Catching up with strongwoman Liefia Ingalls

July 25, 2017

We recently caught up with our newest SFH ambassador and the face of STRONG in Norway, where she was preparing to compete in the IHGF Stones of Strength Championship for Women. This was the first time women competed in the event and, *spoiler alert*, she won! Ingalls talked with us about how she found Strongman, what her goals are, and how she is sharing her knowledge and inspiring others.

When did you find Strongman?
I didn't have much of an athletic background as a kid, and I didn't start actually training in an organized manner until after college. Soon after I took up an interest in lifting, I joined my local CrossFit gym to get connected with more people in strength and started training in a competitive environment. When I went to my first ever class, the instructor asked my group what each of our fitness goals were. I said "to be the strongest person I know" and I wasn't even joking. I incorporated strongman style events into my training for a couple years before I finally found out that amateur-level competitions existed for women. I loved being competitive, and did a little bit of amateur competition in CrossFit, but I never really loved the workouts (and honestly, wasn't that good at them) unless they were brutally heavy. As soon as I heard about a local strongman contest, I immediately signed up. I trained about a month, by myself, for my first contest in March of 2014 and I haven't slowed down or looked back since.

What drew you to Strongman training and events in the beginning?
I was always attracted to the extreme nature of feats of strength, and as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I was always meant to find strongman. Strongman is about being a superhuman. Seeing people performing feats of strength that only a few humans in history have done, and attempting to measure yourself against them. I was drawn by the prospect of seeing myself perform feats that even I previously thought to be impossible.

What advice would you give to women looking to get into Strongwoman?
My advice to anyone (women or men) looking to start strongman competition is to get in contact with someone who has experience competing or training others (ideally both) in the actual sport of strongman. It is relatively easy these days to find access to gyms everywhere that have strongman implements, and a lot of trainers claiming to have figured out how "strongman training" should be done, but the type of training necessary to evolve safely and perform to the higher levels of this sport is actually very specific. The biggest factor to my success in this sport was being exposed to the right training knowledge early in my career. If you really aren't sure where to go, type my name into the search bar on Facebook and shoot me your questions....as long as you spell my name right, I am really easy to find!  

What does a normal training day look like for you?
As exciting as the strongman implements are for shows, the majority of my training is done in a regular gym. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, lots and lots of accessories... I spend usually 2-3 hours per session consisting of a couple compound lifts and then lots and lots of accessory work aimed at hypertrophy and/or stabilization.

How often do you train?
My training is periodized to accommodate proper peaking and recovery for competition, so the frequency varies throughout the year. Usually, I will train 4-5 times per week in the off-season, and 3-4 times per week in preparation for a contest.

What is your favorite event?
Atlas Stones! Gripping a big stone feels like you are holding the whole world and trying to crush it. In my opinion, nothing compares to the feeling of completing a max-effort stone load.  It is an extremely explosive, full-body event.

You have your own training business, Unicorn Strength Training, what inspired you to start that?
Unicorn Strength Training (Unicornstrength.com) is completely customized remote training for Strongman and athletic performance. It is a continuation of my in-person training business that I was already conducting, but the online format has given me the ability to reach a much wider client base.

What gets you out of bed and into the gym on days you just don’t want to train?
To be very honest, I don't want to train most days...but every day I want to win.  I know that to win it takes getting there and putting in the work that I have mapped out for myself, so that is what I do.  I stopped training for "fun" the day I started training to win. That's not to say I don't enjoy training.  I still enjoy the physical outlet of lifting, but since there are many other things I could do with those 2-3 hours in the gym, I would usually choose not to go if I only went when I "wanted" to train.

What achievements are you most proud of so far?
Winning the first ever Arnold Professional Strongwoman Championship this year has been the most rewarding experience I have had so far. It was the highest-profile contest that we have seen for Strongwoman, and also the first time that the Arnold featured a women's event on that scale. It was very exciting to be a part of what felt like a pioneering event.

What goal are you chasing next?
The next big item on the list is to win an official World's Strongest Woman title. I will have my chance pretty soon in December!

Professionally, I am currently investing all my time into my training business, which means helping my clients reach their individual performance goals. I am currently prepping a half dozen athletes to compete at Strongman Nationals and the potential for their achievements is already so exciting for me. I am absolutely passionate about this sport, competition, and training, so to be able to share my understanding and experiences to help new competitors is very fulfilling.

What part of training do you think is undervalued but essential? (Accessory work, sleep, etc.)
I think sleep is actually the number 1 priority for athletes. Of course training is important, but too many people overlook the physiology of training and undervalue recovery. Training only initiates the adaptations that you are chasing, but the actual changes happen in response to the training, during the recovery period. If you aren't recovering properly, you may as well train less. For me personally, sleep has such a great effect on my attitude throughout the day that I consider sleep to have a much greater-reaching effect on all areas of my life than training.

