Nat This Girl Can Hampshire Champion

Lifting less, stepping more: how lockdown has affected my training

Date: 9 July 2020   Author: Energise Me

Strongwoman, Nat, is lifting less but stepping more! She shares how lockdown has affected her training plan, turning it on its head.

Nat This Girl Can Hampshire Champion


Name: Nat

Age: 38

I’m locked down with: My son Alfie

I’m keeping active by: walking, running, online workouts and light lifting


My story:

I’m a single mum, the co-founder of a marketing business and currently Basingstoke’s Novice Strongwoman under 65kg. I discovered weightlifting a couple of years ago, which helped rekindle my passion for being active.

I was a typical sporty child who was in all the teams at school, but when I went to university things changed. I began struggling with my mental health and developed an unhealthy relationship with physical activity and issues with eating and over-exercising.

My marriage ended in 2018 and it was at this time that I started training Farah Fonseca (the world’s strongest woman 2018) at a local gym. It was a point in my life where I was reassessing things and wanted to try something different. I won Basingstoke’s Novice Strongwoman in under 65kg category at the age of 37, shortly after my Mum had died. It felt like a double victory winning and dealing with Mum’s death at the same time.

Being physically active is as important to me as my counselling in terms of helping me with my grief. Lifting is my therapy, so losing the ability to train and take part in competitions due to the pandemic, has been really difficult, but I’ve found different ways to ensure I boost my endorphin levels.

Without the equipment and safety element of the gym around me the work I can do is only accessory work

Exercising during lockdown…

I’d been in solid training for the regional and national Strongwoman pre-COVID, and my training has more or less stopped now. I may not be lifting weights anymore, but my step count has more than doubled during the pandemic. I exercised more in the early days. It was my coping mechanism. Getting those endorphins helps me deal with work and home-schooling and also to fill my furlough days during April.

I have some weights at home and rented the Log, but without the equipment and safety element of the gym around me the work I can do is only accessory work. I have got back into running and at the moment run twice a week between 6 – 9 miles a time. It was a shock to me that I could still do that distance and will help with my endurance when I get back to weight training.

My mental health has been boosted as I have made improvements in areas that I was not focusing on before.

How exercise is helping me

It’s helping my state of mind. While I have had to grieve the loss of my strength and competition goals, I have used physical activity to ensure it doesn’t all go to waste. I have got visibly leaner and my cardio endurance has improved. This has boosted my mental health; knowing that I have made improvements in areas that I was not focusing on before. And of course, the endorphins are brilliant mood enhancers.


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Walking - Active 10

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Weight Lifting is one of the oldest competitive sports. The sport is a combination of dynamic gymnastic and plyometric movements involving a bar being lifted overhead.

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