Steeven Smith April Member of the Month at The Strength Collective

Steeven is a 48-year-old Grocery Stock Clerk who is retired from the Army.

Q: What got you started working out?
A: One of my friends got me started working out when I was deployed in the military, It was a great way to keep in shape and to make time go by.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: 5 days per week in a typical week.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Bench Press

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: Tru-Mass Chocolate/Peanut Butter shake

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: The most challenging thing about working out to me is just getting to the gym. After work if I don’t get right to the gym, I will lose all drive and motivation to go. So I have my stuff ready, get home, grab and go. If I sit down, game over.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: My Wife, definitely. We have been married for a year now and together for five. She is my rock and my best friend. We are both pushing 50 and I want to stay healthy and be around a long time to spend with her.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Develop and follow a plan. Know your limitations and strengths. And don’t overdo it to the point of injury.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: I like being able to make and follow a workout plan. I couldn’t do that when I started due to the ever-changing schedule of the military. I normally just squeezed in whatever I could, whenever I could.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Staying the course and staying at it all these years.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: I’m working on implementing more cardio into my workout program. I am not a fan of it, but I know it needs to be done.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: Most may not know that I served in the US Army Infantry on active duty for nearly 25 years with 5 combat deployments.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: I love the small gym feeling: where you recognize everyone in there and it never really gets busy to the point where you have to wait on a machine or equipment. The 24hr access is a great perk and of course the dogs.

Josh Swedlund February Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

Josh is 26-years-old and is an avid Olympic lifter.

Q: What got you started working out? A: I started working out at The Strength Collective because I needed a new gym due to all the shutdowns last year. They were the only gym where I felt I had the freedom to train in the style I’m interested in. At The Strength Collective you’ll see me mostly training for the Olympic lifts. I’ve been training in this style since 2018 and I’m addicted. I’ve always trained since I was young whether it be for sport or martial arts but I started Olympic lifting because I thought it was the ultimate test of strength, power, mobility and coordination.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: I work out 3-5 days a week. I always try for 5 but it doesn’t always happen and that’s okay. I’m not part of any official group at The Strength Collective but it has been quite fun recently training alongside Mike (Mav) and Jenna. It’s always just a little bit easier to push yourself when you have good training partners.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Clean and Jerk

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: Any type of chicken and rice.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: In the beginning I think the hardest part about working out is just getting to the gym to start training. Once the initial habit of going to the gym is built I think the hardest part is juggling proper programming, diet and sleep.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: Beyond the physical benefits I think exercise is a great stress reliever and usually helps boost your mood during and after a workout. I feel it’s important to strive for both a healthy body and mind.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Find a workout style that you are TRULY interested in. Whether it be Olympic lifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, powerlifting etc. If you’re actually interested in getting better at it, you will come back for more. It doesn’t really matter which style you choose, they all work as long as you’re consistent. Also for someone who is new, it’s okay to ease into light workouts in the beginning and work on form. You don’t want to exhaust yourself too badly to the point you have to skip workouts right from the start.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: My upper back and shoulder mobility was so awful in the beginning, I couldn’t get close to the proper positions for the Olympic lifts. It took months of mobility work to even begin to feel comfortable with the bar overhead.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: I’m not sure I have any accomplishments that I’m particularly proud of, but getting 315 in the clean and jerk and 225 in the snatch felt like pretty big milestones to reach.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: I’ll continue trying to improve in the classic lifts but I need to increase my leg strength first so I’m starting a new squat program soon.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I can speak some Swedish since I studied abroad there for almost 6 months.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: I think the gym is very well balanced. There’s equipment and weights for everyone regardless of how they choose to exercise. There’s normally always someone working out but the gym is never overcrowded so you get the best of both worlds. Everyone at the gym is generally friendly so you shouldn’t ever feel out of place or afraid to say hello! If you want to workout with me or need help with your Olympic lifts let me know!

Kelly Poyner – January Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

Starting the new year off right by introducing our January MOTM Kelly Poyner. Kelly is a 57-year-old consultant and coach. She trains with us 3 days a week with her sister Melissa.

Q: What got you started working out?
A: The necessity to get truly healthy, be vital, and able to live into my 80’s & 90’s.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out?
A: Three days a week. Currently meeting with our personal trainer.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Deadlifts!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: A Buddha bowl with salad, a protein, and avocado.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: The first step: Making myself show up!

Q: How do you stay motivated to work out consistently?
A: Seeing the changes in my body and seeing some muscle.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about starting or just getting started in the gym?
A: Don’t rethink it – make it happen! You will start loving yourself!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: I was at my weakest in 17 years. Getting through the warm up was tough. I love that I can dead hang longer than 15 seconds and I actually deadlift with a bar and weights now!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: The fact that I have not quit. Getting ready to start my 6th month and feeling stronger every single day!

