Monthly Archives:August 2013

What’s your limiting factor?

August 30, 2013

limiting factor


1.  Physiology . the slowest, therefore rate-limiting, step in a process or reaction involving several steps.
2.  Biology . an environmental factor that tends to limit population size.


2013-08-28 19.19.02


I have a bit of a knee issue, it’s actually an old logging injury from when I lived in Squamish… that is a blog for another day. While it gets back to normal I have (OK Michele has) stripped the weight down on the bar and it’s all about technique. Which might just be a blessing!

I was reading a blog the other day that talked about “limiting factors” in powerlifting, it reinforced the philosophies that I already train with at The Athlete Factory! Lifting comes down to three things; headspace, strength and technique. You can argue the merits of all three but one of them holds more power…

At one point I would of said headspace and strength. That was before I had at an inkling of how much technique was actually required, especially in the back squat. Solid technique will trump headspace, because when you panic and your mind goes blank and you wonder what in the blazes you were thinking even attempting such a weight, your body is already starting that technique that you have practiced time and time again. Technique even trumps strength, because there is a breaking point. I can “bully up” a fair amount of weight but (for me) when I hit 285 pounds if I don’t have proper form I am not making that lift. My butt is on the floor and the bar is on the safeties! My hamstrings are strong enough to lift the weight, but without the proper technique, I’m not using them! At this point proper technique (as close as I have it) has me pushing a white light over 300lbs.

Most lifters are stronger then they think. Many lifters claim to have reached plateaus.. it’s not because they can’t get stronger, they probably are getting stronger, but that strength simply isn’t being used because the technique is lacking. Worse case; lifters are out with injuries because of it.  When I miss a lift it is rarely because I am not strong enough to lift it, it’s because my form is off. I walk past a chalk board at The Athlete Factory every day that has max lifts on it. I am up there with a 265lb (unbelted) lift.. with PERFECT form.. a have 2 ladies above me, one lift is 350lbs and her body weight can’t be more then 135. (TOPS!)



Slow down. Don’t worry about the weight on the bar. Focus on the technique and get proper coaching.

I bet you will surprise yourself.

I know I did.




I lift heavy…for a person.

August 21, 2013

I follow a bunch of athlete’s on instagram, one of which appears pretty hard core, (Bobby Ashhurst) today he posted a picture that said.. “Better sore than sorry” and “deadlift, because somewhere a girl is warming up with your max weight.”

Are you kidding me?

Here is the conversation that followed:

susanknight: Because somewhere a girl is warming up with your max? You get how insulting that is to women lifters.. right?
laxjustin: How is that insulting to women lifters? If anything it makes them look better…
susanknight: Why should it be motivational that a “girl” is warming up with your max? Shouldn’t it just be that “someone” is warming up with your max?
bobbyashhurst:  you’re taking it way too serious. The best female lifter, although impressive, will never out lift the best male lifters. That’s just a genetic advantage men have. Just like women can endure more pain, in general, then men.
susanknight: Yup. You are correct when talking about the best. Please just keep in mind that if you have female lifter friends, even if they don’t say anything, after awhile those cracks start to grate a bit.

I love how he added the “in general” about the pain but not about the lifting. My point here is using a specific group to define something to be “not as good” is just plain rude, and for someone that appears to want to motivate people it goes beyond rude and can not only be demotivating but also sets a horrible example for expectations in the gym and how men and women should look at there accomplishments.

I train at The Athlete Factory with Michele Helmeczi, next to me in those squat racks along with weekend warriors and people working on general fitness are Olympic swimmers and skiers, world class rugby players and elite level hockey, football, basketball and soccer players. NOT ONCE have I felt any disrespect, NOT ONCE have I heard “for a girl,”  NOT ONCE was it pointed out that I wouldn’t lift as heavy because I was lacking a penis.

I have been RESPECTED.

Those athletes and trainers have stood by me and cheered while I tested lifts. They spot me when needed with NO judgy comment about if I make the lift or not. Not once have I ever heard.. that’s heavy.. for a girl. I get respect for what I am lifting because I am lifting it.  I put in the work, I put in the time, I fought with my head and I made those muscles strong. I have cried as I walked out the door and I have also high fived my way out the door.. none of that was due to my sex.  I will say straight up that I have been frustrated while working on my bench because the guys seem to be able to lift so much more so much faster, and we had the male vs female muscle talk.

