strict bodyweight movement.

The largest portion of my classes are based around building up capacity in strict handstand push ups, strict pull ups and strict ring dips.

These movements aren’t sexy and training them aren’t in particular that fun, but the end benefit is dramatic to all advanced skills.

MMG: Is there a particular skill that you are working on this year?

CHRISTOPHERSON: It’s very hard to narrow down to say that I’m working on a singular skill. Because I’m usually working on many skills every week.

If I had to narrow down on things though, I’ve been spending a lot of time this year on B-boy fundamental skill development.

MMG: You competed as part of a team at the Granite Games up in St. Cloud back in September. How was that experience? Do you enjoy competing in these type of events?

CHRISTOPHERSON: It’s a good challenge, hard to say if enjoy is the best word for it. I mostly enjoy aspects of competition like this (and the Open) as ways to challenge myself to see how far I can push myself versus looking at it as a true competition against others.

MMG: What does a normal week of training look like? How many days on? How many days off? Break it down for us.

CHRISTOPHERSON: Oh boy, well you asked so you’ll get the answer. I train five days a week, and don’t miss a day unless I absolutely have to. Sunday’s and Thursday’s are my two off days in the week.

Recently, all of my training was set to prep the CrossFit Open so I’ll give a daily rough breakdown day by day.

Monday – Full body joint warm up; Heavy snatch variation (find heavy power snatch); Hip stability and mobility drills; and Grip intensive Open style Amrap (i.e. 7-minute AMRAP: 7 power snatches (115 lbs), 7 deadlifts, 7 hang power cleans)

Tuesday – 2.5 hours of core work, movement practice and mobility

Wednesday – Full body joint warm up; Heavy jerk variation (find heavy single); Pressing complex, (strict press 5×5); Strict pull up complex (4 strict weighted pull ups to 10 strict pull ups x 4 sets); and Maximal anaerobic power capacity intervals (i.e. 14 seconds assault bike at 100% effort, rest till fully recovered repeat for 10 intervals)

Friday – Full body joint warm up; Gymnastic endurance development (muscle ups, 5 EMOM for 7 minutes); and Anaerobic endurance metcon (i.e. 3 rounds of 1 minute max calories Row, 1 minute max reps burpees, 1 minute max chest-to-bar, rest 1 minute, 1 minute max calories Airdyne, 1 minute toes-to-bar, 1 min kipping handstand push-ups, rest 2 minutes)

Saturday – Full body joint warm up; Core and gymnastic skill training (i.e. planks, Turkish get ups, handstand walks for time, ghdsu, etc.); and Anaerobic maximal power to anaerobic power endurance training (i.e. 2 rounds of Airdyne 40 Seconds @ 100%, rest 20 seconds, row 2,000 meters at 7:55 pace, rest 15 minutes)

MMG: That is amazing and overwhelming at the same time. Thanks for being so detailed with us. So to prod a bit more, how does diet and nutrition factor into all your training?

CHRISTOPHERSON: These are overall fairly important factors to me, just for purposes of recovery and performance I think they are critical.

For the most part I eat in a Paleo based style but with more carbs than most people would get eating Paleo.

So typically this would be large servings of sweet potatoes. As for specifics, I’ve worked with people to dial in a range that seems to work very well for me.

In the future I’ll be looking into blood work to actually determine where should I be.

I don’t really follow any specific rules though but I do weigh and measure pretty much everything I eat regularly.

MMG: Are there any other factors are important to you in your overall wellness?

CHRISTOPHERSON: I enjoy reading fairly often and also enjoy puzzles for simple mental pleasures.

I once read that the Greeks believed that you had to spend time building strength in the body and mind to be able to conquer the passions of the heart.

Those strengths can help you control the passions (music, art, love, etc.) of life and if you don’t facilitate strength then your passions will conquer you.

MMG: Speaking of being well read, in conversation you quickly reveal that you have a great depth of knowledge about the human body and movement and mobility. You are very much a scholar athlete. Why do you constantly like to read and learn?

CHRISTOPHERSON: I’ve learned more about the human body in reading about math, philosophy, art and classical literature than I have from any anatomy book.

Our intellect is one of the few things we have the chance to carry with us longer than most things. It’s one of the few things that we can innately find constant value in and constant use.

