Girls Gone Strong

GGS Spotlight: Emily Socolinsky


Meet Emily Socolinsky

Meet Emily Socolinsky



Name: Emily Socolinsky

Age: 39 (Just turned 39 and already looking forward to 40!!!!! Can’t wait!)

Location: Baltimore, MD – Home of “The Wire.”


What does being a GGS mean to you?

Confident, determined, pro-active. Being strong is not just about physical toughness. Being strong encompasses your whole being – physical, emotional, mental and for many women, spiritual. I had to learn how to be strong in many ways over the past two years since my sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer in 2011 and then Stage 4 in 2013. Learning to be strong has taken on a whole new meaning.


How long have you been training?

It seems like my life has been one big training period. I danced from age 7 to just this past year and for all of those years, I was either dancing, teaching classes, going to the gym. My real strength journey began in 2010 when I started Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Program to “fix” my back. I haven’t looked back since.




Favorite Lift:

I have a million of them but the back squat is my favorite with my bench being my second. 😉 Right now, I am no squatting too heavy due to some low back issues so I have been working steadily on my bench. I am quite proud to say I have a 135# bench for a single.


Most memorable PR:

I worked hard for a 95# strict overhead press last year. That was my Christmas present to myself. I got a 400# glute bridge on video about two months ago. That was pretty freakin’ sweet. When I think about it, I am always working on PR’s.



Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

I listen to Pandora mostly at the gym and tend to switch around between a few stations. Top five songs right now are:

  1. 99 Problems – Jay Z/Linkin Park Mash up
  2. Anything Cypress Hill
  3. Light Em Up – Fall Out Boy
  4. Anything AC/DC
  5. Numb – Jay -Z/Linkin Park Mash up


Collage of t-shirts


Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:

My HAT, my Chucks, and any one of my many super hero or graphic t-shirts.


Most hilarious pick-up line you’ve heard at the gym:

Luckily, I OWN my gym so I have not set foot into a commercial gym in 3 years. 😉 My members and I laugh a lot and make fun of each other.


Favorite post workout meal:

Jasa Kabob Take out – Chicken kabob, rice, salad and fresh PITA BREAD!!!


Favorite way to treat yourself:

Massage. Although I try to make it mandatory every three weeks or so…it still feels like a treat.


Favorite quote:

I have many but one of my favorite quotes is actually one that my husband came up with at the gym. If someone goes for a really tough squat or deadlift and afterwards, they say something like, “That was really hard,”  Diego will look at him or her and say, “Well, it’s not knitting class.” I love it. It pretty much sums up what we do.



Favorite book:

Anything to do with murder. I love a good murder mystery.


What inspires and motivates you?

That is an easy one. My sister Charlotte. She has been fighting colon cancer for the past two years and she still manages to take care of my niece and nephew, cook, clean the house,  run and strength train with me when she can…..all while going back and forth to the doctors, chemo treatments, etc. She ran 6.5 miles this past October at a triathlon, four days after her long chemo treatment. She is the strongest woman I know. I love her more than life. If she can do all of this, I can do anything.
(Update from GGS: we regret to update that Emily’s sister Charlotte passed away in February of 2015 after a 3 1/2 year battle with colon cancer.  Every year Emily hosts a Strongwoman contest/fundraiser in honor of Charlotte to raise money for colon cancer research.  If you’d like to learn more about this contest, click here. If you’d like to donate to this worthy cause in honor of Charlotte and in support of Emily, you can do so here.)


Charlotte and Emily

Charlotte and Emily



What does a typical day look like for you? (From waking up to bedtime)

My “typical” day varies from day to day which is great because each day offers something different.

Here’s a Monday/Wednesday day:

6:00 am – Wake up, dress, hustle to the gym for my 6:45 am group training class (If I wake up earlier, sometimes I bike for 20-25 minutes on my spin bike before the crew shows up)

8:00 am – Back home for breakfast, check Facebook, do some social media before heading back out

10-11:30 – If it’s Monday – Group training class at 10 am class. If it’s Wednesday, I teach two elementary gym classes at a private school down the street from my gym.  I LOVE it.

12-1:30ish – Get my own training in (Monday is strength, Wednesday is long duration cycling)

1:30 – 4:00 – If it’s Monday, I am either working at home or running errands. If it’s Wednesday, I am heading to pick up my nephew from school while my sister is at the hospital for chemo. I take him back home, help him with his homework and chill with him and my dad while we wait for Charlotte.

4:00 – 8:00 – Back to the gym for more group training classes.

8:30-10 pm – Shower, dinner, tea and a little murder mystery on TV. Bed, reading, lights out.


What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?

My self-confidence and my self-esteem. Oh, and my new booty. I have worked hard for four years to build a stronger backside. And I believe I have succeeded.


Next training goal:

I am still working on my bodyweight bench. That and of course, getting my body back to heavy squatting and deadlifting.


What three words best describe you?

Passionate, KIND, disciplined.


What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?

This is a tough one because I have never really struggled with whether or not lifting weights was good or bad. I have always loved pushing my body. When I talk to my ladies about lifting weights, I talk about how much better my back feels, how much more capable and confident I am. Moving heavy objects around is empowering. It’s fun and it’s “functional” and it makes you want to tell everyone that you can lift X amount of weight. Don’t be nervous. Grab a girl friend and just try it. You will be so happy you did.



About the Author: Girls Gone Strong

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  • Abi Goldberg

    This is awesome, good to know there are legit ladies and gym owners in the MD (fellow marylander here!) area teaching other women to be strong! I especially love the how to carry your husband out of a burning building video, that right there is a great reason to get women lifting heavy.

  • Jen

    I have been training with Emily for 20 months (I found her through Nia Shanks’ spotlight). She is a fabulous person and trainer. At any given time you will see 6-8 women and 1-2 men on the platforms during class. I have a hard time imagining that any other gym in the world has this ratio of women to men in the weight room. If anyone is in the Baltimore area, you should definitely stop by. Especially if you are shy about starting/learning!

  • Kim

    Love this! I think this is my fave so far, especially her message that strength is more than physical. And, I plan on practicing carrying my husband in case I ever actually need to! :)

  • Heather Longoria

    Any tips on how to find a good trainer locally? So far I’ve just been lifting based on articles/blogs/videos, but I think I need some more personal instruction. I’m afraid my form is not good, and I’ll end up damaging myself!

  • healthyservesone

    Super inspiring. I love these spotlight posts, especially the strong women of my age (yep, also staring down the barrel of 40…but excited too!) Now where’s my husband, I need to practice saving him from a burning building.