March 7 was the Washington State Powerlifting Championship. I once again set state records (broke my own, you may pat me on the back) and American record. But, I have yet to see this posted so I’m not sure it’s legit. Any way next meet June 27 in Seattle somewhere….

I left my job with a neat little one on one studio in Kirkland. I left in December for a job as a trainer in a not so little place called the Redmond Athletic Club. Well, I have given my notice there and am going all out and doing something that could be scary if I think about it too much: Being and independent trainer.  Why how scary can this be? Lots, lots. I have to learn to market and sell myself. I have even established yet another wp page: This is my “business” page. Time to take the plunge into small business ownership. YIKES!

When I first started out in the fitness industry I worked for a club in Ballard Washington. At the time it was called Olympic Raquet and Health Club. It was a higher end facility with a pool, three exercise floors, three raquetball courts, a ball room that was used for group exercise classes, and some pretty shady characters. I worked as a fitness floor “specialist.” In those days sales staff sold memberships and personal training as we know it now did not exist.

This was also a time when corporate wellness raised its little head. The wellness model was a response to the high rates of cardiovascular disease. Companies that provided corporate wellness used the medical model: Physical checkups combined with blood chemistry profiles. Once the health status of a patient was established a drug was prescribed and the patient was told to get “some exercise.” This is where personal trainers came in.

After three years at the Olympic Health Club I was recruited to work for a “Wellness” company. This company was cutting edge because it was run by a physician, a physical therapist, and had a bio-feedback / stress management team, an exercise physiologist, and two exercise kinesiologists. I was the lone theater major with a background in working out. But, my skill was in the field of practical application of exercise theory.

I competed as a bodybuilder while working with these two companies and then got out of the industry. I raised some kids and worked as an independent trainer. I quite training to go back to school full time, got my BS in Ex. Science & Wellness, and landed a job. I worked in private one on one studio for 4 years. Left there at the end of 2008 and….

Now I have come full circle: I am working in a health club facility, selling personal training packages and training the clients. Personal training is now a “revenue center” with trainers trying to become successful as small business developers within the confines of a club. Unlike a true business owner the trainers get paid a tiny commission on the package and a  small hourly wage to train the client. This arrangement can become unrewarding once you figure out how to market and sell. You realize that you don’t really need the club.

This is why studios are becoming popular.

Stay tuned for part 2 ….

I had competed in a powerlifting contest on October 18, 2008. The results are finally posted and yours truly is now a Washington State record holder. Once you click on this link go to the bottom of the page and click on “M3″ and scroll down to 123 pounds and there I am. Then click on “M1″ and scroll down to 123 pounds and see one of my training partners Laurie Lamp. Then click on “M4″ and check out the 114 AND 123 pound class. These records are held by Ita Pantilat who also trains with Laurie and I.

My next meet is March 7.


On Oct. 18, I participated in a competition. But first, I must digress……..

Once upon a time, about one year ago, I finally began training for bench press and deadlift competitions. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what this is. ) Being a “powerlifter” means belonging to a subculture. I have learned that I was not a “powerlifter” in the truest sense of the activity. I belonged to an even smaller sub set: Benchers and Deadlifters. (In addition there are not nearly as many women in these subsets as men. AND there are not many women who weigh 123 pounds or less.) At any rate I was doing just fine lifting my little poundages and improving bit by bit. (Now here’s another subset: I lift without the benefit of wearing special shirts and/or suits that can help increase poundages.) In August after my last meet I was told that a different organization was sponsoring a meet in October. I looked at the entry and saw that it would cost 130 dollars to enter two lifts. It was $80.00 is I were to enter as a “powerlifter.” Hmmmm….

Pulling out my handidandi calculator I would save $50.00 if I entered the powerlifting category. This ment that each squat lift would realize $16.67 in savings. With the economy bail out not coming into effect for several months I figured I better save some money. The pressure was on.

I get to the meet and find out that I am first up. The order is determined by opening lift weights. Mine was very low and I had to make each lift. I had not squated in competition before and there are some specific rules to complete the squat correctly. And there is an audience. (Albeit, pretty small but…. Oh, my goid!!!) I did just fine in all my squat attempts and actually set a new personal best. I missed my third bench attempt and hit all the deadlift attempts and set a new personal best in the deadlift. There was one woman lifting without gear who was 4 days out from her fourth chemo tratment and she did very well. (She lifted far more than I did in the squat and deadlift.) There was a man who had had a hip replacement who also completed his deadlifts.

The meet was in the Columbia City area of Seattle in an old theater behind the library. The day was a perfect fall day; sunny with light clouds. Inside there was also a light cloud … of chalk dust. My coach of the day, Laurie Lamp, was a great help to me and she had a good time watching and helping me out. She also made sure that my little lifts were going into the USAPL records. As I have said there aren’t many 123 pound women lifting without gear (”raw”) and especially in my age group. So, there I am a state record holder as a member of a subset of a subset of a subset.

I have my moments….

END NOTE: The posting of the meet results could take two months.


(This post was started on July 12 but it took me until Aug.16 to finally finish it.)

