Name: Sheila Viers
Location: Santa Monica, CA
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
To me, being a Girl Gone Strong means being a woman who owns her power. She is physically strong and nourishes her body with food and movement that help her feel fit, energetic, and fierce. She is also strong in her spirit. She knows who she is and is proud of who she shows up as every day. She sees each new day as an opportunity to appreciate life, expand and learn more about herself and what she wants, as well as to inspire others to step into their truest power too.
How long have you been training?
Since I was 15 years old, although today I do it for a different reason than I did back then. Back then I worked out because I was trying to make my body look a certain way so that I could feel skinny enough, beautiful, and worthy of my own approval. Today I train because it’s fun to challenge my body and see what I can create.
How did you get introduced to strength training?
My boyfriend in high school belonged to a gym so I started going with him. I remember the first time I went I was really intimidated by the weight room so I just spent 45 minutes on the stationary bike. My legs were Jell-O after that! He taught me about strength training as I got more comfortable with it. And then when I became a cheerleader we also had weight room days as part of our summer practice schedule.
What does a sample workout look like for you?
I change my routine up all the time with HIIT, yoga, at-home circuit workouts, and gym time. Recently I’ve gotten re-inspired by lifting heavy. Right now, I am hitting the gym 4-5 days a week, doing upper and lower body separately twice a week, with one day of full body or HIIT style plyo work. Then if I feel up to it, I add in another day of yoga or an easier at-home full body workout.
I’ve cut down on cardio quite a bit because honestly, I just haven’t been feeling it. I’ve been more excited to get into the gym, do a quick warm-up and then see how much more I can lift than in the last session. I forgot how quickly my body responds to heavy lifting too. I’ve already noticed some exciting changes!
Sample leg day:
- Walk to gym – 10 min
- 5 min warm up on treadmill
- squats with bar, warm up for 12
- squats, 3×10
- deadlifts, 3×10
- superset: leg extensions with seated leg curls, 3×15
- calf raises, 4×20
- superset: abductor machine with adductor machine, 3×15
- one-leg cable kickbacks, 3×15 each leg
- walking lunges with 15 lb db, 3×20
- cool down and stretch
- Walk home from gym – 10 min
Most memorable PR:
Ok, mind you I’m just getting back into heavy lifting, so I feel like it might sound wimpy, but last week I deadlifted 135 lbs. I was so proud!
Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
- Fight Song by Rachel Platten
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Fay Wolf (for cool down)
- Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
- Heros (we could be) by Alesso
- Ten Feet Tall by Afrojack
- Bonus: Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (old-er-ish but it pumps me up)
Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
- First and foremost, my Live Well 360 bag!
- Big bottle of spring water
- Lorna Jane sports bra with under-boob-padding that gives me cleavage and makes me feel sexy.
Do you prefer to train alone or with a training partner? Why?
I like training alone mostly because I am an introvert and like to get in and get out eaaaaaarly in the morning. That being said, I do love my girl time and get together for workouts with my sis or to run the Santa Monica stairs with a friend. As they say, friends that sweat together…
Most hilarious pick-up line you’ve heard at the gym:
“You know girls shouldn’t lift heavy.” [Punch in the face! Just kidding, maybe…]
Most embarrassing gym moment:
I can’t think of any! I’ve certainly had my share of fly-off-the-treadmill-while-sprinting moments, but nothing totally mortifying.
Ok, choosing just one is so hard! I will share a few.
My favorite green/veggie-filled, go-to meal is a Cobb salad with all kinds of fun ingredients added to it. For example, recently I had one with hard boiled egg whites, smoky bacon and smoked chicken, avocado, chickpeas, sliced grape tomatoes, blue cheese, and blue cheese dressing. If I was making it at home I would use Bolthouse Farms Ranch instead for dressing and add grilled corn, because that’s how I roll.
Annnnd my favorite non-green meal, would be a tie between a juicy burger with provolone and caramelized onions with sweet potato fries (well-done) dipped in ranch (of course) with an IPA (beer) …..OR….. fluffy crust barbecue chicken pizza with red onions and cilantro. Yummmzzzz….
Favorite way to treat yourself:
Hands down, deep tissue massage. Just got one today in fact!
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel
Oh boy, again, there’s no way I could choose just one! Books have really been my greatest teacher besides first-hand experience, so here are some that have had the most impact.
For learning about business, big picture thinking, and building a team and systems to support:
- Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
- The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
- The E-myth by Michael Gerber
For expanding my wealth consciousness, belief in myself, and a connection to my Higher Self/Source:
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn
- Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks
- The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
For expanding my understanding how important our relationship with food is in relation to our health and body goals:
- The Slow Down Diet by Marc David
For understanding men and how to best support your man in being the best version of himself (which then helps your relationship thrive as well):
- The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
And my favorite just for fun and adventure book:
- Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
What inspires and motivates you?
