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!

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