MMG: This is a loaded question but since it seems to be at the heart of the 60-day challenge at the gym, how do you define strong?

CHRISTOPHERSON: Strong is such a subjective word and completely relative to the subject matter. So I’ll just say that the strength I appreciate the most is the strength of duty.

I’d personally define duty as having the capacity to do what you need to do when it needs to be done regardless of personal desire or concern of self.

MMG: What is your favorite lift, movement or WOD?

CHRISTOPHERSON: As my training has changed over time I’ve definitely found strength in movements that I wouldn’t have expected.

Normally a deadlift workout usually goes well for me. Lately though thrusters and burpees have definitely become much more enjoyable and maintainable than they ever have before.

MMG: Finally, as is tradition, I ask everyone when I conclude an interview, what is your goat?

CHRISTOPHERSON: Any combination of high cycle time barbell movements with grip intensive gymnastic movements.

I have a hang condition called dupuytren’s contracture, which makes these kind of tasks very difficult to do without eliciting fairly high amounts of pain.

Interview w/ Danny Yeager

I met Danny Yeager, owner and coach at CrossFit Kingfield, just about a year ago. I was trying out various gyms and doing my own thing at Los Campeones and did a free class at Kingfield.

As we spoke afterwards, I was struck by his sincere passion for helping people achieve a level of fitness that is sustainable to keep them healthy and moving throughout their life.

Danny is known for his lion’s mane of hair and love for Star Wars, but in this interview we get to discuss his philosophy about coaching and wellness.

MMG: When did you start doing CrossFit? What about it sustains your interest and enjoyment?

YEAGER: I found CrossFit I think around the summer of 2005. I was working out at the Colorado Athletic Club and a guy I knew there said he was doing this thing called CrossFit.

He was opening CrossFit Denver soon and wanted to know if I wanted to join him. His workout was wall balls and ring dips and I thought to myself, “That’s stupid. I know that’s not going to make my biceps bigger.”

So I went back to curling because I wanted bigger arms. Fast forward 11 years and look where I am.

Doing CrossFit. For me I always remember that story and think back on it frequently because it reminds me that if my first reaction to something (which it generally is) is negative or dismissive, it would behoove me to take some time figuring out exactly why I think something is stupid, and see if I can have an open mind about something.

When you ask me what sustains my interest this is a bit of a loaded answer. First I am a coach. That is what I love to do.

I am passionate about helping people develop a lifestyle that will help them live and move better.

Currently I have spent the last 18 months creating/collaborating/developing a space in which people can pursue health and fitness.

It has been an arduous process but 100% worth it. So to answer your question, this is what drives me and motivates me everyday.

However, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was some intrinsic personal motivation as well. CrossFit for me is very therapeutic.

I enjoy pain. It is inevitable when it comes to CrossFit, but I truly believe it is how we deal with that pain that shapes who we are as human beings.

MMG: What motivated you to become a coach?

YEAGER: The people I work with motivate me. I am not motivated in watching other people workout because I believe we can all get to a place of greatness if we work hard enough and sacrifice enough.

My true heroes are the people who show up at Kingfield even after a hard day and bring light and enjoyment to everyone around them. And to be clear, that doesn’t mean being super fluffy and giddy just because.

Fuck that. If you have had a hard day and just want to workout with a few familiar faces, but are still capable of encouraging people around you with a silent fist bump and nod of recognition, you are a badass in my book.

MMG: What has been a personal highlight for you as coach over the years?

YEAGER: Hmm. I can’t name a singular moment. I can say that the relationship I have developed with everyone here as well as the overall growth of Kingfield as a community has been a huge highlight for me.

Watching our coaches grow up and create their own identities within our gym has been very satisfying. I have always said that no one remembers who won regionals last year, but they will remember if you are an asshole or not.

MMG: When did you decide to make the leap and own your own gym? What was the deciding factor?

YEAGER: Man that was a while ago. I remember staring to write a business plan in early 2011. I knew I wanted to create a place where people actually got fit and didn’t have to pay upwards of $400 a month to workout regularly. I tried to open an affiliate at the Calhoun Beach Club where Willis and I worked.

