Training Strength for Women: 3 Perspectives From Real Athletes


Eva Twardokens is a two-time Olympian in Alpine Skiing (Albertville and Lillehammer ) and a twelve-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team. She has won six National Championships, won a world Championship Bronze Medal, and is a World Technical Skiing Champion. She is also a Masters Weightlifting Champion.



Training Strength for Women: 3 Perspectives From Real Athletes - Fitness, strength, strength training, women, women's fitness, iron maiden


Today, Eva works with clients to help them optimize their performance and health through smart training. We loved the insight she offered when asked what it means to be an athlete versus someone who just works out. Here's what Eva had to say:


I think with exercise, it's important to understand who you are. You need to quantify yourself and then qualify to work out. And so I came up with the classification of what I call the trainee. The first classification is your down-and-dirty athlete. This is a person who's training, traveling, and competing 24-7. They're not holding a job, and they're paying their mortgage by doing their sport. Generally that person is either a professional athlete or an Olympian.


The second classification I have is called the recreational athlete. Most people hate this. But really, the classification of the recreational athlete is something great. I was a recreational athlete when I did my Olympic weightlifting. I was holding a job...I was doing a lot of other things. It was to satisfy my need to win something other than skiing. And so I did that, and I considered myself a recreational athlete.


And then I have the exerciser, which is what I am today. I'm a person that wants to maintain my body composition and support the passions in my life.


Eva noted that the danger zone often lies with the recreational athlete. As she said, the recreational athletes are the people who go hard in their training without the support of funding and medical professionals to allow them to recovery adequately. She offered advice for new trainees and recreational athletes to help them avoid injury and overtraining:


It takes me back to a conversation I had with my father when I was totally going nuts over exercise and doing too much. I said, "Dad, exercise is perpetual. The more you do, the more you can do." And that's partially true, but he came back to me and said, "No, Eva, it's kind of like a battery. If you run your battery low, you're going to run out of gas..." And I was like, "No, no that's so wrong!"


About five years ago I made an apology to my dad for fighting him on that and being such a jerk and know-it-all. I said, "You know what, you were right."


Eva's least favorite exercise? "Sumo deadlift high pulls. I think they're just silly." You can catch the bonus round with Eva starting at minute 39 in the podcast below.



Click Play to Hear More of Eva's Training Advice



Read about Iron Maiden, SFG2, and kung fu black belt Artemis Scantalides on page 3.


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