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: I would like to loose a few more pounds. That said, I am ready to work harder on building and sculpting muscle and getting even stronger.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I believe that energy affects every aspect of our being.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: My trainers Jenna and Katrina. And the fact that they meet you where you are and push you to do your best. Love hearing “well done”!

Denver Willis- November Member of the Month at The Strength Collective

We’re proud to announce this month’s member of the month is Denver Willis! Denver is a 35 year old “Army Dude” and shares our passion of getting people in the community active and engaged. Read more about Denver and his fitness journey below!

Q: What got you started working out?
A: I was the youngest of 4 boys and was constantly picked on by them! So I figured I had the grit part down, and if I was to get bigger, faster and stronger they would leave me alone. It worked.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out?
A: 5-6

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Lat Pulldowns

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: Sushi!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: Finding that perfect atmosphere to work out in! Fortunately, The Strength Collective provides that in the Galesburg area!!

Q: How do you stay motivated to work out consistently?
A: My 4 kids and smokin’ wife! I have the need to want to keep up with all of them!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about starting or just getting started in the gym?
A: Do it! Don’t stop. Consistency is the key when it comes to the gym or fitness in general.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: That would be burning off my COVID excess body weight in less than a month at 35!

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I’m a musician at heart!!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: The members and staff!

Thank you Denver for being a great member of our gym community and for your service to our country!

Leann Schaffnit- October Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

This month’s member of the month is Leann Schaffnit! Leann is a 25 year old teacher and moved to Galesburg a little over a year ago and has loved it since. She loves working out through kickboxing and is a part of groups like Stay at Home Strong and All Ages Strong. She recently finished up her 12 week program with Jenna and it has helped her improve on her relationship with fitness and overall wellness. Learn more about Leann Below!

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I’ve been on a yo-yoing fitness journey for a long time but The Strength Collective has helped me find what works best for me. Kickboxing is so fun and there are so many classes offered that are super accessible for people at all fitness levels.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: Currently 5 days a week! I do kickboxing, Stay at Home Strong, And All Ages Strong! I’m just finishing up my first 12 week program with Jenna and it has been life changing for my relationship with fitness, wellness, and my body.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: I have to pick one? I love kickboxing but my controversial take is that I ACTUALLY LIKE wall sits!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Frozen mango! It feels like ice cream but it’s just mango:)

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Being sore afterwards. Honestly, once you figure out where it fits into your schedule you just don’t let yourself cancel the appointment!

Q: What keeps you motivated to workout regularly?

A: All the little wins! Exercises get easier, I can move my body in new ways, I choose heavier weights, etc.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started at the gym?

A: Stop thinking and just do it. It’s never going to be the “perfect time”. The perfect time is now because it’s on your mind!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started that you can do now?

A: A PROPER PUSHUP, also I can touch my knee to my elbow while doing bird-dogs now which was more exciting than I imagined!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Despite all of the workout successes I mentioned earlier, probably my commitment and consistency with what I eat. Jenna taught me how to count my macros and the best way to eat to still LOVE what you eat as well as keeping up with working towards your goals!

Q: What goals are you working on right now?

A: I’m still working on losing fat (it doesn’t happen overnight) and getting stronger. A big goal of mine is to not need to modify any exercises in my workouts.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I’m a vegetarian and I still hit my protein goals every day!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: I love the community vibe and when I moved to Galesburg a little over a year ago I knew I needed a smaller gym and I could not be happier with the family I’ve built here. I know that I matter here and that there’s always a bunch of people celebrating my goals WITH me!

Thank you for being an awesome member Leann!

Christina Leafgreen- September Member of the Month at The Strength Collective

This month we have our very first “virtual” Member of the Month- Christina Leafgreen! Christina is a 29 year old English teacher who joined us in April for our very first 4 Week Habit Challenge, and continued with Jenna’s 12 Week Limitless Lifestyle online group coaching program after that. She’s been consistently improving every week since then, and has the progress to show for it! Learn more about Christina’s journey below.

Q: What got you started working out?
A: My friend shared the April challenge with me and I wanted to find a way to get in shape during quarantine/the pandemic.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: I usually do 3 workouts a week. I was a part of the Spring into Action group, the 12 week coaching program, and now the Harvest Healthy Habits group.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: I absolutely love kneeling windmills with a dumbbell. I love feeling how I can instantly feel an effect from it. And it’s always challenging.