They decided it was not a good idea so Willis and I decided to go out on our own. I remember coming home one day in the summer of 2011 and Amanda decided she was going to give her two weeks notice.

It was at that point I thought to myself, “Holy shit. I guess I better stop messing around and actually do this because otherwise we will be on the Top Ramen and Party Pizza diet real soon!”

MMG: What is the tone and atmosphere that you are working to create among the coaches and athletes at Kingfield?

YEAGER: Great question. I answered this question long before we affiliated. I knew that I wanted coaches who were top notch at what they do, but also were not afraid to make mistakes. That part was crucial.

If someone is terrified of failing, they won’t make it. You have to be willing to ask for help when needed, seek answers when they are not readily available, but also believe in yourself enough to grow and try new things.

The greatest line I ever heard from a coach was from Mike Burgner when he said, “I wake up everyday with the same mindset. In the morning I say to myself, if I’m not ready, at the age of 65, to change everything I know about coaching for a better and more efficient way of teaching my athletes, then I should no longer be a coach.”

That has always resonated with me because it stresses the true importance of coaching – the athlete.

So I have taken that into the tone of the gym and the community. At Kingfield I would say that we are not interested in claiming the accomplishments of others. When you succeed, that success is yours because you did it.

The process or journey in which you took to get there is yours. We don’t give a shit about accolades.

As coaches we know that if we continue to do what we do, provide an inclusive community in which we only ask that you show up, we will accomplish more than we ever thought we could. And it will happen because we did it together.

MMG: Who do you look towards for coaching and mentorship?

YEAGER: I look for people who challenge me. My wife does this everyday, but our marriage is something that requires me to constantly work on improving myself and how I communicate.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say that I think I’m pretty awesome. I would say that I use to think that success was found by forcing your ideals, opinions or methods on others, while at the same time making it known we are better than others.

Well low and behold, I have learned the hard way that living with that kind of mentality doesn’t lend itself to any sort of calm or peace.

So my mentors are people who lead by example. They are vocal for sure, but also patient. As I get older I realize that you can’t be a complete asshole all the time.

People are not attracted to that. So I need people in my life that are willing to understand that at times I need to think I’m right, but will eventually realize there is probably an easier, softer way. Amanda always says more is not better. Better is better.

MMG: What’s the best piece of advice you have received as an athlete?

YEAGER: Know your limits and accept them. Because when you know what you are not capable of, you know exactly what you are capable of. That allows for growth and consistency, which is the true secret to training – consistent, slow growth.

MMG: What does a typical week of training look like for you?

YEAGER: My weeks are pretty crazy as to be expected. I don’t have a specific set number of workouts I have to hit each week. I have a coach who does my programming, and he has a general rule that I should workout when my body is ready too. Typically that is anywhere from 5­8 sessions a week.

In terms of type of workouts, I have been spending the better part of the last year working on my imbalances.

I have been carrying heavy things a lot more, spending time on quality movement rather than quantity, and working on being more well rounded in my training.

MMG: How does diet and nutrition factor into all your training? Do you follow any plans or have any rules that you follow in terms of eating and drinking?

YEAGER: Well recently I have had a bit of a scattered schedule, but I always train 5 days a week, probably 7­ to 9 sessions per week.

I have a coach who programs for me, but I also add some things I want to do or work on. In terms of eating and drinking, I feel like it is important to spend around 8 months a year on a plan and 4 months trying to cut yourself some slack.

Next week I start working with Emily, so I am sure that will be more structured than my current plan.

MMG: What other factors are important to you in your overall physical and mental wellness?

YEAGER: I always try and stress to people that we are just working out. CrossFit does not define who I am. If CrossFit were to go away tomorrow, I would still know at my core who I am as a person and a man.

MMG: You often talk about the importance of CrossFit for its focus on functional fitness and how it helps us move outside the gym.

Earlier this year you went on what looked like an amazing trip with Amanda to Hawaii. How did your time in the gym enhance your trip?

YEAGER: It was very useful. There wasn’t anything I didn’t feel like I couldn’t do. More than anything, we develop a lifestyle in the gym, and if anyone has gone on vacation since starting at Kingfield, they realize that their decisions day to day are influenced by what they want to accomplish in the gym. I would say that is what I notice enhanced our trip the most.

