Simply Girls Gone Strong!

by Marianne  - November 17, 2011

How do I even begin to put together a summary of the first official “meeting of the minds” from Girls Gone Strong! There is so much to say about what we did, but I actually think that Jen Comas Keck, Neghar Fonooni and Julia Ladewski have already written so beautifully about it that I should let ya’ll read it from them.

Girls Gone Strong Invades Baltimore by Jen Comas Keck

What is Girls Gone Strong? by Neghar

Girls Gone Strong in Baltimore by Julia Ladewski

Now for my take on the weekend.

Last Thursday, after a long journey all the way from Belfast, Northern Ireland, I was thrilled to be welcomed by Julia and Neghar at the airport! After meeting and greeting the rest of the ladies (Nia Shanks, Molly Galbraith and Alli McKee), we headed out for STEAK! We were met at the restaurant by Jen Sinkler (Senior Fitness Editor for Experience Life Magazine). It was great to finally get talking to my ladies of strength and catch up on each other’s craic / biz / gos etc (as we have all become friends). But eventually chat turned to business as we got our heads together to plan the following day.

GGS Dinner (first night)
Second night Sushi

On Friday morning we started early, went for breakfast/coffee in Eggspectations and met another super-strong lady, Karen Smith (RKC Team Leader and Owner of Kettlebell Elite).

Over breakie we got to brainstorm with two amazingly smart and generous guys (Adam Foote and Brian Moran) who have helped us put together our very first product (which will be coming VERY soon). They also took video footage and photographs of our training and I can honestly say that these guys are invaluable to us because we couldn’t have done it all without them!!

Here is the finished Video of our training session at Optimum Performance Training Institute (OPTI) by Adam Foote:

What an experience. And how cool that Under Armour gave us great apparel for our photos!

The best thing about this group of women is the clear mutual respect. Β Everyone has something unique to offer while still singing from the same hymn sheet. Β We are so inspired by each other that not only do we want to better ourselves, but we are rooting for one another too! It’s not often that a group of girls can honestly say that and mean it πŸ˜‰

Jen Comas Keck, Myself, Neghar Fonooni and Nia Shanks
Alli McKee, Jen Sinkler, Molly Galbraith, Julia Ladewski and Karen Smith

Another highlight of the weekend was the Photoshoot. Β Ann Razonski, a very talented photographer took amazing shots of us both individually and as a group. You can check out the GGS photoshoot teaser on Ann’s blog.

Me, Jen and Alli
Julia, Jen, me and Neghar
Jen Sinkler and Nia Shanks / Dr Altman from Grey’s Anatomy / Purple Bitch Bumpkin
Girl Gone Cone-head!

With the expertise and experience of each individual Girl Gone Strong plus the masterful minds of both Brian and Adam, we have put together a product that I know will help a lot of women on their fitness journey. Β We would be stupid not to try and do our bit to help people as best we can. Β While we want to act as inspiration and examples, we also want to offer our skills and experience to the world to help women (and men) train with purpose and GET STRONG. This is why in the future you will hopefully see GGS at a facility near you (and that includes Ireland) – because we want you to have the chance to experience the energy and the drive that we feel! Β If only I could package and distribute that feeling; because it alone would help solve so many people’s battles with self-doubt and self-belief.

It’s about building the type of strength that is going to benefit you the most – strength of body, strength of mind and strength of character!

I am grateful for all of your support everyone – it means a lot to have my readers be happy for me and GGS. Β I hope that GGS can help cut through all the crap out there and bring you the best the industry has to offer. Obviously I will still be doing myomy thang here, but I love having this cause to work on too because it has enriched my life so much already – all I want to do is spread the word!

Follow GGS on Facebook and Twitter.

And don’t forget that Myoymtv is now on Facebook.

