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Operation Get Strong & Sexy: Final Weeks of Training & Meet Results!

By November 12, 2013January 2nd, 2017Operation Get Strong and Sexy, Powerlifting

Welcome to week 5-6 of Operation Get Strong & Sexy. In case you missed the four weeks, click HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE to see what this is all about. Basically, my clients Erin & Sammie decided to set a date for a powerlifting competition. Though they’ve done bodybuilding training and competed in bikini competitions, they’ve never competed or trained for a powerlifting competition. We decided to film and broadcast our journey.


Final Weeks of Training Clip

I’ve been extremely busy over the past few weeks so I haven’t posted an update. However, the training has been incredible and the meet results were phenomenal. Here’s a video highlighting the final weeks of training:

As you can see, the girls trained very hard!

The meet was on Saturday, and the girls kicked ass!

Official Results

HERE is a pdf of the official results.



Erin weighed in at 101 lbs and competed in the 106 lb weight class.

Sammie weighed in at 124 lbs and competed in the 132 lb weight class. She missed the 123 lb weight class cut-off by just a pound, but we really didn’t care about this as we were competing for the sake of competing and weren’t worried about weight.


Erin hit a 67.5 kg (149 lb) squat, which was a PR (4 lbs over what she’d done in training)!

Sammie hit a 90 kg (198 lb) squat, which was actually 12 lbs under what she’d done in training.

Bench Press

Erin benched 40 kg (88 lbs), which was 7 lbs under what she’d done in training.

Sammie benched 45 kg (99 lbs), which was 6 lbs under what she’d done in training.


Erin pulled 95 kg (209 lbs), which was a PR (4 lbs over what she’d done in training)!

Sammie pulled 132.5 kg (292 lbs), which was a PR (7 lbs over what she’d done in training)!


Erin ended up with a 202.5 kg (446 lbs) total.

Sammie ended up with a 267.5 kg (590 lbs) total.

Video of the Meet

Here’s a video of the meet. I’m sure I screwed up on some of the weights as I’m not quite accustomed to kilogram loads.

Highlights & Reflections

There are numerous points I’d like to highlight, in no particular order of importance:

  1. The girls trained and competed completely raw – no wraps, belts, straps, or other supportive gear. Knee wraps and belts were allowed in the competition, but they wanted to test their pure raw strength.
  2. Neither of the girls suffered any injuries throughout the entire training period or competition.
  3. The girls only did powerlifting training twice per week for 2 hours and only performed around a dozen sessions in the 6 weeks prior to the meet.
  4. Neither of the girls “bulked up” or put on much weight – I think Erin gained two pounds and Sammie stayed put.
  5. The girls’ form improved (especially Sammie’s squat form) markedly over the 6 weeks and now the form comes quite natural to them (keep in mind they just started PL training!).
  6. The girls’ glutes were the only muscles that really grew throughout the training, and this is largely due to the high rep glute training (assistance work) that we performed after the specific powerlifting work was conducted each session.
  7. Erin put roughly 50 lbs on her squat, 15 lbs on her bench press, and 70 lbs on her deadlift in the six weeks leading up to the meet.
  8. Sammie put roughly 20 lbs on her squat, 25 lbs on her bench press, and 60 lbs on her deadlift in the six weeks leading up to the meet.
  9. The girls felt a bit claustrophobic when squatting at the meet as they weren’t  used to being surrounded by spotters.
  10. I definitely could have done a better job of getting the girls accustomed to the commands prior to the meet; they felt a bit unprepared during squats and bench press in particular.
  11. I failed on my end by not checking out the bench pressing rules for NASA as they require flat feet – Sammie was used to benching on her toes with her feet underneath her.
  12. The deadlift portion of the meet went so fast it was insane. I would estimate that the girls had 2 minutes of time in between their attempts.
  13. Since this was the girls’ first meet, I was very cautious with their openers and went with weights they could do for 5-10 reps if need-be as I wanted to build confidence.
  14. Sammie’s last pull looked really easy – I bet she could have pulled 300-305!
  15. I was shocked at how many women competitors were called on their squat depth and then acted surprised – don’t they have trainers and do they film their training sessions???

Great Job Erin & Sammie!!! You Are Incredible!

Congratulations Sammie & Erin!!! I’m So Proud of Both of You! You Ladies Kick Ass!


  • marci says:

    Congratulations on a job very well done girls! Ive been following your training from the beginning and am beyond impressed with your rapid progress and strength. You should be very proud!

  • Kassandra says:

    Congratulations! Your training videos have inspired me to change the way I train. I started hip thrusts and have changed my squat and deadlift form as a result of watching the first couple weeks of your training. Sammie and Erin are disciplined, strong, and beautiful and are a huge inspiration to me. You too, Bret! I just bought Strong Curves.

  • Paul Gallovich says:

    Awesome work Sammie and Erin. Keep up the great work and keep getting stronger. You have one of the best coaches ever! You guys are lucky.

