GGS Spotlight: Emily Socolinsky

Meet Emily Socolinsky

Meet Emily Socolinsky

Name: Emily Socolinsky

Age: 41

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 5 years. My sister, Charlotte, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer in 2011 and then Stage 4 in 2013. Last February, Charlotte died from her disease. She fought until the very end. I miss my sister each and every day of my life. 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 began my linear progression using Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Program to “fix” my back. I have been training ever since and haven’t looked back. No other program will help a beginner get stronger and learn how to squat, press, bench and deadlift like Starting Strength.


Favorite Lift:

I love all the lifts equally because each one has helped me get stronger. When I am training, I pay close attention to my form and technique. I focus on each lift as if it was the only one I was doing. I have pared my program down to the basic lifts and make a point to not do too much….as I am very apt to do.


Most memorable PR:

My 100-pound press. I love pressing overhead. There is nothing like the feeling of getting something heavy over your head and holding it there. Every time I go into the gym, I am always working on a PR.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

I listen to a lot of different music at my gym but the most popular music is hip hop and punk so I play a lot of this for my members. When it is just me in the gym training by myself, I love listening to a variety of music. Top five songs right now are:

  1. 99 Problems – Jay Z/Linkin Park Mash up (Will always love this song)
  2. I Know What Your Songs Did In The Dark – Fall Out Boy
  3. Anything AC/DC
  4. Any “Best of Bootie” Mash up
  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 graphic t-shirts and Fivex3 Training shirts. Oh, and my sweatshirt.

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 five years. My members and I laugh a lot and make fun of each other.


Favorite post workout meal:

Still is and always will be: Jasa Kabob – Chicken kabob, rice, salad, and fresh PITA BREAD!

Favorite way to treat yourself:

A 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 fought for 3.5 years with colon cancer and during that time, she still managed to take care of my niece and nephew, cook, clean the house and work for my mom’s paper. She started running almost a year and half after she was diagnosed and strength trained with me when she could…..all while going back and forth to the doctors, chemo treatments, etc. In October 2013, she and I ran the run part of a triathalon, 6.5 miles, four days after her long chemo treatment. She died on February 11, 2015. She was and still is, the strongest woman I know. I love her more than life. The day she died, a big part of me died as well. Life really has not been the same for me or my family. But I think about her every day and THIS is what motivates me to keep going.

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 typical Monday:

6:00 am – Wake up, dress, hustle to the gym for my 6:30 am group training class.

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

10:00 am – At Baltimore Brazilian Jiujitsu for my class. I started Brazilian Jiujitsu last August and I love it. I retired from dance in 2013 but started to miss movement. While on vacation last summer, I saw the latest Mission Impossible movie and something inside of me said, “You need to learn how to kick someone’s a**.”  So I contacted Lee at Baltimore Brazilian Jiujitsu (his wife is a dancer too) and told him I wanted to get started. I took my first class on August 17 and fell in love. I take it every Monday morning since that is the only time I get to go due to my coaching schedule. I love how I am now using my strength to move my body again, just like I did when I returned to dance. It’s exhausting and frustrating at times – so much to think about all at once – but I keep going back week after week and I keep getting better. And I love being a student again.

12-2:30pm – Back home from class to eat lunch and work on articles, Facebook, do some bookkeeping,

3:00pm – Back at the gym for my own training session. I finally got my husband/coach to write a new program for me because I was doing too much on my own and it’s working. Today I will bench, press and push press ( I am competing in a Strongwoman contest in July so getting my pressing skills together).

4:30-8:30pm – Members arrive for training. Diego, my husband, and I will coach from 4:30 until 8:30pm. He leaves early to get home to get dinner together.

9-10:30pm – Back home for the night. Quick shower, then dinner and a little murder mystery on TV. In bed, a little light reading and then lights out.


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

My self-confidence and my self-esteem. And of course, my strength. 😉 I have worked hard for 6 years to build a stronger body. And I am still working on it.

Next training goal:

I am going to begin training next month for my fourth Strongwoman contest this July. Currently, I am just squatting, benching, pressing and deadlifting….working on getting stronger. And I am still working on my bodyweight bench.


Three words that best describe you:

Passionate, KIND, disciplined.

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

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: GGS

Girls Gone Strong is a force to be reckoned with fighting back against the $64 billion-a-year weight loss industry telling us we should be less instead of more. Our Advisory Board is comprised of nine brilliant, world-class health and fitness professionals each an expert in her respective field. We have come together to provide a common voice of body-positive, evidence-based information to help women reach their health and fitness goals, whatever they may be. Learn more about GGS here.

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