Some women can take a handful of ingredients and transform them into an unforgettable culinary experience.

Others can put paint on paper in a way that expresses beauty and truth and the essence of who they are.

I train my heart out – nothing to prepare for, no competition I’m striving towards. No reason except that strength training is my creative impulse – my all out – my fullest form of expression.

But that’s not always been my story . . .

beginner weight lifting for women

Here's to Strong Women

diet down to skinny2003: Me in college, and no, it's not Halloween. I had the awesome privilege of cheering for the greatest college basketball program ever, the Duke Blue Devils! Let's just say baring my midriff in front of the entire student body was all the motivation I needed to diet down to skinny. And I emphasize skinny, NOT healthy!

lose body fat2008:  This was by far one of my heaviest seasons. And to be honest, the photo does not do justice to the amount of extra fluffiness that I was carrying around. I’m pretty sure I deleted almost every photo of myself from this year because I cringed every time I saw a picture of myself (surely you can relate???)

weight loss after pregnancy2011: Photo #3 is from my first pregnancy. I was (and still am) amazed by what a woman's body is capable of, but little did I know this was just the beginning. We had four babies in four years! I forgot what un-pregnant felt like!

beginner weight lifting for women2014: 6 months after giving birth to our third baby in three years. I accidentally stumbled into strength training and a wonderful thing happened. Not only did I begin to grow strong but my confidence and self-esteem skyrocketed. Lower back pain that had been my constant companion since I was a teenager disappeared altogether. I found that I could get through the day without feeling like I'd been run over by a truck, which doesn't sound all that impressive unless I throw in that I was working from home part-time while taking care of a 2 yr old, 1 yr old, and newborn! My mind was just blown by how such a simple thing as picking up heavy things was totally changing my life!

How I Found Weight Lifting or Rather How Weight Lifting Found Me

So how did I get from Photos #2 & 3 to Photo #4? Frankly, by accident.

I always thought the quickest way to get fit was to lace up my Asics and hit the pavement long and hard. And to be honest, I loved long distance running.

But then came…

fat loss for new moms

We had Ellie in 2011, Nolan in 2012, Lena in 2013, and Henry in 2015.

I said au revoir to running because well, bouncing up and down on concrete + a decimated pelvic floor do not a dry combination make (if you get my drift….and if you don’t, you should probably move on before I scare you out of having babies altogether.)

Nevertheless I suddenly had this newfound desire to go to the gym {that may or may not have been 100% motivated by the 2 hours of “free” childcare.}


I was totally lost.


After this very scientific approach to deciding how I should spend my time in the gym, I downloaded some apps, eavesdropped on the personal trainers, and copied other people in hopes of not looking like a total idiot.

After several weeks of playing the weight lifting poser, I could not believe it. My weight was dropping. But even better, if I stood in just the right light, I could actually see a wee bit of muscle definition.

If you're lucky, on a few occasions in your lifetime you stumble upon something that truly transforms you, and I can honestly say that strength training did just that for me.

The gym became my sanctuary.

Lifting weights makes me feel strong. It brings me out of the dumps when I can feel the sadness creeping in.

And it's helping me to cope with this social anxiety I've never been able to shake.

And if something so seemingly simple as picking up heavy stuff had given me a sense of confidence and freedom I hadn't found elsewhere, I couldn't help but write about it.

And so was born Strong is the New Mama.

The Strong is the New Mama Mission: We Lift Weights . . . For Fun!

beginner weight lifting for women


If any of this sounds good to you, check out Our Manifesto to read more about Strong is the New Mama!

So grateful you are here,



  • Shey

    Reply Reply March 29, 2014

    Hi Brooke,

    I stumbled across your blog after seeing your recommendation for the SH** breastfeeding book, on my Google+ feed. I can see your blog is fairly new but I like your style of writing! I’m still working on building out a couple of my own blogs (I had a weight loss blog too, but I didn’t have the passion for it).

    Anyway, I just wanted to write and say hi and congratulate you on building a fun & entertaining site. I am almost 45 and never had kids of my own, so I don’t think I can relate, but your humor will go far. Good luck!

    • Brooke

      Reply Reply March 29, 2014

      Shey, thank you so much for the encouragement! I needed it today! Best of luck to you in your journey to build your own blogs!

  • Corinne Nabors

    Reply Reply May 17, 2014

    Brooke, I LOVE your blog! I’m so happy to see the good, the bad, and the funny sides of breastfeeding all in one place. Reading your posts tonight has stirred up a whirlwind of emotions from my breastfeeding days, some sorrow over “failures” and what-ifs, a good bit of envy over my own (now long deflated) DD/E boobs, a huge rush of love remembering each of my sweet nursinglings, and a longing for one more chance to nurture my babies so close to my heart, in my arms. I didn’t think I would ever miss nursing, espically nursing twins, but I do! I pray for the Lord to bless you and Lena to meet your goal. I hope you have great success with your blog as well, I sure would have loved to read this when I was nursing!

    • Brooke

      Reply Reply May 17, 2014

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for such kind words! Seriously made my day! And nursing twins……lady, you deserve something, I don’t know what, but something monumental! I just can’t even imagine, but what a sweet sacrifice of your time and your body to make for those babies. When I get ready to write about nursing twins, I’m definitely going to have to tap you for some insight and knowledge!

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