Today is Saturday and instead of working out I went to a powerlifting meet in Seattle. It was held in a Seattle YMCA on 23rd and S. Olive. The gym was hot and with all those bodies moving heavy weight it was a bit humid also. The floor was completely covered in blue tarp. The tarp was duct taped down. This lead me to think that the floor was a nice basketball wood floor and that the organizer had had past experience with how messy a floor can get with all the food and drinks, chalk and talc powder that follows power lifters around.

I went to see three women lift, Laurie, Rachele, and Ita. Laurie (42) is a firefighter and lifts to stay in shape for her job. Rachele (39) lifts because she’s competitive and slightly crazy. Ita (56) is a nurse who is just used to working hard and enjoys doing her best.

The atmosphere at a powerlifting meet is cooperative and everyone is having fun. Unlike a bodybuilding contest (I used to compete in those) everyone is helpful. Powerlifting is not a glamorous sport and body shape is not important. There really isn’t any one to compete with because of all the classes. If you are in the 123 pound class you might be the only one in your age group. Weight and age classes are not announced and lifters go in order of gender and starting lift poundages. The lower poundages go first.

In this meet there were three lifts; Squat, Bench, and Deadlift (in that order). Everything is in kilograms and this means doing some fast math to get poundages. Sixty kilos does not sound like much but it is 132 pounds. The women go first with the Squat as the first lift. The order of my three co-gym rats was; Laurie, Rachele, Ita. Respectively their final lifts; Laurie and Rachele, 105 kg (231 lbs) and 120 kg (264 lbs) for Ita. In the Bench: 85kg (187 lbs), 90 kg (198 lbs) and 92.5 kg (203.5 lbs). In the Deadlift: 107.5 kg (236.5 lbs), 135 kg (297 lbs) and 142.5 kg (313.5 lbs).

Note: Ita was not feeling on top of her form, so who knows what she would have done if she was feeling well. Ita weighed in at a bit less than 114 lbs. Rachele was in the the 132 class and Laurie was in the 123 class.

Today was the last workout for the week. I performed some light squat work working on stretch reflex. If I can master this action in the squat, deadlift and the bench it will make my lifting soooo much easier. Then I did a few deadlift moves using the smaller 25 pound plates. This makes the bar sit lower and forces more glute activation and (of course) more stretch reflex. Then I performed some wide stance squats on the smith machine. All the weights were light and not too taxing. Then I did my little 30 min cardio deal.

Yesterday, was a bench day. I tried to get the stretch reflex going on this move also. My problem here is that I kept resting the bar on my chest and I am actually only to barely touch. This causes the muscles to stay tight and since there is a requirement that you wait until given the signal to “press” there is a risk of dissipating the stretch energy if you rest the bar on the chest. If this happens then you begin moving the bar from a dead stop and this makes it harder to get the bar moving with any speed. The other problem that I have is that I tend to drop my elbows down prior to pressing. (This might be in an effort to re-create the stretch reflex but it only makes the move more difficult.) After the meet on Aug 2 I will need to work on bench technique, the stretch reflex, and hopefully this will begin to move my weight numbers up.

Saturday the 26th was a squat/deadlift day. I used a 3-5 rep range and worked my way to 135×3. Then some Zerker squats 3×6reps, a goodmorning with 20 pounds on the bar 3×8. I decided that I needed to hit some front shoulders raises 10 pounds only for 3×12. Then my good ol 30 mins of cardio. I got to watch “Sahara” and then I went into the pool and floated around. And ended with the whirlpool. ( I was trying to release a tight leavator on the right. It did release a bit but not as much as I wanted.

I think that I will float around in the pool and the whirlpool again on Wednesday. Then play some golf (for “cardio”) and then be a slug for Thursday and Friday. I’ll drive down to Olympia on Friday for the Saturday meet. Fortunately everyone I know are lifting in the open class and will be done and able to help me when my class benches beginning at 9AM. (They are lifting in the “open class” and I am in the “masters.” They all want to qualify for something else and set records. I just want to survive.)


Scapular retraction: 45×10, 65×10, 75 x 10, 85×10x10

Front pulldown: 85×10, 95×10, 100×10, 105x 8×8x8

Seated row tri narrow grip: 75×10, 90×8x8

Naut. pullover: 60×10x10×10

Db rev curl: 10×12x12×12

db rev wrist curl: 7.5×10x10×10


  • Type: Strength Training
  • Date: 07/15/2008
  • Time: 10:30:00
  • Total Time: 1:00:00.00


  • Type: Walk
  • Date: 07/14/2008
  • Total Time: 1:00:00.00
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Average Pace: 20:00/mile

Gold’s has a movie screen room that you can do cardio in. So, I watched 40 mins of the Ashton Krutcher movie that came out recently. When I saw the previews way back when it looked like a fun brainless movie, but I found it to be a bit too brainless. It is nice that Gold’s has this movie option because then I can see movies for free. I usually see just the last 30 mins or the first 30 mins. Timing is everything.


  • Type: Walk
  • Date: 07/13/2008
  • Time: 12:00:00
  • Total Time: 00:40:00.00
  • Max Pace: 19:21.29/mile
  • Ascent: 4 ft

Activities: Year to Date

Hours of Activity
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