The idea of getting the most out of life. There is so much to experience, so much fun to be had, and so often we sell ourselves short and forget how amazing and brilliant we are. What if we really could have and do and be all of the things we want to have and do and be? What if our wildest dreams were actually possible? A lot of times we get disconnected from this idea and stop ourselves before we even start. I want each and every day of my life to make me jump out of bed in the morning because I’m just so excited about what I get to do that day. I really do believe it can be that fun.
What does a typical day look like for you? (From waking up to bedtime)
I bounce between periods of travel where my schedule is all over the place, to periods when I am at home and in more of a routine. I love having a mix of both because I feel like I get both adventure and excitement, as well as, routine and stability. I crave both equally. Here’s an example of my at-home schedule:
5:00 AM — wake up and go to the gym
6:30 — home, shower, meditate
7:30 — email, check my schedule for the day
8:30 — breakfast
9:00 — writing and/or most creative tasks for the day
12:00 PM — lunch!
1:00 — client calls, email, interviews
4:30 — leisure walk/run errands (I try to swing by the Santa Monica bluffs for a minute of gratitude whenever I squeeze it in)
5:30-6 — make dinner
6 — catch up on favorite TV shows on Hulu
7:00 — self-care like mani/pedi (I actually like doing my own), foam rolling,
8 — reading/watching YouTube vids to learn about things I want to educate myself on
9:30 — chat with my boyfriend who currently lives in Michigan
10 — lights out
What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
I feel like my body responds fast when I add in heavier weights. My shoulders are typically the first area I notice a big difference. They show more definition pretty quickly. I also notice that my skin is tighter. It also feels like my body processes sodium, alcohol, and higher volumes of food better when I am lifting heavier as well. This could totally by a placebo effect and all in my head, but who cares! I like it.
Next training goal:
I like looking to other women for inspiration. A strong, fit, but still very feminine look is what is most appealing to me. Nikki Blackketter and Lori Harder are really inspiring me right now.
I’m in this place where I’m experimenting (for fun) with eating more food volume and carbs while traveling and entertaining while seeing how lean I can stay. This goes against what most women believe is possible, especially as they get older, so I think it would be cool to show my results when I’m done.
I’d say my current goal is to build muscle, stay lean/cut, and add food volume and carbs. Sounds impossible, but I believe it’s not! Plus hey, I love a good challenge.
What are you most grateful for you in your life?
My family. I moved out to California from Michigan 6 years ago. My mom followed 2 years later. Then my middle sister a year after that. And finally, my youngest sister and her boyfriend were the last to make the trek this past November. My sisters and I have grown a lot closer over the past 5 years. I am 8 and 10 years older than each of them, so when we were younger I was first the babysitter and then the “uncool older sister that was always trying to ruin the fun.” Now we laugh until we almost pee when we get together (kidding but not) and there are moments when I feel like they are the big sis to me instead of vice versa.
My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader and the one that tells me I am amazing and brilliant when I forget. My dad has the biggest heart. He is currently working in North Carolina, but he owns a house outside of Vegas and he keeps saying he’s going to retire soon, so soon I’ll get to see him a lot more as well.
We all have so much love and support for each other. Even my parents, who have been divorced for 20 years respect and care about each other so much. I really do have the best family.
What life accomplishment are you most proud of thus far?
Starting a company, Live Well 360, from the ground up, designing all of the bag styles, getting them featured in countless fitness publications including Shape and Oxygen with zero marketing budget and then selling the company this year for a profit. It was my baby, and I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of through the whole adventure.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Passionate, inspiring, loving.
How has lifting weights changed your life?
It has shown me how possible it is to transform yourself both physically and mentally. It helped me to realize that being strong and fit is so much more important and fulfilling than simply being “skinny.”
What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Most women want a nice butt and fit-looking arms. Most women want their body to burn calories like a well-oiled machine so that they can eat to fuel their body. Most women don’t want to have to count calories and restrict in order to maintain or get lean. Lifting heavy weights supports all of this and more. Lifting heavy enhances your booty, your arms and so much more.
For women who are worried that they will look “too masculine” (whatever your definition of “too masculine” is), I just want to remind you that there are so many women out there who lift heavy and look feminine. It’s hard to bulk up, but if you’re scared, like with anything new that you want to teach yourself, hire a great coach who can help you create the results you want. Invest in yourself. Educate yourself about the things that you want to create in your life. Inspire yourself toward your goals.
Show yourself what is possible for you. The human body is an amazing machine. Have fun with it. Treat it like a project, like, “What if I could create this for myself?” rather than “I have to see these specific results or else I’m not good enough…”