MMG: Amanda is not only your wife, but also your workout partner and coworker. How has that relationship contributed to your success as a coach and business owner?

YEAGER: Well, we communicate very well with one another. I try and tell her that I’m not always wrong, but most of the time she is right.

Damnit! But in all reality we are very lucky to be able to see each other as much as we do. Truthfully we don’t get much time together ever. We are usually surrounded by people or have very busy days.

So we make sure to do things like walk the dog together, go out and eat, or just spend time not thinking about power cleans.

MMG: I usually don’t do this, but I appreciate your “nerd” spirit and wanted to do a short rapid fire. Who is your favorite superhero?

YEAGER: Raphael, ­red Ninja Turtle.

MMG: Name one superhero power that you wish you had.

YEAGER: I wouldn’t mind being Captain America.

MMG: DC or Marvel?

YEAGER: Marvel.

MMG: Favorite Star Wars character?

YEAGER: Yoda.

MMG: Who shot first – Han Solo or Greedo?

YEAGER: Han Solo.

MMG: Favorite video game?

YEAGER: Nintendo ­- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2; Super Nintendo – ­ NBA Jam; Nintendo 64 ­- Tony Hawk/Wayne Gretzky NHL Ice/Goldeneye/Diddy Kong Racing; PS2 ­- Tony Hawk 4/Killzone; and PS3 -­ Uncharted 2.

MMG: Nintendo or Playstation?

YEAGER: Nintendo.

MMG: Super Mario Brothers or Legend of Zelda?

YEAGER: Super Mario Brothers.

MMG: Favorite action movie?

YEAGER: Bad Boys 2.

MMG: Van Damme or Segal?

YEAGER: Van Damme,­ especially in Street Fighter. He makes everyone want to follow him and go up river. YouTube if you don’t know. You’re welcome.

MMG: How do you define strong?

YEAGER: I have said this many times before, but strong to me is how you show up. It is how you approach things mentally.

Can use use failure to motivate you, or do you let it keep you down? Strong is the ability to do something that you don’t think you can do, or you don’t want to do, but you show up anyway and give it hell.

MMG: What is your favorite lift, movement or WOD?

YEAGER: Handstand push ups and power cleans.

MMG: Finally, what is your goat?

YEAGER: My lungs. If I am stopping or slowing down in a workout it is usually because I can’t breathe.

Interview with Jen Sinkler

Bard Madvig, founder of The Press, recently wrote, “Women’s lifting has over tripled and in general our events are becoming massive in size.

Powerlifting has returned with a vengeance.” Leading the charge here in the Twin Cities is Jen Sinkler, a longtime fitness writer and personal trainer based in Minneapolis working out of The Movement Minneapolis.

In anticipation of her upcoming meet on February 21st, we discuss why lifting is fun, her competitive itch and the importance of stick-with-itude.

MMG: How did you get started in powerlifting?

SINKLER: I’ve always been an advocate for women lifting heavy weights — it does such great things for confidence and body image — and I’ve been lifting heavy myself since 2001.

My primary focus was on training for rugby, though, and it just never occurred to me to pursue lifting as a competitive sport.

Then, last spring, a few members of the coaching team at The Movement Minneapolis started discussing potential goals, both for ourselves and our members, and we decided to enter a team into a local powerlifting meet, if there was enough interest. There was definitely enough interest.

We brought a total of seven women from the gym to the Twin Cities Open in August, and the total number of women entered in that meet set a record as the most women entered in a powerlifting meet in Minnesota — or at least since the 80s, according to the meet director.

I’ ve entered a meet every two months since then, and the Minnesota State and Midwest Open on February 21st this month will be my fourth one.

I took second place in my first meet, and first place in the second two, and have set a few Minnesota state records for my weight class in the process (with a squat of 309 pounds, a deadlift of 364 pounds, and a total of 832 pounds).

There has been a resurgence of interest in the sport recently, and women are leading the charge. Movement Minneapolis has 13 women and two men entering the Feb. 21 meet alone. It’s very cool to be a part of it.

MMG: What drove you to look beyond the gym and compete?

SINKLER: I’ve been a competitive athlete my entire life, playing four sports in high school and then rugby through college and beyond, and am pretty much always looking for ways to scratch my competitive itch.