What does #LivinSFH mean to you?
SFH pays attention to the quality of the details in their products, rather than focusing on adding more ingredients or making sexier advertising. Fewer ingredients, but higher quality. This matches well with the philosophy I have effected in my training, and that I am trying to adhere to in my personal life:  Train smarter, not harder and invest in quality over quantity. I have the opinion that we all will benefit from focusing on fewer things in order to improve the quality of each thing we choose to focus on, and that will in turn improve the quality of everything we embark on in the future.

What is/are your favorite SFH product/s?
I LOVE FUEL Coconut!! If I didn't know better, I could have my blended coconut espresso shake for every meal

We recently caught up with our newest SFH ambassador and the face of STRONG in Norway, where she was preparing to compete in the IHGF Stones of Strength Championship for Women. This was the first time women competed in the event and, *spoiler alert*, she won! Ingalls talked with us about how she found Strongman, what her goals are, and how she is sharing her knowledge and inspiring others.

When did you find Strongman?
I didn't have much of an athletic background as a kid, and I didn't start actually training in an organized manner until after college. Soon after I took up an interest in lifting, I joined my local CrossFit gym to get connected with more people in strength and started training in a competitive environment. When I went to my first ever class, the instructor asked my group what each of our fitness goals were. I said "to be the strongest person I know" and I wasn't even joking. I incorporated strongman style events into my training for a couple years before I finally found out that amateur-level competitions existed for women. I loved being competitive, and did a little bit of amateur competition in CrossFit, but I never really loved the workouts (and honestly, wasn't that good at them) unless they were brutally heavy. As soon as I heard about a local strongman contest, I immediately signed up. I trained about a month, by myself, for my first contest in March of 2014 and I haven't slowed down or looked back since.

What drew you to Strongman training and events in the beginning?
I was always attracted to the extreme nature of feats of strength, and as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I was always meant to find strongman. Strongman is about being a superhuman. Seeing people performing feats of strength that only a few humans in history have done, and attempting to measure yourself against them. I was drawn by the prospect of seeing myself perform feats that even I previously thought to be impossible.

What advice would you give to women looking to get into Strongwoman?
My advice to anyone (women or men) looking to start strongman competition is to get in contact with someone who has experience competing or training others (ideally both) in the actual sport of strongman. It is relatively easy these days to find access to gyms everywhere that have strongman implements, and a lot of trainers claiming to have figured out how "strongman training" should be done, but the type of training necessary to evolve safely and perform to the higher levels of this sport is actually very specific. The biggest factor to my success in this sport was being exposed to the right training knowledge early in my career. If you really aren't sure where to go, type my name into the search bar on Facebook and shoot me your questions....as long as you spell my name right, I am really easy to find!  

What does a normal training day look like for you?
As exciting as the strongman implements are for shows, the majority of my training is done in a regular gym. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, lots and lots of accessories... I spend usually 2-3 hours per session consisting of a couple compound lifts and then lots and lots of accessory work aimed at hypertrophy and/or stabilization.

How often do you train?
My training is periodized to accommodate proper peaking and recovery for competition, so the frequency varies throughout the year. Usually, I will train 4-5 times per week in the off-season, and 3-4 times per week in preparation for a contest.

What is your favorite event?
Atlas Stones! Gripping a big stone feels like you are holding the whole world and trying to crush it. In my opinion, nothing compares to the feeling of completing a max-effort stone load.  It is an extremely explosive, full-body event.

You have your own training business, Unicorn Strength Training, what inspired you to start that?
Unicorn Strength Training (Unicornstrength.com) is completely customized remote training for Strongman and athletic performance. It is a continuation of my in-person training business that I was already conducting, but the online format has given me the ability to reach a much wider client base.

What gets you out of bed and into the gym on days you just don’t want to train?
To be very honest, I don't want to train most days...but every day I want to win.  I know that to win it takes getting there and putting in the work that I have mapped out for myself, so that is what I do.  I stopped training for "fun" the day I started training to win. That's not to say I don't enjoy training.  I still enjoy the physical outlet of lifting, but since there are many other things I could do with those 2-3 hours in the gym, I would usually choose not to go if I only went when I "wanted" to train.

What achievements are you most proud of so far?
Winning the first ever Arnold Professional Strongwoman Championship this year has been the most rewarding experience I have had so far. It was the highest-profile contest that we have seen for Strongwoman, and also the first time that the Arnold featured a women's event on that scale. It was very exciting to be a part of what felt like a pioneering event.

What goal are you chasing next?
The next big item on the list is to win an official World's Strongest Woman title. I will have my chance pretty soon in December!

Professionally, I am currently investing all my time into my training business, which means helping my clients reach their individual performance goals. I am currently prepping a half dozen athletes to compete at Strongman Nationals and the potential for their achievements is already so exciting for me. I am absolutely passionate about this sport, competition, and training, so to be able to share my understanding and experiences to help new competitors is very fulfilling.

What part of training do you think is undervalued but essential? (Accessory work, sleep, etc.)
I think sleep is actually the number 1 priority for athletes. Of course training is important, but too many people overlook the physiology of training and undervalue recovery. Training only initiates the adaptations that you are chasing, but the actual changes happen in response to the training, during the recovery period. If you aren't recovering properly, you may as well train less. For me personally, sleep has such a great effect on my attitude throughout the day that I consider sleep to have a much greater-reaching effect on all areas of my life than training.

