Next on the DOSE podcast we welcome director of Foundry Fitness, best-selling author and award-winning PT, Laura Hoggins (aka Laura Biceps). Once a fad diet junkie, Laura now helps individuals on their journeys to becoming the strongest version of themselves. Her fitness philosophy encourages women to chase the weights on the bar rather than worrying about the weight on the scales. Within this episode we talk about the importance of teamwork and community, how weightlifting can be a valuable tool for female empowerment, setting personal goals and her preferred methods of self-care, from weighted blankets to infra-red saunas…
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Weight lifting and female empowerment
Laura spent her early adult life addicted to fad diets and obsessing over the number on the scales. Eventually she found weight lifting; the ultimate form of fitness that celebrated effort over results and empowerment over appearance….
‘The pressure on us to perform not just in our lives professionally but also physically to live up to certain standards is exhausting. I grew up in the 80’s where the pin up girl was Kate Moss and I looked at myself and I thought oh my goodness I’m never going to look like that, but boy did I try! I tried every single diet, I tried to run marathons, I thought I’d definitely be skinny by the end of that and you just try so many different things and you learn and you fail and eventually I thought something has to change. When I found the gym and strength training that was like hang on a minute, I no longer care about the numbers of calories or the numbers on the scales. Actually all I care about now is how much I’m lifting and the numbers on the bars’.
‘As soon as you start that journey and you start to see and realise how empowering it feels to lift weights that you didn’t think you could, I don’t think you look back. It changes everything’
Laura Hoggins on Taking Time For You
‘When I was learning about progressive strength training, I was learning meditation simultaneously. It was a really transformative time for me because in order to experience the highs, you’ve really got to sit with yourself and respect the fact that you can’t always be on the go. As much as we think we can be high functioning all the time, it’s not sustainable’.
‘I have a hot bath in the morning at 5:00 AM everyday. I really enjoy that time for me first thing on a morning – it’s almost like my own power hour. I do try and do a lot of breath work and lots of mobility work. I just think that kind of low intensity movement and getting your blood flowing makes you feel really good after. It’s still produces serotonin and endorphins, but you’re not knackered and you don’t have to be. I think the industry is changing and it’s hard because we work to a lot of fitness trackers and leaderboards and you know performance is a really good thing, but also you’ve got to make sure that you’re taking that time for you’.
Importance of Community
‘Weight lifting is great, but it’s a very lonely sport. I prefer team sports like football and netball, everything I grew up doing, it’s all about putting in a shift for the collective. It’s great training for myself, but I do prefer the community spirit of working together. I can let myself down, but I can’t let a team mate down’.
‘When they started the Foundry they wanted it to be a safe space for the community to get together. About 65% of our membership base are women or those that identify as women and it’s incredible. Some are stronger than the guys! It’s amazing to see women lifting big weights, lifting whatever is achievable or progressive for them, helping each other out and genuinely cheering each other on. I think in life we need more that’.
Lift Yourself: A Training Guide to Getting Fit and Feeling Strong for Life Buy Here
Laura Hoggins on Setting Personal Goals
The resilience you learn in the gym can be transferred into everyday life. To get strong and to actually develop strength takes a long long time. It could take years and I think that’s like other things in real life. You have to work on things as they evolve and I think it teaches us a lot about ourselves. It’s good to have a limitless mindset. Why not? Let’s continue being aspirational with everything that we do’.
‘I think we’re always going to be tough on ourselves. The key is to set goals with balance – enough to be motivated but with the right structure to ensure that you’re efficient and have the right levels of productivity to achieve it within the constraints of your individual lifestyle’.
Food as Fuel
‘Your body needs fuel, it needs micro nutrients. My skin wasn’t very good, I wasn’t sleeping very well, I wasn’t being the best that I could be in work, I was so tired and I was training too much. I just got to this point where I was like enough I cannot do this to myself anymore because I’m trying to take away what my body really needs. I think the best exercise or the best diet is the one you can sustain and enjoy. Where I am now probably about 10 kilos heavier than my goal weight historically and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, so I can categorically say the weight on the scales has no impact on happiness’.
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