by Bret Contreras March 29, 2016
Three and a half years ago, Emily Nodine was watching a YouTube video I had posted titled Strong Female Booties. She was very inspired and thought to herself, “I hope one day I’m as strong as those ladies.” To make a long story short, she purchased Strong Curves, joined Get Glutes, gained a bunch of strength, wrote me a guest blogpost HERE (in December of 2013), fell in love with powerlifting, joined a powerlifting gym and competed in a couple of meets, quit concerning herself with progress pictures, joined Strong by Bret, started performing the Strong by Bret powerlifting program, and ultimately ended up being stronger than all the ladies in the original video that once inspired her.
I’ve written before about STRENGTH STANDARDS to give people goals to shoot for, but compilation videos go a long way in inspiring people too. Emily has some seriously well-rounded strength. In fact, I’ve never trained any female lifter in real life (I have online, but not at my gym Lifts back in the day, and not in the Glute Lab) who could pull off all the feats of strength that Emily can (see list below). But what’s awesome is that although Em is a powerlifter who trains primarily for strength gains, she’s always maintained an incredible physique. Funny how that works! (For similar anecdotes, please read Kristen’s story HERE and Tawna’s story HERE.)
I recently asked Em to create a compilation video because I have a hunch that it’ll inspire a ton of you out there. In the video, here are some of the lifts you’ll see:
– Back squat: 185 lbs x 3 reps
– Back squat: 210 lbs x 1 rep
– Barbell reverse lunge: 135 lbs x 10 reps
– Bodyweight chin up: 12 reps
– 30 lb weighted chin up: 3 reps
– 45 lb weighted chin up: 1 rep
– Barbell hip thrust: 345 lbs x 8 reps
– Barbell hip thrust: 405 lbs x 3 reps
– Bench press: 135 lbs x 4 reps
– Bench press: 150 lbs x 1 rep
– Sumo deadlift: 235 lbs x 5 reps
– Weighted back extension: 100 lbs x 10 reps
If you’re a woman and you can bench 135 lbs, perform over 10 chins (and one rep with 45 lbs), hip thrust 405 lbs, squat 200 lbs, and deadlift 275 lbs, then you’re damn impressive!
Here is a 3-year chart of Emily’s strength gains on “The Big Four” (the Strong by Bret ladies call squats, bench, deads, and hip thrusts “The Big Four,” which is funny because I add chin ups to that group and call it “The Big Five” – powerlifters just say “The Big Three” and refer to squats, bench, and deads).
Emily is 33 years old, 5’6, 128 lbs, 18% body fat, and usually wears a size 2. Her upcoming goals are a 300 lb deadlift, but I’d like to help her squat 225 lbs and deadlift 315 lbs (she will get there in time). Emily wants to thank Shelley, Kristen, Lucy, and Maleah for their help in making the video. It was an SBB (Strong by Bret) team effort.
I hope you’re inspired!
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