What does #LivinSFH mean to you?
SFH pays attention to the quality of the details in their products, rather than focusing on adding more ingredients or making sexier advertising. Fewer ingredients, but higher quality. This matches well with the philosophy I have effected in my training, and that I am trying to adhere to in my personal life:  Train smarter, not harder and invest in quality over quantity. I have the opinion that we all will benefit from focusing on fewer things in order to improve the quality of each thing we choose to focus on, and that will in turn improve the quality of everything we embark on in the future.

What is/are your favorite SFH product/s?
I LOVE FUEL Coconut!! If I didn't know better, I could have my blended coconut espresso shake for every meal

THE 60 DAY STRONG CHALLENGE

July 24, 2017

Are you ready to get STRONG in exchange for prizes?

We’re excited about our new STRONG and want to see how you use it to get STRONGer- and what better way to do that then with a healthy competition. We’re challenging you to use STRONG for 60 days, and show us how STRONG you can get. At the end, we will name one male and one female winner, who will receive enough STRONG and PURE to keep them going until the end of 2017 (3 month supply).

Challenge ends September 30th, 2017.

 

So what do you have to do?
Share your current body weight and body fat percentage with us, along with your current PR (personal record) in a lift of your choice. We’ll need a photo of your starting body fat percentage to verify, and that can be anything from a photo of a scale to a print out from a professional test.

  1. Body Weight
  2. Body fat percentage (must verify)
  3. PR (1 lift of your choice)

You must submit all of that privately here. You can use any method of body fat testing you would like, as long as it can be verified via photos and you are able to repeat the same method of testing at the end of the 60-day challenge.

After you’ve submitted your numbers it’s time to get to work. Spend the rest of the challenge working hard, getting STRONGer, building lean muscle and focusing on your fitness. You can find tips, inspiration, and community support by joining us in our #LIVINSFH Facebook group.

Then, on or before September 30th, retest your body fat, reweigh yourself, and retest your PR - this time with a video. Send us your updated results, again, a picture of your body fat percentage and a video of your lift, and we will do the math to name one male and one female winner. We will be looking for the people who have been able to lose the largest percentage of body fat, while also increasing their PR by the largest amount.

Join us in LA for your final scan
If you are in the LA, Seattle or San Francisco areas, we recommend checking out BodySpec for DXA scans - that’s what we used for our first scans. (Because yes, we are doing this too, but we can’t win). We loved it so much, we invited them to our office, and now we invite you too! BodySpec will be coming to our office building in Culver City at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 15 for DXA scans, and we will be there offering samples of SFH products. Click
here to book your appointment today!

Haven't heard about our new, reformulated STRONG? Check out the video below to learn more.

 

 

STRONG 2.0: Reformulated for maximal results

July 15, 2017

STRONG 2.0

STRONG is back and better than ever!
Bodybuilders and powerlifters have long known the secret ingredient when looking to put on hard, lean muscle has always been beef. This is because beef is a complete protein with a full range of amino acids and is naturally high in creatine, which helps you to get the most from your high volume workouts. With this in mind, STRONG has been reformulated and now contains beef protein isolate and Super Serum, along with an impressive 5g of creatine and glutamine.

Optimize your protein synthesis.
The powerful combination of beef protein isolate and Super Serum enhances and optimizes your protein intake by working together to accelerate and prolong mTor activation, which is the process that controls cell growth through protein synthesis. By increasing the muscle building window, STRONG helps to create large, lean and full muscles.

Beef Protein Isolate and Super Serum together cause mTor to spike beginning two minutes after absorption and continue the mTor activation window for 30 minutes. When combined with SFH Whey Protein, the muscle building window is extended to over one hour of protein synthesis. STRONG’s beef protein and Super Serum is a revolutionary combination unlike any other product available, effectively delivering all the nutrients and protein needed to build lean muscle and ensuring optimal absorption within the body.

The powerful muscle building trio.
Creatine has been shown to help with delivering important strength inducing nutrients directly to the muscle’s inner cell. This limits muscle breakdown and encourages muscle growth. What makes STRONG unique is that creatine often needs a high dose of simple carbs to effectively delivered to the muscle. When creatine is effectively delivered to the muscles it helps to volumize and hydrate the muscle, eliminating common complaints about bloating that can come with a less effective supplement. Beef protein and Super Serum work as an optimal delivery system getting creatine to the muscles without the assistance or need for an insulin spike from carbohydrate. This allows for the possibility of staying lean and dry while putting on more muscle mass at the same time, which is important for those looking for a lean, strong body.

The glutamine in STRONG supports the immune system by supporting the function of macrophages which support GI and immune system functions so you can train harder and longer. Glutamine also works to prevent muscle breakdown by removing ammonia from the muscles and transporting it to the kidney and liver for detoxification. You can also expect an increased uptake of free form L-Glutamine to the muscle, an additional byproduct of beef.

STRONG takes the science of supplement stacking to a whole new level by being an all in one option to build that lean mass the right way.

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