Tag: The Athlete Factory

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.



Weigh in #1

April 08, 2013

I stood on the scale today. Why? I have a weight category I want to be in at the Powerlifting Nationals in 2014. Let’s just say.. I have put on a TON of muscle… Yeah, that’s it.  BTW: I PROMISE this blog won’t all be about weight, but it’s part of my journey so therefor it’s going to be part of the blog.



It’s easier to hit goals when you have a measuring stick, right? I have purposely set up weigh in’s for Monday’s, it will help me stay on track over the weekend!

Hey look.. dogs playing banjo’s!







April 06, 2013

OK.. before I get into the sprinting stuff just an FYI: Thursday morning I woke up and my inner 13 year old was screaming, pissed off and irrational, all be it for a good reason. I promise a blog on that bit of fun later. 


Now my “Sprint Mechanics Session” with the lovely Valentina Romanov. (Great name eh?) I was pretty nervous going in, plus I had a secret that even my conditioning coach (Michele Helmeczi) didn’t know.

The secret… as I kid I LOVED sprinting. I didn’t do it much because most of the gym time was spent doing longer distance running and I ALWAYS came in last.. huffing and puffing, red in the face, clumsy, embarrassed and generally discouraged. So I never mentioned to anyone that if all I had to do was 30 meters I would happily harness every bit of power my stocky legs had and give ‘er sh!t! I wasn’t very fast even at the short distances but something inside me always said I could be.

So here I stand at The Athlete Factory with more or less a bunch of kids.. who’s parents (that I am older than) sitting on the sidelines watching.

It was awesome.

While I did feel awkward, as in REALLY REALLY awkward, even worse then when my husband tried to teach me to swing dance awkward, I didn’t feel that deep embarrassment. You know the kind, that feeling that settles into your core and you can’t shake it for the rest of the day.

Yes, everyone in the group was faster, more experienced and seemed more coordinated. Yes, a bunch of coaches were shadowing the class and yes a group of parents were watching.


It is fun.

I can see how this was going to help with my goals and on top of that I was learning something that I wanted to learn in grade 7 but didn’t have the courage to persue because I had the belief that you didn’t try something unless you had an obvious talent for it.

Will I ever be known as Susan “Flash” Knight? Probably not.. at least not for sprinting skills, but I am going to get faster and it’s going to be fun learning the how and why!

WAIT! One other AWESOME thing. Track spikes. If I keep this up there will be a very cool new pair of shoes to add to my collection of cute sport stuff! Check out this video and Michele will tell you all about them:


One quick note.. if someone says to you… “Hey! Let’s try…..” Please do. Even if it is just once. It doesn’t matter if you are 7, 18, 26, 44 or more.. you seriously have nothing to lose!

Drive for 45 ~ Days 10 & 11

April 04, 2013

Back in the gym!

I have been sick, and I’m still not 100% but enough was enough time to visit the squat rack again. As I drove to The Athlete Factory I had this sinking feeling in my stomach, almost as if the past year hadn’t been real.  Who was I kidding? Training for Nationals 2014? We all know how the 2013’s went…

It’s amazing how a flattened ego can whisper in your ear. At least with some maturity on my side I did recognize my ego for what it was, took a deep breath and went at it again. A dear friend (thx Karen) also reminded me that your ego will always keep up…

I was pleasantly surprised.. 135lbs really feels like nothing and 200lbs on the bar is noticeable but not panic inducing. Michelle had us tackling my depth and folding issues from Nationals right off the bat. Happy to report progress was made and my form returned.. now we just have to get it to stay.

How is the running going? Let’s just say, it’s not pretty, but it’s getting done.

A couple things I am adding to my Drive for 45.. things that I want done this year include:

1. Getting my teeth fixed to how they were a few years ago! My childhood “bucked” teeth have returned and I am not pleased. Anyone want to eat an apple through a fence?

2. Explore false eye lashes (the semi permanent kind) A girlfriend had them done and she always looks awesome.

3. Once and for all mesh together what style I like.. with what style looks good on this body of mine!

4. Come up with a new make up regime that better works with my more “mature” features.

So far that’s the list.. I am sure it will be added to as the year goes on, a truly want to be firing on all cylinders when it comes to moving on after my 45th Birthday!

Day 1

March 23, 2013

On my 44th Birthday I competed at the National Powerlifting Championships.

It was a milestone in my life.