A walk to the car can end up a race. The unfortunate case, however, is that most options for competitions — or at least the ones that we hear about the most often — tend to revolve around endurance events, but the reality is, not all of us enjoy endurance events. I am not a distance runner, and I’ve made my peace with that.

I’m trying to get the word out about strength-based competitions. For those of us who don’t want to run whatever-K’s or compete in triathlon or the like, there are other options. Powerlifting, strongman, Olympic lifting, CrossFit and kettlebell sport competitions offer another avenue.

I dabbled in CrossFit competitions and Olympic weightlifting meets, but I would need to devote much more time and energy to improving my technique daily for the latter if I were to pursue that more seriously, and the former might just still require too much endurance for me.

At our gym, we just happen to focus more on the squat and deadlift than the clean, the jerk, and the snatch, so it’s a more natural fit for me right now.

In powerlifting (and many strength contests), lifters are grouped together by weight class, so anyone with a solid grasp of barbell back squatting, bench pressing, and deadlifting is welcome to compete against others who are relatively the same size (and there is a masters’ division for those over 40). The powerlifting community is extremely welcoming to newcomers, so that’s a big draw, as well.

MMG: You competed this past summer at the Twin Cities Open powerlifting meet in Mounds View. Can you tell us about that experience?

SINKLER: This was my very first powerlifting meet, so I felt all the things you feel on game day: anticipation, excitement, and a little nervous. I wrote a lengthy recap of that meet called “How to Lose” for my website.

The short story is that came in second, right after my very good friend and longtime competitor in a variety of endeavors, Jenn Halvorson.

It came down to the very last lift of the competition. I could have won, but I had to make a deadlift that was still a little out of my league at that time, and I missed it by a hair.

I love the following quote from Tim Krabbé’s book The Rider: “Being a good loser is a despicable evasion, an insult to the sporting spirit.” Don’t get me wrong: I don’t throw tantrums, I’m not nasty to my opponents and I don’t blame the referees or judges for outcomes.

That is, I’m not a baby. But I do believe in doing your damnedest to win, both in the build-up to competition and on game day.

Losing sticks with me for a good, long time. But if you must lose, I believe there is a useful way to do it. A way that will make you better. And that’s immediately what I started plotting to do after that first meet.

I love game day — no matter the competition — and the whole process of sport. The tactical decision-making, the mindset, the preparation.

It’s a part of my personality. So, I trained hard, came back and got that deadlift the next time — and I beat Jenn (AKA “Halvo”) in our rematch. We are such friendly competitors — we played rugby together in college — but having a target makes the whole thing so much more entertaining.

I know she’s gunning hard for me again on Feb. 21, and she’s been hitting personal records (PR’s) in her training left and right. It should be interesting.

MMG: How do you physically and mentally prepare the day of a major meet like that?

SINKLER: Powerlifting meets are an all-day event. Physically, I’ve had to cut a few pounds to make sure I qualified for the 148-pound weight class before meets, so I cut carbs in the weeks before the meet (or sometimes the week of, if I wait too long!) and dramatically increase water intake until the night before weigh-in.

Then you cut off water intake about 12 hours before weigh-in and whooooosh! You keep shedding fluids.

The weight classes just got rejiggered, though, and I had the choice to compete in the 158-pound class or the 138-pound class.

I’m well within the former (I walk around at about 150), but the latter would have been a stretch to get to. So I won’t have to cut before the next meet, which is nice. If you cut too much, too fast, you can really affect your strength levels the day of competition.

After weigh-in, which occurs the morning of the meet in the federation I lift in most often, USA Powerlifting, I eat the fastest-processing carbs I can get my hands on. Seriously, that post-weigh-in donut is heaven.

Add to that smorgasbord plenty of drinkable carbs, because the goal is to rehydrate as quickly as possible so your performance is not adversely affected. I bring a shopping bag full of treats and liquids and go to town.

Mentally, the vast majority of prep is done before I walk in the door to check in the day of the meet: I like to get the OK on my lifting equipment at gear check the night before (singlets, belt, socks, shoes, shirts, and wrist wraps all need to be cleared by the judges before the meet). I pack up my food the night before, too.