Hope you enjoy all the reading as there’s a lot of links to bookmark πŸ˜€


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  1. Pingback: Girls Gone Strong « Kettlebell JP
  2. Pingback: Girls Gone Strong « Kettlebell JP
  3. you women are AMAZING! I love the video and following each of you. You train hard and train RIGHT. The way every single woman should train. Such an inspiration

  4. OMG I just want to play(train) with you girls – you all looked like you were having such a good time. I envy you all to have found each other it is a very special bond that you will all have for a long time. I’m so excited and pumped after watching your training video that I want to train today but it’s my rest day aaargh. Keep up the good work Marianne you are an inspiration. I’ve rediscovered my strength training and feel like a new woman it is so empowering and we all need to spread the word. There is no better feeling than knowing you’ve given something 110% πŸ™‚

  5. Marianne I am so excited for you and can’t wait to hear more about this product all of you are working on. You are an inspiration.

  6. at times i wish i had free time to read all these long articles, but this is such a busy time for me, and i just can’t keep up. I was wondering who else actually post workouts besides you. When Julia did her 30 day challenge, i find that, and wrote down a few workouts of her. I love the card workout. such a awesome workout in such a short amount of time. And of course your workouts are amazing. I have really been paying attention to your from on your swings and have adjusted the head position, and i think i feel it more in my abs now. all i know , is i can definately feel a difference.

    I ordered a bad ass sweatshirt finally from NIa, i’m stoked to get that and parade it around this little town i live in.


    1. Tempest, I don’t think any of the others do workouts – just me πŸ˜€ Maybe I will do a card workout some time !

      Bet you can’t wait to get your sweatshirt πŸ˜›

  7. Amazing Women for sure! Love the pictures and the video. Your still my favorite even though they are my neighbours to the Keep up the good work you motivate me to keep lifting smarter and better;)

  8. First off Nia DOES look like “Dr Altman”! That’s the first thought I had when I saw her. She probably gets sick of it. πŸ™‚

    Great stuff! You’re taking a path many people just dream of and never take the first step. Looks like you have a winning formula with plenty of great partners. Not sure if you have ever read 4-hour work week, but the author Tim Ferriss has a blog that has great articles on ventures like yours. I’ve learned alot.

    Finally…..that last group picture. Wow. Who says strong/powerful women aren’t “sexy”? I think the combination of those attributes has a broad appeal to both male and females. That initial draw hooks them, then the message/content keeps them. It’s a good balance at this point and doesn’t lean to far either way. Should be a strong, if not central, marketing campaign.

    Like I’ve said, you have alot to offer both sexes!

    1. I love your comment Brian, thank you for such a vote of confidence πŸ™‚

      And thank you for the link, it’s very informative stuff on there. I will need to do a lot of reading into this πŸ™‚


  9. Hi Marianne,

    Welcome back and congratulations on the success of GGS!!! Good to see the UK represented!! Make sure you bring the girls over here, I’m really looking forward to seeing you all in the flesh and maybe even training with you!!

    Have a good weekend!!


      1. Hi Marianne,

        I’m in Chelmsford in Essex. I don’t think there are too many women that do strength training so seeing you and what you’re up to is inspirational! Keep up the good work!


  10. Amazing! Inspiring! Moving! just.. blown away! I feel..I don’t know…lucky I guess to have found you (& your site) for I get to follow along with you on your new journey and those of the GGS right from the beginning. Almost as if I am there with you. It’s exciting. You will never know how much you have helped me in striving to reach my personal fitness goals(i’m getting closer). But, I really owe alot of credit to you for the drive, motivation and encouragement you give me. I recently found a HKC certification workshop coming up in Chicago and i’m hoping I will be able to take part in that this coming April! Keep your fingeres crossed!!

    I’m curious to find out what the GGS Product you’re hinting about is! BTW, that last picture of you girls is awesome! You should make that available in a POSTER!! That would be all I need for Motivation on my wall!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Penny, your comment gave me goosebumps! I am honoured to have been such a positive part in your journey. I am so happy that you have been directed towards strength training and I know it is the most empowering goal! The fact that your goal consists of the HKC, is amazing and I wish you every success πŸ˜€

      Great idea for the poster! I felt a little weird posing, but this photo came out great. I also like the headshots and I am excited to see the rest when Ann has time to pick through them, eek!

