GGS Spotlight: Shanna Schad


Name: Shanna Schad
Age: 29... for the 7th time
Location: Las Vegas, NV

What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you? 
It means that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. It means I am the best role model I can possibly be for my two young daughters and to teach them that health and fitness and strength is our way of life and not a “chore” and its not a certain size or shape or weight on a scale. Plus, it’s really freaking cool to lift crazy heavy and get “Damn, you’re strong!” or “Your warm-up weight is my max!” comments at the gym.

How long have you been training?
FOREVER. Since I was 13. I was a competitive swimmer growing up, and we had the option to trade two early morning swim workouts for weight workouts with a personal trainer who was friends with my swim coach. Since I wasn’t fond of my coach, and that 3:45 a.m. wake-up for swim practice was so brutal, I opted for personal training sessions.

I remember being a freshman in high school hobbling around from that morning’s squat session and carrying a cooler of food since all I did was train and eat. I also remember having huge quads from all those squats. My brother's friends, who trained with him in the gym, would say, “Dude, I have to work out for four hours and flex super hard to get my legs to look like what your sister's look like while she’s just standing there!”  So, yeah, forever. And this is why my legs look the way they do: lifelong squats.

Favorite lift:
Deadlifts. Hip thrusts. Push press. I can’t choose one. Sorry!

Most memorable PR:
I PR everyday! Haha! Either my deadlift or my hip thrust PR. Probably hip thrust, because it was more than Molly Galbraith had done at the time. Haha!

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
I probably listen to the antithesis of typical powerlifting/weight training music. Lots of techno. I seriously deadlift to Madonna, DJ Tiesto, or Adam Levine singing to me his about his moves like Jagger while I am squatting.

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
Hampton thick bar pad, water bottle, fully charged iPod.

Favorite post workout meal:
I was on an eggs and sweet potato kick for a while. My gluten-free pancakes are always good. Never really been a fan of protein shakes.

Favorite way to treat yourself:
New workout clothes from Beleza Brazil, best pants ever. Sorry, Lulu!

Favorite quote:
What do you do for workouts? Lift weights. I meant what do you do for cardio? Lift weights faster. — Jen Sinkler


Never give up because nothing is ever really over until the moment you stop trying — Me, in my high school year book. Haha!

Favorite book:
I don’t know. Apparently this is my secret question when trying to remember my password to order Chipotle online. I couldn’t remember what I said it was. I just want my double-meat, double-guac order!

What inspires and motivates you?
My kids. My husband. My amazing friends in the health and fitness biz. I see Jen Comas doing amazing yoga poses and I'm like, “I want to do that!”  I see Molly Galbraith lifting crazy heavy kettlebells for TGUs, and I'm like, “I want to do that, too!”  I see Neghar Fonooni doing handstands and, "Yup, I want to do that, too."  So watching friends learn and grow stronger and develop new physical skills makes me realize that each day is a new day to learn new skills and get healthier and stronger.

Next training goal:
Get my thyroid back in balance. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid, and my training has suffered in the past few months. I've had very low energy, and I've lost some strength. Once that is balanced out, I am still chasing that 405-pound hip thrust and 342-pound deadlift. Pretty much because Molly’s PR is 341, ha ha! I also would love to learn Olympic lifts and handstands. I want my kids to think I'm cool. Walking on my hands would do that. I also might be doing a Tough Mudder with some friends. I am not much of a runner, but the obstacles look like a lot of fun.

Three words that best describe you:
Funny. Caring. Strong.

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Research a good program. Ask people who you know work out for ideas and advice. Look for groups online like Girls Gone Strong, for a support system. Make it fun. If you aren’t having fun, you won’t stick with it. Exercise and weight training aren’t supposed to be something you dread. Lifting heavy gives me such a sense of satisfaction and makes me think “I can lift even more next time.”  Also — squat booty. The only thing that shapes a woman’s rear end perfectly is HEAVY lifting. Oh, and you won’t bulk up. You just won't.

By the way, Shanna isn't just a powerhouse in the gym. She's a fantastic food blogger, food stylist, and photographer.

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