I crashed and burned. DQ’ed after the back squat after not getting the required depth. I am not even going to go into what happened, let’s just say on the bright side.. I have an amazing support system that managed to salvage the day for me and I left Vancouver disappointed, but not obliterated.

All the same… It wasn’t pretty.

Here’s the plan.

I have a year between Nationals. I invite you to follow my journey as I embrace middle age and my inner athlete. Not just a weekend warrior, but an elite national level power lifer. A future record holder and someone who trains to be a champion.

This is going to be a crazy intense year.  I didn’t grow up in athletics at all, I have always battled with weight and the first signs of menopause are starting. In my favour I have natural ability, a level maturity that helps with the mind set and an amazing team that at The Athlete Factory that absolutely believes that this is an achievable goal. Plus a husband that has agreed to support me in the challenges this year will bring. (BTW: He sells boats you can find out more about Captain Steve on his FB page)

What will this year bring? Will I meet my goals? Will those goals evolve and change? What will I look like both physically and mentally at this time next year?

I will update this blog every day. Length and subject will vary but I promise to keep you “in the loop.”

Here goes..  Thanks for joining me on this ride and my #Drivefor45




52NEW National Record Holder (2)

October 19, 2012

Well it looks like I can add “National Record Holder” to my resume!

I never expect this when I started powerlifting… and my trainer say’s we are only just beginning. It shall be interesting to see where this road leads!

At the Calgary Festival of Strength on October 13th

Back Squat – 295lbs (National Record – for age/weight)

Bench Press – 165lbs (Tied National Record – for age/weight)

Deadlift – 308lbs (Personal Best)

Plus won “Best Lifter” (Female) the best lifter prize is based on a mathematical formula that factors in your body weight vs how much you lift. I NEVER thought I would win this because I am in the heaviest weight class.)

One of the reasons this is such a big deal for me is that athlete’s leave me in total awe. As a radio host I have had many chances to interview and talk to all sorts of elite athletes and it has always been the most intimidating things I have had to do. I have also hosted many athletic achievement night and in my opening remarks say…

“When I was younger I could always imagine winning an Oscar and rubbing elbows with entertainment celebrities, but the thought of having the honour of spending time with elite athletes left me shaking in my boots.”

Here I am. Perhaps not an “elite” athlete and the Olympics are not in my future, but I can say that I am a national record holder in a sport.

I have to tell you… it feels really good 🙂

BTW: Looking to hit goals you never even thought possible… or you are an elite athlete looking for the most amazing conditioning ever? Visit > The Athlete Factory and to find out more about my trainer Michele Helmeczi check out her facebook page > HERE

I failed… or did I?

July 31, 2012

I failed.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I am a powerlifter and I have been really working on my form, as we do the lifts over and over and over the proper form is beginning to stick. Much to my surprise I am even beginning to recognize when I am not using the proper form!

On the weekend I had a moment of total shock in the back squat rack.

I failed.

Weight on my back (235pd) down I went and…… I did not come back up.

A number of factors caused this to happen but to the great joy of my trainer (Michele Helmeczi) the main reason was that I recognized that I had lost my form and wasn’t able to correct it without the situation getting worse. So I (swore) and the bar was on the safety arms. After which I had to crawl out from underneath, very undignified!

I was frustrated.

It was a weight I could lift and have lifted before at The Athlete Factory where I train.

The difference was that I am learning how to lift with proper technique and form which will lead to a few things including; a future that includes a healthy and strong back, not always loading my quads to get something done, knee caps that remain happy, and the possibility of lifting more than I ever thought possible.

I have goals.

Big goals.

In order to meet those goals I need to be able to hold my form use proper technique and utilize brut force and determination. Right now I can lift more using pure force and determination, but (for maybe the first time) I understand if that spirit is applied with a foundation that is strong and tested I will go beyond anything I thought was possible when I started this journey.

You can see me put this form to the test at the “Calgary Festival of Strength” October 13th. I would love you to come out and cheer me on!

If you are a powerlifter and have concerns about what you are doing.. drop Michele and email at the link above and I am sure she can set up a training session with you or refer you to someone else that can help.

This is Romela Begaj of Albania after dropping the weights in her final attempt  at the clean and jerk in Women’s 58kg weightlifting competition at the London 2012 Summer Games.


In a show of great sportsmanship and postive attitute.. this is what she did after picking her self up and dusting herself off…

Thank you Romela for that. While I am just a powerlifter in a gym in Canada and you are an Olympic weighlifter of amazing ablity, in that moment, after that failed lift, I knew exactly what you were feeling.