Probably the most important thing I do the day before is plot out the possibilities for each my attempts for each lifts, based on whether my first attempt went well, and what kind of jumps I think I can make.

I jot down options for if it’s feeling easy and if it’s feeling hard.
Being prepared ahead of time allows me to keep a clear head on game day and focus on what needs to be done the day of the meet: lift the weight.

It also allows me to focus on supporting my teammates and fellow Movement Minneapolis members. Being part of Team Green is a big part of what makes competing fun.

MMG: What keeps you interested and motivated to keep lifting?

SINKLER: Community is my biggest driver, to be honest. I love lifting as a social activity. I’ve essentially replaced happy hours and the like with something that benefits the health of everyone involved.

It’s really fun to lift with my group of smart, hilarious, independent friends. We make a point of getting together three times a week to lift.

I also firmly believe that strong makes your whole life better — both bodily and mentally, emotionally.

Physical strength has a way of bleeding into the rest of your life and there is nothing better than feeling capable of handling whatever tasks comes your way. That is motivation enough to keep going.

MMG: Is there a community in the Twin Cities of people involved with powerlifting? Was it easy to get involved with or something you had to seek out on your own?

SINKLER: The powerlifting community in the Twin Cities is tremendously supportive and encouraging.

The old guard, who have been powerlifting forever and who organize the many meets in Minnesota, really bend over backwards to explain the rules and make newcomers feel welcome. Those are the selfless people who want to see their sport grow, who see and really understand the big picture.

All I had to do was pick a meet and enter it, then follow the instructions the organizers provided. The resources exist to figure out what you need, and further questions are welcomed on pages like Minnesota Power Pages, as well as a private group by the same name for powerlifters in this state.

There are many powerlifting federations, but I mostly lift in USA Powerlifting (USAPL) because it’s drug tested, which is nice if you don’t want to compete against athletes on PEDs.

MMG: For many, both men and women, when they want to focus on their health and fitness they jump on a treadmill or an elliptical. Why would you recommend someone incorporate weight lifting into their routine?

SINKLER: Traditional cardio, like running on a treadmill or an elliptical, has its place and it’s an easy entry point for someone brand new to exercise.

Stuff like that, which doesn’t need much instruction, can serve as a gateway to all the other toys in the gym, like the free weights, especially.

And it’s the weights that really carve out curves, if that’s something you’re interested in. The weights help you achieve the lean and toned look so many people are going for.

That said, the best thing about lifting weights — and I see this all the time, especially with women — is that soon enough, their goals become more performance based (i.e., I want to be able to deadlift my bodyweight, or double my bodyweight), which is more intrinsically motivating than aesthetic goals can be over the long term.

Getting strong is fun. Lifting weights is fun, and can boost your confidence and improve your whole life. Try it. Invest in some good coaching, join a gym with a strength bias, and try it. You’ll see.

MMG: What is your favorite lift?

SINKLER: Oh man, that’s like asking a mother which of her kids is her favorite. The back squat is satisfying…and the front squat is, too…the deadlift is a magnificent beast, and highly empowering because of the amount of weight you get to move.

Squat variations such as the Anderson and those with the safety squat bar are their own brand of evil genius.

Pressing overhead is another favorite. And when I do the Olympic lifts, I maintain that you can’t have more fun in the gym than those. You literally get to throw the weight around.

Yeah, so…those are my favorites.

MMG: So that does a normal week of training look like? How many days on? How many days off? And what type of workouts are you doing? Break it down for us.

SINKLER: My lifting buddies and I train powerlifting three days a week, and each day is focused on one of the big three: barbell back squat, barbell bench press, and the deadlift. A short time in the beginning is spent on mobility and muscle activation, which is important to maintain quality of movement.

Then a big chunk of time is spent on one of the main lifts, usually in a straight set (meaning it’s not paired with any other exercise), with the training focus being on intensity, speed, or volume, depending on the day. After that, we include two supersets: pairs of two different movements done back to back.

One will address any weakness in the main lift and the other will either be training a smaller group of muscles involved in the main lift (for instance, barbell bent-over rows will usually be included in a superset on deadlift day).

We also include core-specific training and include lots of rotation and anti-rotation work. My co-coach for our women’s-only class at Movement Minneapolis, Jennifer Vogelgesang Blake, has written our programming before most meets, and she’s very good at it. We’re all still making progress.