  • Great job ladies and congratulations to you both and to your coach:)

  • Annalise says:

    You girls ROCKED it! Way to be inspirational role models and figures in the world of fitness that debunks the lie that girls bulk-up if they lift heavy. I feel really lucky to have spent time with you on meet-day, and wish I could’ve socialized with you more prior!
    I hope you keep up with it, there’s nothing like lifting heavy, and hopefully we’ll see you and Bret in February at the USPA meet?
    Congratulations, you girls did so well! And congrats Bret for training something new, motivating them (and others), and your knowledge!

  • freddy says:

    That looked good Bret. I liked the fact you shared some the improvements you could have made as a trainer. Question: how long does it take you to determine one’s deadlift stance? Especially when your client might have time constraint i.e. 12 weeks.

    • Bret says:

      freddy – not long at all. Just see which stance the person is strongest at and roll with it. Sometimes you’ll retest and find that the strongest stance “flip-flops,” which happens to certain lifters over time. We train both stances, but closer to the competition I stick with specificity and focus on the stronger stance.

  • Nick says:

    With athletes like those and such a talented, knowledgeable coach no telling what the limit is. Pretty impressive stuff. Congrats on the team.

  • Jennifer says:

    You ladies did amazing – congratulations! you look beautiful and are incredibly strong. Thank you, Bret, for sharing the journey!

  • Alex says:

    This is great! Amazing job. Just clarification on the training – were these sessions all they did the whole time? Was there any extra work, even if not strength work, or just the 2x per week? Really great job! Inspiring.

    • Bret says:

      Alex, Erin did some extra sessions on her own, mostly just training her delts and back (and avoiding the powerlifts). Sammie didn’t do any extra work (one week we only trained once!). I don’t feel that this is optimal, but it’s the best we could all do with our schedules. In a perfect world we’d get 4 sessions per week together.

  • Naomi says:

    Well done girls! Amazing strength gain and form improvements n very short time. Thank you so much for being willing to share your entire journey.

    P.S. Love the socks. 😉

  • Angelina says:

    You girls are freakin awesome!! Watching your journey has inspired me to compete – will you girls be doing it again? Thanks for allowing BC to share your journey.

  • Jenny says:

    Fabulous! I loved following your progress.

  • Daniel says:

    Awesome! Nice job Girls!

  • Maria says:

    Awesome work ladies! Loved following the progress, you’re both very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  • she-ra says:

    Congratulations to two strong women! Note to all powerlifters: make sure you go online way before the meet and read the rules of that particular federation as they differ from federation to federation. Then when you’re training for the meet in the gym, you can practice your lifts with the specific commands/rules so they become second nature. Take responsibility for knowing the rules way ahead of the meet, and don’t depend on someone else looking them up for you.

  • Dixon says:

    You girls ROCK! Great job… loved watching your progress. Very inspiring…Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • kelly hauth says:

    AMAZING girls! Thanks Erin, you have been a big motivation the past several weeks. I’ve been 110 lbs for 15+ years and didn’t know I could lift as heavy as I have been recently. You make us skinny girls proud! Bret thanks for sharing their progress…good job to all three of you!

  • Becky G says:

    Way to go girls! I am so inspired by watching you that maybe this 48 year old lady will compete next year.
    My husband is a body builder and my trainer and we both wonder why Erin only does the sumo dead and Sammie only does the other version, why? It seems that it would be easier for both girls to do the opposite as Erin has short appendages more suited for Romanian and Sammie seems more suited for sumo. Just wondering as it will help me with my training as I have longer arms and legs at 5’7″.

  • Karim says:

    Congratulations ladies! You have been an inspiration to many of my female clients who after following your progress and realizing that heavy weight lifting does not necessarily equate to bulky muscles have finally decided to give it ago.

  • Alex says:

    Amazing! Congrats to the girls and yourself Bret. I was watching this with my girlfriends who’s been lifting on and off for a year now. I don’t know if the video inspired her to step up her game (shes naturally pretty strong herself, but her numbers are nothing like these!), or scared her away from the squat rack for a while haha!

    A question though, how were you breaking down the 2 training sessions? Doing all 3 lifts with each session? If you could have trained them 3x a week, and had a bit longer (say 4-6months) how would have you trained them? Basic overload, with a bench day, a squat day and a DL day?

  • Bob says:

    Really impressive. I’d like to hear from Erin and Sammie: Did the training meet expectations? Did the competition meet expectations? Do they plan to continue strength work (which may or may not include more competitions)? Were the results worth the effort? Would they have done anything differently in hindsight? Given their basic focus is figure competition, do they see strength training in a different light now?

  • ggs says:

    The girls did AMAZING…I might even give this a try myself. I would just like to say that this blog not only informs but inspires…
    As a coach you inspire us to challenge ourselves. To define your goals and achieve them. You are committed to teaching us healthy lifting practices. You motivate me to be the best me I can be…. I am sure you do this for many others also….Thanks Bret as always much appreciated

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