A note from GGS Co-Founder Alli McKee: Recently, I attended a Powerlifting meet to support a great friend and colleague. While I was there, I loved seeing just as many women participating in the meet as there were men. I was able to catch the deadlift portion for the women and all were impressive! There was one young lady in particular who captured my attention, and I instantly became a fan. In the moments of her first lift, I couldn't help but tweet about her results.

After watching her perform her three lifts (and break an American record!), I scouted the area to see if I could connect with her mom and ask permission to spotlight this young gal. When her mom told me this was her daughter's first meet, I was even more excited. I have a big space in my heart for young weightlifters as I too started lifting when I was just 15. We especially love seeing young women doing strong things, and this young lady has a bright and strong future ahead of her. 

Name: Kendall Luz
Age: 15
Location: Maryland

What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
It is such an honor to be a “Girl Gone Strong.”  I absolutely love the idea of educating and inspiring women of all ages to strengthen their mind and body.

How long have you been involved in gymnastics?
I have been involved in gymnastics for five years now.

Do you play any additional sports?
I play soccer and all-star competitive cheerleading, as well.

How long have you been strength training and how did you get involved?
I was first introduced to strength training at a local gym with my Dad. I would go to the gym with him every so often, and eventually my Mom introduced me to training at Crossfit Diesel where she trains. I love working out there when I am able to (because of my busy schedule). After seeing some of my strength lifts, my Mom’s coach (Evan) informed me about a powerlifting competition being held at the gym and asked if I was interested. Sure enough, I loved it and had a blast! I am ready for the next one.

How have you found strength training to help you in other sports?
Strength training is so helpful with my sports. Being mentally and physically strong is a huge factor, not only in sports, but in life. The strength training transfers over to power in my jumps and tumbling in cheerleading. In soccer, I feel that the strength gives me more speed and endurance.


Favorite lift:
Back squat is by far my favorite lift.

Most memorable PR:
In my high school they recommend students to take a weights class. Luckily, I signed up and my teacher knows how involved I am with strength training, so he pushes me extremely hard. One morning we were doing squats and I was able to squat my heaviest squat: 205 pounds!

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:
I must have my Camelback water bottle, Ipod or some type of music device, and tape.

Favorite post training meal:
I don’t necessarily have a post training meal I prefer, but after every workout I drink a delicious protein shake.

Favorite quote:
You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.

Favorite book:
Last year I read a book called The Compound, and it was so interesting I could never put it down.

What inspires and motivates you?
My parents motivate me and inspire me to perform 110 percent with whatever I am doing. I have never seen either of my parents give up, and I strive to be just like them, now and when I am older.

What’s one of the best pieces of advice you’ve been given? And from whom?
Right before my first lift at my first powerlifting competition, my mom and coach Susan both told me not to stress out and to just have fun out there, and I ended up breaking 4 American National records!

(Kendall's lifts were a 198.4 lbs. squat, a 126.8 lbs. bench and a 237 lbs. deadlift, for a total weight of 562.2 lbs!)

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from strength training?
Being stronger than most of the boys in my weight class is pretty awesome!

Next training goal:
I would like to increase my squat by at least 10 pounds within the next month, which I feel I am extremely capable of doing.

If you had to choose 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Ambitious, innovative, and dedicated.

What do you want to say to other young women who might be interested yet nervous to start lifting?
Being strong is beautiful. Everyone gets nervous every once in a while, but you will feel so amazing walking around in a body that reflects all your hard work and all your strength.

Name: Amanda Poole
Age: 29
Location: Lee, New Hampshire

What does being a GGS mean to you?
In August of 2012 I found myself at a beautiful wedding in Colorado. It was there that I met Alli McKee, and my life was forever changed. When Alli told me about GGS I was so inspired, and I can only hope that I can help other women the way she has helped me.

How long have you been training?
I had always considered myself athletic, but have been training really hard for about a year.

Favorite Lift:

Most memorable PR:
Deadlifting my bodyweight.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
I actually prefer no music… unless I am at Crossfit.

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
Water, extra socks and an extra pair of sneakers, because I like to switch it up whenever possible.

Most hilarious pick-up line you’ve heard at the gym:
No pick up lines here.

Favorite post workout meal:
Beef jerky and smoothies!

Favorite way to treat yourself:
Sports massage.

Favorite quote:
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Favorite book:
Currently, my favorite book is Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan.

What inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by how I feel physically and emotionally. Looking back on my journey reminds me of where I started, and how far I have come.  My motivation comes from the results I see and feel. I strive to work harder every day.

My journey for a better life began on June 12, 2012 when I decided to stop drinking. The decision wasn't made because I was drinking every night; it was made because I wanted more clarity. I had the opportunity to be exposed to so much beauty, but I limited that in my life for many years and had nearly lost sight of it. That was when I made the decision to take control of my own life.

During the following months, I struggled with many raw emotions, and had to learn new ways of dealing with emotional stress. It was in those dark times that I discovered a power in me that I thought only existed in super heroes.

Fast forward to a year later, I still have a fire in me that never existed before. Some days I feel like super woman, and that feeling is indescribable. I now know that I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the support and love that I learned to accept along the way. I handle stress in totally different ways than I did a year ago. My stress release usually involves exercise or communicating and allowing myself to feel emotions.  I have a desire to give back, and help other women transform themselves. I have confidence like never before, and am constantly looking for the next challenge.

It has not been an easy road, but I am so thankful for where I am today.

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
A complete transformation of myself. I feel energized and renewed and have been told by many women that my transformation is inspiring to them.

Next training goal:
I would like to incorporate more yoga.

What three words best describe you?
Independent, motivated, and adventurous.

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
I say go for it, but be ready for a total transformation that may take you down a few roads you weren’t ready for. Also be very aware of your form, injuries are no fun.

angelstone1-450x279Name: Angel Stone
Age: Dirty 30's
Location: Washington, D.C.

What does being a GGS mean to you?
Being a GGS means:

angelstone2-450x338How long have you been training?
Ten years of regular lifting. Four years of GGS lifting.

Favorite Lift:
Power clean. Executed perfectly, it's poetry in motion.

Most memorable PR:
10 consecutive chin-ups

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

For sprinting:

For lifting:

angelstone4-450x301Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:

Favorite post workout meal:
Chocolate banana spirulina smoothie

Favorite way to treat yourself:
Oil Massage

Favorite quote:
Never let it rest until your good is better than your best.

angelstone3-340x375Favorite book:
Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou

What inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by courageous people. Courage is underrated!

Next training goal:
Run a 20-minute 5k.

Three words that best describe you:
Curious. Affectionate. Determined.

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Being nervous is good. It means you care, which means you will try your best. Do it!

And here's a little nutritional tip from Angel, about broccoli. Enjoy! 

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