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I love to have any meat high in protein off of the grill after my workouts.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: The first 2 minutes. I always have a ton of anxiety waiting for the workout to begin. Once I’m done with my spiderman elbow lunges, I’m in the zone and love it!

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: My mental health and my energy levels — both have improved tremendously since I started the first challenge and I love giving back to myself in this way.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Don’t let the fear of what your trainer may have you do tomorrow, next week, or next month. Live in the present and take it one day at a time. Trust the process!!!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: I used to have pretty awful breakdowns at work or at home where I would lose my cool and throw tantrums. I now can take something in and put it on the back burner and not stress about it immediately but think it through. This is the best therapy I’ve ever had!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: I have upper body strength!!! I can help carry things for people now instead of being the one needing help. It’s so empowering.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: My next goal is to cut 15 more pounds, but continue to build and tone my muscle. With school in full swing now, I will prove to myself I can do this while working a stressful job. In the past, I’ve been able to somewhat get in shape over the summer, but I would always lose the motivation once school started. No more excuses here.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: When I do recorded workouts, I turn my speakers up as loud as they will go to I Prevail Pandora station and it is my favorite time of the day. Best feeling ever!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: I am a part of a team that cares about my progress and well-being. I have so much support from this group and I don’t have to worry about judgement. Beyond grateful for Jenna, Katrina, and everyone who has joined me in this journey along the way ♥️

We are so grateful for and proud of you Christina! Keep up the great work!

Amanda Sanders – August 2020 Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

We’re so proud to announce our August Member of the Month is Amanda Sanders! Amanda is one of our OG members, going all the way back to our Anytime Fitness days. She’s a 37 year old Physical Therapist who was an athlete throughout high school and college and lost touch with her fitness journey when she started a family (our moms know that struggle all too well). She has been back on her fitness journey since 2017, which is AWESOME! Read on for some more information about Amanda:

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: 4-5. Limitless Lifestyle. In the past, I have done Barbell and Warrior string Kickboxing, both of which I loved.

Q:What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Lifting heavy – probably a 3-way tie between bench press, push press and squats.

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: That’s a very unfair question. I typically workout at noon, so I get to eat lunch afterwards. But on other days I shake up a PEScience protein shake so I don’t eat ALL the food. My favorite flavor is chocolate cupcake. Recently I’ve also been turned onto Fairlife CorePower chocolate milk which is delicious.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: Making it a priority. I struggle strongly with mom-shame, so it’s hard to put me first. I try to keep the mindset that I’m teaching them to make their fitness a priority too, but on days in which time is short, “mom’s stuff” is usually the first to be sacrificed.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: My People. My Family and my FitFam. I need to be healthy and strong to be a good role model for my daughters and make sure I can be there for them for a long time. My FitFam keeps me accountable; there’s an overflowing wealth of support and encouragement. They expect me to be there, but don’t shame me when I fall.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: The hardest part is showing up. No matter what you do, how many times you fall or struggle, and especially when you don’t want to, Just Show Up.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: Full push-ups, still a challenge to do more than 5 in a row, but I’m still getting stronger every day.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Winning the strongman last summer. That was a lot of fun.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: Right now my focus is getting my nutrition in check. Eating to fuel my body for bigger strength gains and to shed the extra weight.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know.
A: I’m originally from Omaha, NE.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: The people. We are a family of warriors. It may feel strange to have a “stranger” encourage you and push you, but that’s what we do. The minute you walk through the door, you’re no longer a stranger, you’re family.

Thank you for being a ride or die member of our #fitfam Amanda!

Meg Robbins – July 2020 Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

Meg Robbins is a 34 year old Pathway Coordinator and Teacher who first started working out right before high school. She was inspired by a Yoga video that taught her how to accept what she thought were her bodies “flaws” and use them to her advantage. During high school she started weightlifting with her school’s football team and continues to strength train 3-4 days per week.

Here’s what she had to say about her fitness journey:

Q: What got you started working out?
A: My sister bought this Crunch Yoga DVD called “The Joy of Yoga” with Sarah Ivanhoe. I must have been in 7th or 8th grade. I was a terrible runner (or at least I felt like it). I was athletic and played sports but always felt a bit self-conscious because I was always “bigger” than all my friends. I started doing the DVD with her and she kept talking about “acceptance” and accepting the movement and doing what felt good to you. That made me realize that while my strength wasn’t running at the time, I could do other things. So in high school I started weightlifting with the football team instead of regular PE; the coach was very inclusive and always made it an option. I learned a lot, and that paired with yoga made me feel good about myself- that was my first positive experience. I still have that yoga dvd (it’s my 3rd copy), and I still return to it when I feel self-doubt.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: I try to do 5 with 2 days of rest. I like to do at least 3-4 days of strength. Lately, I’ve been doing all the Zoom workouts including Stay at Home Strong and Warrior Strong (since they began with the quarantine). That’s been such a gift because one of my least favorite things about working out at this point in my life is the brain-power it takes to decide what you are going to do. I love being able to know that I am going to class, and I get to follow. I don’t have to use brain power to make decisions- it’s not a decisions. I AM GOING TO CLASS. That takes all the guess-work and emotional decision making out of the equation. I show up. I get it done. I feel better. I keep going with life.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Dead-lifts. Dead-lifts all day! (okay not all day)

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: Chocolate peanut butter smoothie with chocolate protein and almond milk. Or chocolate milk!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: I think a limiting belief I had since childhood was that I wasn’t “good” at working out; I wasn’t “as athletic” as my friends. I think the only way to overcome that is to stop thinking about it. You just do it. You move. You have a body and it’s as good as anyone else’s body. And it will do things if you stop thinking and start doing. Listen to others, watch others. And just let go of those limiting beliefs. To quote “Schitt’s Creek” when Alexis says to David when he is freaking out about his driving test, “Nobody cares.” At first that sounds negative; there are plenty of people in this group that care about your success. But literally no one is dwelling on the limiting beliefs you have about yourself. NO ONE. You are the only person who have those beliefs about you. So, you have to do a lot of work on making your own pleasure and success the priority.

Q: What keeps you motivated to workout regularly?
A: Well, to be honest, right now it’s pretty much the only time I get on my own. And although I love my family, I am a much better person to be around when I’ve had some alone time to get focused and centered. If I don’t do it, I feel like a glass of water that’s been spilled on a table. I’m all over the place. So I look for that mental clarity and emotional well-being along with the strength development that working out brings.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: We all see those stand-out people that we can tell who have taken the time to develop the knowledge about body work- of course Jenna and Katrina- and Megan too- but perhaps there are other people in the group that we have a connection to for a variety of reasons. Find the person that you feel comfortable enough to ask for help. If it’s working with the weights that you want, and that feels like a daunting task in the beginning because in my opinion, it takes a long time to figure out the lifts and exercises that are right for you (and with good form), just have them go with you. Have them walk you through it and start simply. But really, the easiest thing you can do is go to a class. Whether it’s Warrior Strong or Stay at Home Strong or All Ages Strong; there are always modifications for you. And I modify things all the time. You shouldn’t be perfect because with your fitness and strength journey there’s always somewhere to go. So it’s okay to feel intimidated, it’s okay to feel uncoordinated, it’s okay to feel silly… but just do it anyway. Within a week or two, you will not feel that way. You’ll feel better- stronger, and you’ll already be setting new goals.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: Push-ups (correctly). I actually saw on a recorded video that my butt was sticking up- but I couldn’t feel it in my body. Jenna posted a video on correct push-ups and it brought my attention to it. So I started from scratch with a modification. I still modify, but I would say I can do at least 5 (8 on a good day) really well. But also, tell me if my butt is sticking up. It takes a village people.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: This sounds weird because it’s not really an accomplishment- but it is an accomplishment to me- but being will to do the Zoom workouts and be recorded for others to “view”. For a long time there was a lot of shame connected to my body. I would have been horrified to workout with other people, let alone have people see me in that capacity. But I’ll remind you of something I said earlier… something that the wise Alexis from “Schitt’s Creek” has said and that someone needs to needlepoint on a pillow. Nobody. Cares. No one is looking at you in disgust. No one is painstakingly viewing your body to look for each flaw or weakness. In fact, MOST people are like, “Dang! I am so motivated because this person is in front of me doing their thing. So I’m going to do that too.” Also, I am proud of my push-ups.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: Side planks, core/pelvic floor work. I still have a lot of weakness from babies and surgery. But, it’s improving. In fact, yesterday, I could do the side planks without feeling as much discomfort (I mean, there is discomfort, but it’s the good kind). I still put my knee down for about the last 5 seconds of each side, but that is a real improvement for me. When I get back to lifting weights, I’ll start my goals over with dead-lifts and squats. Weighted squats are a weakness so I’d like to focus on figuring out how to improve and lift more (but I’ll have to start slowly!).