Powerlifting is about you and the iron. Period. I love the records I hold in powerlifting and I strive to hold on to them and set a few more, in the process of doing that I will out lift other people. Am I motivated because someone can lift more then me?


I am motivated simply because I can lift more tomorrow with hard work then I did today. I don’t need to be motivated by someone else’s achievements male or female. I can admire them, they can let me know it is possible, but the motivator for me is simply.. that I can.

I am a strong but over thinking over emotional girl that doesn’t always feel that she fits into the powerlifting world or the sports world at all. I guess I should change that to “I was” until I found a place that I belonged. Who knew it would be with some of the best athletes in the world?

If you are motivated to lift more because a “girl” is warming up with your max weight, it is time to rethink a few things and perhaps consider how some of the women lifters who are working just as hard as you might feel about a statement like that.



Katy Perry ~ ROAR

August 10, 2013

I like this woman more and more..


Her new singe ROAR has been leaked.. give it a listen HERE


This will be a must have on any work out or break up playlist for sure.. I will have it on repeat before my next powerlifting meet in September!












Important reminder from an awesome 8 year old.

August 09, 2013

I just had to share this wonderful story about my nephew Kyle.

Kyle is 8, Kyle is awesome and Kyle wanted everyone to know.

Kyle was the ring bearer at Wade and Danielle’s wedding. Wade is the son of my sister’s husband’s brother.

Kyle was a dashing ring bearer and a handsome devil to be sure!


It seems Kyle got a little bored while at the rehearsal the night before the wedding, so he decided to spread the good word of Kyle and his awesomeness. He found donation envelopes at the church and wrote on the back of them “Kyle is Awesome!” He proceed to stuff these envelopes in the pew bibles for the guest to find on wedding day!

What he probably didn’t think of was that Mom was going to find one.

Mind you Mom already knows just how awesome Kyle is.



I hope as the years go on Kyle always remembers that; Kyle is awesome, because he truly is.

I also hope you take a moment to remind yourself just how awesome you are, perhaps even write it down on a few scrapes of paper and hide them around the house for you, or family members to find unexpectedly.

Kyle would want you to know that you are awesome as well, perhaps almost as awesome as he is.


Have an acquaintance with a broken heart? Treat them like your dog.

August 07, 2013


Broken hearts are a part of life. They suck. Here’s the deal with a broken heart it will either make you grow, make you wiser and expand your horizons of personal growth, or it will leave you struggling in some purgatory between who your were and who you might be. For many it can take work to make sure you don’t get stuck in that struggle for years.





As you get older you learn about heart break, how to handle it and what to expect. You have parameters to guide you based on your own experience; as we get older we find ourselves in what can be a very awkward spot of having people experience heart break around us and being unsure of how we should respond. Once you have lived that pain chances are good all you want to do is make that person feel better no matter how close or not you are to them.

Recently I had a couple people in my world hit with some heart break. The awkward part was that while these are people I care about and I see regularly they wouldn’t be considered “close” friends. So as someone with a good deal of heart break experience how do I know what my bounds are in sharing and helping them through this time, or do I even do it? What are the boundaries?

Here is what I came up with.

It’s like having a dog.




When there is a storm, a natural disaster, sometimes the vacuum; your dog might freak out. Dog behaviourist tell us that we have to be the “pack leader” stay calm and act normal. Be aware that something is going on but let the freaking out party lean on your strength and calm so they to know that everything can and will be all right.  For someone that is heart broken that can be as simply as grabbing them a coffee, like you do everyday. Telling a joke or sending a funny picture, like you would any other time. Be aware of their plight, no need to be cold, but be the “normal” in the life of the heart broken because to them life at the moment is anything but.

You have an opportunity to “hold space” for these people. You are not a close friend, chances are good you won’t get the 3 hour phone calls in which the heart broken say the same thing over and over… (Thank you Stef, Karen, Cathy and Lisa for that by the way) but you will be interacting and this is your chance to hold up some normal behaviour in the life of the heart broken.

It won’t always be as simply as it sounds. You will have that desire to wrap your arms around them and let them know that time really does help heal wounds and they will be OK. Your job is to be compassionate yet hold onto that normal. It may be years, or perhaps even never that what you did was recognized.. but for many it will be the piece of the recovery puzzle that makes the biggest difference.

Mind you, I wouldn’t tell them that you are taking the Cesar Millan approach to healing the broken hearted.. they might not understand.