WeightLiftingGloves.com interviews Erica from Smart Girls Lift

Erica From Smart Girls Lift

We are big fans or Smart Girls lift, which features Weight Lifting Tips geared toward ladies, but is a great resource for any serious weight lifter.  In this interview we talk to Erica from Smart Girls Lift about staying fit, her journey through fitness and blogging, wearing weight lifting gloves at the gym and regional fitness.

1)When did you start weight lifting?  What are some benefits you’ve seen in a consistent lifting regimen?
The first time I went to the gym with a focus on weightlifting was my senior year of high school. I had a knee injury, but wanted to find a way to stay active. During college, things dropped off and then I picked weights back up when I joined my school’s NCAA crew team. It’s been a few years since then. In the last two years is when I really began getting serious about weight lifting and it’s changed my life!
In the last two years alone, I’ve gained an enormous amount of strength, self-confidence, and some muscle to go with it. I went from struggling with sets of 135 lb deadlifts to working sets at over 225. I can now bench more than my body weight! The biggest impact weightlifting has had on my life is the boost in confidence. I feel strong and empowered, in and out of the gym. I have faith in myself and the things I can do. I’ve discovered what my body is capable of… and know I can push it further.
2)What are some ways your online community keeps you motivated in your weight lifting?
I was able to find some new fitness friends through groups on Meetup, Sweat Pink, IDEA, and through sites like Bodybuilding.com and more. The people at the gym I train at during the week have always been encouraging. They’re the same online whenever someone from the gym hits a new PR, has a great lift, or is succeeding in every day life. Having an online support system has been very beneficial for me since my passions vary from those of my friends. I have a friend in California who I chat with almost daily about fitness, nutrition, and the mental aspect of both. She’s amazing!
3)How important is hand health to you at the gym?  Do you use any kind of workout gloves or wraps?Wow! Protecting my hands is SO important. Because I like to mix things up between power lifting, yoga, body weight exercises, and other activities like hiking, I can’t have weak wrists or hands. I need to protect them so I can do the things I enjoy! I use chalk for heavy pulls, some wraps for wrist support when benching heavy, and have straps for heavy rows or other exercises. Rowing gave me the worst calluses I’ve ever had, but barbells are a close second.

4)How is being a weight lifter/fitness blogger different in the pacific northwest than the rest of the country?

I’ve lived in California and the PNW and there are a few differences. I never met so many people who were so focused on strength as I have here. In California, I saw people hitting the gym to get (or stay) lean – a lot of aesthetics-driven athletes. They did yoga, spin, endurance events, etc. Here, I see a lot more heavy lifters – strength-driven athletes. There’s a mix everywhere, of course, but that was the first thing that stood out to me.

In the PNW, there’s a lot of great hiking and other ways to stay active during the summer, so people spend a lot of time outdoors getting their fitness in. Both California and Washington embrace the fit lifestyle though, and if people are finding ways to enjoy exercise, I’m all for them doing what suits them best!
5)Other than lifting weights, what are some ways you stay healthy in mind and body?
I love yoga and spending time focused on mobility. Having that awareness of your weaknesses and how to improve them is so key to progressing! To stay healthy in mind and body, I try to eat a diet with minimal amounts of processed food, drink a lot of water and tea, and try to make sure I get enough sleep. I feel better when I do those things.
I am perfectionist, but know no one is perfect. I just keep reminding myself that a little indulgence is okay and it’s okay to have slip ups where I stray from whatever program I am following at the time. Remind myself to be more forgiving has made a world of difference.