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might now know?
A: I am a classically trained singer, and I used to “specialize” in French Art songs and Italian Arias. I never performed in a full-fledged opera, but in a lot of opera workshops and smaller scale productions. One of my “gigs” as a kid was a funeral singer. Which sounds really creepy. But there are a lot of families who would like music at funerals and don’t know where to turn. Don’t worry, I also did some weddings. Now I mostly sing folk music and bluegrass for fun in campfire circles, and on bike rides with my son because he thinks it’s really really funny and it’s hilarious to hear him sing “opera”. He is not quite 2. So you can imagine.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at the Strength Collective? A: Well, the first time I came was for Warrior Strong (in-person). I came because I randomly mentioned that it was a dream of mine to get back into fitness after my second child- but it felt far away and unattainable. So for Christmas, that person got my a $150 gift card, which was SO GENEROUS. So, I kind of had to come. hahaha. BUT, I’m so glad that I did because that was the push I needed to stop thinking so much and get into my body again. Now looking back, I really am like, “Why did I wait? Why did I think that wasn’t important?” Because it seems like one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It does not matter what your history is with working out. You could have Zero history. This is still a place for you. I like that about The Strength Collective.

Brad Clark and Scott Terpening- June Members of the Month at The Strength Collective

At The Strength Collective we’re all about encouraging each other to be our best, so what better to represent that than showcasing two of our most dedicated gym partners as members of the month?

This month we bring you Scott Terpening and Brad Clark as dual members of the month…when they’re always working together, how can you pick just one?

Brad and Scott have been members of The Strength Collective since the very beginning, and they always challenge and push each other to continue getting stronger every day.

Keep reading to learn more about Scott and Brad and their fitness journies:

Q: What got you started working out?
Brad: In High School for sports
Scott: Health & Fitness

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out?
Brad: 4-5
Scott: 3 to 4

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
Brad: Each day i enjoy a challenge of any type. Working out with a partner keeps you motivated each day.
Scott: Squats

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
Brad: Lots of Eggs
Scott: 3 whole eggs/3 egg whites and an avocado

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
Brad: Getting up at 4 a m
Scott: Staying honest to nutrition and Limiting injury

Q: How do you stay motivated to work out consistently?
Brad: I don’t want to get old!!
Scott: I’m old, soooooo…..

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about starting or just getting started in the gym?
Brad: Get instruction so you use proper form and direction on how to structure a workout.
Scott: Mind muscle connection and form are key

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
Brad: That I can still workout and staying motivated.
Scott: PR squat of 345 and PR incline db of 110’s at 51 years of age

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
Brad: I’m much stronger than Terp.
Scott: I’m way stronger than Brad.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?Brad: It has all of the equipment that we need and the owners are great to work with.
Scott: How accommodating and dedicated ownership is!!

Thank you Scott and Brad for being awesome members and continued support! Keep up the great work!

Tara Guidinger- May Member of the Month at The Strength Collective

This has been a very strange time for us all, but so many of our members have proven that you can overcome any obstacle or change in routine if you’re committed to this lifestyle. One of those awesome members is this month’s Member of the Month, Tara Guidinger!

Tara is a 46 year old high school art teacher and has been a member of The Strength Collective for over a year now, starting with Warrior Strong Kickboxing. She’s also participated in Barbell Strong group strength training, Lean & Strong Lunch group training, and the Forever Fat Loss Solution nutrition coaching program. Most recently, Tara participated in our 4 Week Spring into Action Challenge, and has been in the top ten every week!

Continue reading below to learn more about Tara and her fitness journey:

Q: What got you started working out?
A: I was sick of being a slug and needed a time/place to clear my mind.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out?
A: 4-5, but I try to do something active everyday.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: I really enjoy hiking with my dog, but in the gym, it’s deadlifting or kicking bags.

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: Get ready for originality here…Protein shake and a piece of fruit. Or…Ice Cream 🙂

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: Making the time and committing to it.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: That great feeling you get during and afterwards. Also, I LOVE the ever-changing challenge of it. Variety is key and group settings really help me too.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: The hardest part is committing and starting-out can be especially overwhelming. Set aside time for yourself. Find personal or group training sessions that are supportive and keep you accountable. Also, don’t let age, weight or fitness level hold you back. It’s never too late and is truly beneficial for everyone!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: Lots of things physically, but more importantly, viewing myself in a more positive light.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Deadlifting 255 lbs, and the mentality that I will get to 300.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: Trusting the process, self-acceptance, and that 300 club is still on the horizon.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I’ve traveled to 5 continents and counting.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?A: The support and encouragement from Jenna, Kat and the fabulous members. It’s changed my life for the better and has redefined the word “gym” for me. And really….there’s no judgement here….all are welcome.

Thank you Tara for being an amazing member! Keep working towards those fitness goals and supporting those around you. We’re so proud of you!