Then, because we like to be strong in all the ways, if there is gas left in our tanks we include a short circuit like those pulled from my ebook, Lift Weights Faster, either the same day or on active rest days a couple times a week. Maybe a sprint workout or two, depending on how slick it is outside.

Keeping our conditioning up assists in speedier workout recovery and helps maintain energy levels on competition day.

MMG: How does diet factor into all your training? Do you follow any plans or have any rules that you follow in terms of eating and drinking?

SINKLER: Diet is a huge factor in how you feel and how you look. Probably 80 to 85 percent of the time, I follow the very reasonable guideline that that I would give anyone looking to eat well: Eat mostly whole foods, and even better if those foods are from responsible, humane sources. Eat a little more protein and carbs surrounding your workouts.

Because I want to keep improving, however, I recently started a new nutrition plan from a company called Renaissance Periodization, which specializes in working with strength athletes. So far so good! My energy levels are still high, and my body fat is dropping.

Last year I cut a few pounds for the meets I competed in, only because I was this close to the weight class below me — and being at the top of a weight class definitely has it advantages in terms of how many pounds you’re able to move.

This meant cutting out all sugar and most carbs, and drinking lots and lots of water. This year, the IPL (International Powerlifting Federation) changed the weight classes for men and women and what this means is that I no longer have to cut weight.

And for what it’s worth, for women looking to compete in their first meet, I tell them in no uncertain terms not to worry about cutting weight. The goal is to have fun and set your own personal bests.

MMG: What’s the best piece of advice you have received in terms of your training?

SINKLER: My favorite coaches over the years echo the same refrain: There is no one way to get fit, to get strong. Sure, there may be methods that are more effective than others in an ideal world, but enjoyment matters above all.

If you try to make yourself do something you hate, you won’t be consistent, and it’s the stick-with-itude that ends up mattering most in fitness.

MMG: And what’s your best advice for someone who is just starting out with a lifting program?

SINKLER: Be consistent and pay attention. Are you getting results? Are you staying healthy or are you consistently sore or injured? And again, not to be discounted, are you enjoying yourself?

Give yourself some time to discover the answers to these questions and if any of them end up to be no, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.

And if you need to do that, my advice is this: Look around at who’s doing what you want to be doing, at who is doing it well, and at who is enjoying themselves. And then get your buns in there with them.

MMG: Do you typically train alone or with other people? What is different for you when you have a training partner? Does it help or hinder your workout?

SINKLER: I train with my group of lifting buddies at The Movement Minneapolis. We hold each other accountable. Plus, we genuinely like being with each other, so training time includes lots of laughs, snorts, and banter.

We push each other in a “loving peer-pressure” sort of way. It’s important to us that we bring the best out in each other, so we are better for having trained together.

When I’m traveling, as I do often for fitness seminars and workshops, I have pockets of lifting buddies all over the country (and anymore, all over the world). It’s a pretty great set-up.

MMG: And what has been the biggest lesson you have learned along the way?

SINKLER: I used to lament the abilities that would sneak away when I wasn’t looking (heavy weighted pull-ups, muscle-ups, max Olympic lifts), but I’ve made peace with the fact that you can be best (that you can be) at what you’re concentrating on during that training cycle.

Trying to maintain absolutely all of your strength and skills in all domains at once is a futile prospect.

You can always cycle back to skills you want to pick up again, but it’s more fun to get really good at the thing in right front of you, and pour your energy into that.

MMG: Finally, the name of this site is based on the idea of a “goat” in CrossFit. It is an exercise, lift or movement that you suck at and need to work on. What is your goat?

SINKLER: Ring muscle-ups are probably my biggest goat. I had to work for several months straight to get my first one in 2010, and the ability abandons me again the second I don’t work them diligently.

I keep thinking I need to get back to those. Maybe it’s a project for this summer.

Jen Sinkler talks fitness, food, happy life and general health topics at her website, and writes for a variety of national health magazines.

Earlier this year, she authored Lift Weights Faster, an e-library of over 130 conditioning workouts for fat loss, athleticism, and overall health. Lift Weights Faster 2 will be released March 10.