Photo courtesy of Amy Razoski Photography
We each have certain influences in our fitness journey that give us that defining moment. You read an article, or even a specific phrase or sentence that changes your thought process for the better. After that moment, you do things differently. You think differently. You alter your mind in a positive way and everything starts to change.
For me, that person was Nia Shanks. A couple years ago I read one of Nia’s articles on FigureAthlete.com and shifted my focus from outward to inward. I realized that I was striving for external achievements and my desired look sat at the top of my priorities. Without even knowing it, Nia for the first time gave me the idea that I could be a strong female. Not just in the gym, but in life.
She’s going to read this affirmation right along with you. But it’s true. So many women that grace the pages of magazines help us create this image of ourselves that is purely aesthetic.When your only guide lies within the cover of these pages, you can’t help but make that your goal.
In recent years women like Nia — and now along with Girls Gone Strong — have provided a voice for all women in fitness. Not just those who possess the proper beauty to sit on shelves in the grocer isles. They bring with them the element that has been missing all along. The key that turns the lock, which has for so long kept many women out of the gym.
The emotional side of wellness.
So much of your success along this ride, whether you want to gain amazing strength, fit into a comfortable clothing size, or improve health and longevity, weighs heavy on your emotions. Most men can easily tune this part out. They set goals, they reach them. But women constantly face that reflection of guilt, self-doubt, and negative self-image. It bears a heavy burden that only another woman can understand.
That is why I think Nia’s new product Life Like a Girl is a crucial step in the right direction for women’s fitness. I don’t promote many products on this site. In fact, I think Nia’s Beautiful Badass was my last promotion.
I believe in her that much. And my largest reason is that she believes in you.
Rather than reviewing the product for you, I decided to ask Nia a few questions about Lift Like a Girl. I hope that in answering them, you all see why she has been such an outstanding influence in my life. I know that she has been for many of you as well.
Kellie: Â Thanks for taking the time to interview about your new program. You’ve been in the fitness industry for a long time. Recently we’ve seen a lot of growth for women in fitness (both the professionals and the trainees) and I think it’s really exciting. What do you feel has been lacking in the past and how do you want to help change this?
Oh, wow. Thatâ€™s a very loaded question!
One thing in particular that stands out is this notion that every woman has to â€œdo thisâ€ to get the results sheâ€™s after. Thereâ€™s been this increasing mentality that â€œif you donâ€™t do it this way, then itâ€™s wrong.â€ Thatâ€™s frustrating because no two women are the same, and therefore no two women will enjoy, or benefit from, the same workout routine or nutrition regimen.
Things in life arenâ€™t one-size-fits all, especially when it comes to working out and eating. Yes, there most certain are basic principles that are practically universal, but the specifics are up to the individualsâ€™ personality and lifestyle.
For example, with working out: one woman may prefer to focus on getting crazy strong with basic barbell exercises. Another may prefer training primarily with bodyweight. While theyâ€™re both training hard and improving their performance (which is whatâ€™s most important) theyâ€™re doing so in a way that works for them.
Kellie: I agree with you whole-heartedly, Nia. Â I think that is the largest struggle for women. Understanding that we are not supposed to fit into this one-size-fits-none mold. Last year you launched Beautiful Badass. What makes Lift Like a Girl different?
There are several differences. First, Beautiful Badass is an ebook with information you can digest in one sitting. The Lift Like a Girl Guide is a five-part video series with over 2.5 hours of content. Second, Beautiful Badass has 19 training programs that are pretty much done-for-you. I do provide a list of exercise substitutions so people can swap out exercises if necessary based on equipment availability, due to any mobility issues they may have, and preferences.
The Lift Like a Girl Guide, as Tony Gentilcore called it, is my opus. It includes much of what Iâ€™ve learned through my past 10 years of being involved in the fitness world. Itâ€™s split into three main sections â€“ Lift, Eat, and Think Like a Girl.
In Lift Like a Girl I discuss topics such as the best exercises (bodyweight and free-weight), why you shouldnâ€™t train for fatigue, repetition ranges, training volume, deloading, the three types of cardio, information and training templates for beginner to advanced trainees, and I include several training templates along with some other useful stuff. Basically, the Lift Like a Girl Guide gives YOU the tools and information to create your own workouts based on your experience level, available time to workout and equipment, any physical limitations, personal goals and preferences.
And in Eat Like a Girl (the simple, no nonsense guide for stress-free eating) I cover the basic, flexible guidelines that you tailor to fit your lifestyle and preferences. I also discuss meal frequency, cheat meals, overeating at night, and other helpful stuff.
And, finally, the last portion is Think Like a Girl. This is, what I call, â€œmental strength trainingâ€, and itâ€™s an area that I believe is neglected when it comes to making lasting changes to your health and physique. The video includes discussion about weighing on the scale, striving for perfection, avoiding self-punishment, and other Think Like a Girl components.
To sum it up, the LLAG Guide will show you how to Lift Like a Girl and look absolutely awesome with simple, no nonsense strength training and nutrition information. The Guide gives YOU the power and control to create workout programs and eating patterns that work for YOU. Youâ€™ll get all the tools you need to design customized training programs based on your experience level, personal goals, equipment, and preferences.
Kellie: I love the concept of this program. It’s good to learn that addressing our emotions will help us along our journey. Who do you think will benefit from Lift Like a Girl?
Anyone who wants to take control over their workouts and nutrition habits, from beginner to advanced trainees, can benefit. This is truly a guide for people who want maximum results through workouts and eating habits that fit into their lifestyle and preferences. Furthermore, The Guide is incredibly beneficial for people whoâ€™ve been overcomplicating working out and eating right; those who constantly stress out over food and revolve their life around the gym.
For people who just want to achieve their physique and performance goals in the least amount of dedicated training time and while keeping everything as stress-free as possible, this is for them.
Kellie: I love that you developed this with every woman in mind. What are some of the bonus featured offered with this program?
I offer an Upgrade option with five strength-training programs. Some of them are a 14 Week Program to Look Absolutely awesome, a Dumbbell and Bodyweight Program (great for people who train at home, or â€œbeat-upâ€ lifters who donâ€™t tolerate barbell exercises too well), and a 19 Week Get Strong! Program.
Kellie: That sounds perfect. It’s nice to have the option of getting pre-designed programs as well. What’s in store for you in the near future?Â
Iâ€™ve got all sorts of exciting things planned. Iâ€™ll continue to provide awesome content on my website and Girls Gone Strong has some incredible things in the works, too. My goal is to reach and help as many women as possible so they can discover simple, no nonsense ways to achieve their goals, and Iâ€™ll do whatever is necessary to achieve it. Beyond that, Iâ€™ll keep traveling, eating great food, ski-boarding whenever possible, and enjoying life.
I can’t wait to see what Nia comes up with in the next coming months. If you are interested in learning more about Lift Like a Girl, or would like to make a purchase, youÂ can find it here.Â
(all links in this post are affiliate links).