Julie Smith

Julie has been an athlete since she was five years old, playing softball and basketball, but started taking weight-lifting seriously when she turned 30. She started competing in figure competitions in 2013, winning top five placements in every show she took part in. She then went on to compete at the national level in 2016, but her biggest accomplishment has been discovering more about herself and removing stigmas about what her limits could be. As a mother, personal trainer, business owner, and full-time Pre-Physical Therapy student, balance is what she is most proud of.

Favorite cheat meal?
Burgers and beer

What’s the weirdest thing in your gym bag?
I don’t think I have anything out of the ordinary but people do like to tease me that I carry a gym with me.  My gym doesn’t have much in the way of bands, straps, chalk, jump ropes so I carry all those with me all the time.  I carry a dozen or so different types of bands of different lengths and resistances to add to my weight training. I really could do a solid workout if I needed to with just what’s in my bag 😉

What’s your perfect rest day?
I love a rest day that has a nice walk or a simple hike in the woods.  I’m always moving and if I can do that outdoors I always will.

Who’s your favorite athlete?
Erin Stern.  I’ve always looked up to her as a figure competitor because of my interest in bodybuilding but I admire her even more because she is a track athlete at heart and she never hesitates to mix the two.  She trains for aesthetics and performance. That’s a true athlete in book.

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Totally not a cereal person but will go out of my way to make sure eggs are apart of my daily breakfast even when traveling or on vacation.

Favorite cartoon growing up?
Looney Toons

Who wins in a fight, a blind tiger or a miniature lion?
Blind tiger every time lol

Worst pizza topping?

If you had to replace walking with skipping or hopping, which would you choose?
Definitely skipping.  Easy on the knees and who wouldn’t want to the opportunity to act like a 5 year old 😉

Would you still want a million dollars if you could only spend it in nickels?
Yup, still pays the bills the same way.

How many donuts can you eat in one sitting?
Definitely have proof of 4 or 5 but could probably handle a few more especially after a really intense training session.

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you hate cardio?
Zero!  I love cardio.  No one wants to feel like a hamster on a wheel but there are too many fun ways to incorporate cardio.  I’m a huge fan of doing metabolic circuits or HIIT with medicine balls, battle ropes, jump rope, sandbags, and throw in other fun things like bear crawls, burpees and box jumps.  The list is endless. I use cardio as a tool to keep myself healthy and nothing better than a good sweat and opening up your lungs. I do train to maintain and build muscle so I may only do cardio once a week but I use it as my opportunity to get creative!

High reps or high weight – which do you prefer?
I switch this up.  It depends on what phase of training I’m in, what muscle groups I’m targeting and where it falls in my daily program but I do keep at little of both all the time.

Do you lift for aesthetics or for strength?
Both for sure.  I would include performance in there as well.  Feeling like an athlete when I train is my #1 goal.

Do you prefer plates & weights or ropes & balls?
Both!  Plates and weights THEN ropes and balls.

Where do you see the fitness industry going in the next 5-10 years?
It’s growing by the day!  With the growth of the “Health and Wellness” industry and social media, combined I think they draw more people every day to work to improve their fitness level.

What motivates you?
I’m motivated by several things but mainly progress.  The more years that go by, the more I have learned to love training.  I love seeing not only my physique change but my overall fitness as well.  It still amazes me when I look back on where I started. I love comparing where I am now and thinking about where I can still go.  At 37 I’m by far in the best shape of my life and there’s lot more to come. Training has also become a therapy for me. It’s not something I have to make myself get up and do.  Not everyday is perfect but for the most part, I’m excited to get to the gym because there’s no better feeling than the one I have post workout. It re-energizes me and make me better in all the other aspects of my life.