      Thank you again for this kind comment!

  11. I think I’m about as excited as you are about this. I can literally FEEL the enthusiasm every time I read any GGS post. Been following most of you for awhile now and it’s thrilling to see you all get together.
    Can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

    Funny about Dr. Altman and Nia. I’ve often thought that myself when I see her photo. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Kim! I get the same feeling every time I read someone comment or share their feelings/story to us! When you see women posting about their first ever pull up, or PRs on their lifts, it makes it all worth it!

      Ha, I actually didn’t notice Nia looked so much like Dr. Altman until someone in GGS pointed it out. And I watch Grey’s Anatomy – so duh for me πŸ˜›

  12. great video! it is so inspiring. I am about to hit the gym and I am so pumped up from this video yipee.
    you guys are so rockin’

  13. Awesome video, soooo inspiring….looks like you all had a fantastic and productive time. Can’t wait to find out what your product is going to be….great things ahead i think!!!

    1. It was VERY productive Dayl, thank you!! As I said, it was Adam and Brian that really helped us realise what we really have to offer the world. They witnessed the energy from the group as soon as we walked into Eggpectations, they got to witness our passion – so it was amazing to have these guys believe in us so much that they focused our knowledge into the start of what I hope is a line of different products. With the time and energy each one of us is putting into it; it will be something very helpful indeed.

      Great things πŸ˜€

    1. Me too Johnny! I think we are onto a winning movement here; so many women AND men need guidance, and so many trainers need help in how to train their female clients. We hope that GGS can help them and us (of course).

      I am glad you feel excited too πŸ˜€

  14. Hi Marianne,

    welcome back and congratulations for your achievements and especially for this exciting new project you are sharing with the other girls at GGS.

    I have checked some of the other girls’ blogs too and it’s really refreshing to see an atmosphere which is totally different from “all the crap out there”. You all seem to be focusing on real and important values, instead of clearly focusing on “crap”.

    Can’t wait to find out what your “product” will be.


    1. Thank you Bianca! I really believe in each of these women that they are all on the same page as me when it comes to “how to market ourselves”. While we each want to look good, none of us want to help breed that unrealistic image of fitness or cheapen our message with a highly sexual image either. We believe that confidence and believing in your own strength is a far more positive message; one that you would want your sons and daughters exposed to!

  15. Marianne, you and the rest of Girls Gone Strong are such an inspiration not only to women, but men as well!!! I follow your kettlebell workouts and I am looking forward to what lies ahead for Girls Gone Strong!!!

    1. Thank you Scott, it means a lot to have everyone’s support! It is very encouraging to know that we are not isolating the men with our “cause” but inspiring you too πŸ˜€

  16. well I can never say enough about how much respect I have for you Marianne, and these ladies are also very inspiring in their own right! I’m so thankful that people are getting to see and realize what gifts and talents you have to share with the world. I really makes me want to stop talking about it and actually go buy a set of barbells!! I’m so excited about the product you are talking about you know I’ll be first on the list for getting a hold of it! Thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge and your workouts, I feel like you are the real deal and it’ll be awesome to get to know the other women in GGS as well:)

    1. Aimee, your comment is SO kind! I feel pretty darn lucky to be in this position and I feel like it would never have be possible to do anything with my blog or this group of women, if it wasn’t for continuing support from people like you!

      I am excited that you are excited about getting under the bar! Hopefully it won’t be too long until GGS is in your city so you can come and train with us πŸ˜€ Hopefully I can do myself justice in the big world out there πŸ˜‰ It sure is a little intimidating when you come from such a backward place in terms of training!

      Thank you for all your support and encouragement – it works both ways πŸ™‚

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