Uplifting | Rae Relchlin
Personal trainer at Rockwell Barbell, group fitness instructor at Crosstown Fitness, and founder of Ladies who Lift, Rae Reichlin is all about sharing her fitness techniques. Growing up a dancer, Rae fell in love with the way dancing let her use the body and mind in tandem. Rae enjoyed how dancing pushed her physically and mentally when she entered the studio. In college, she decided that dancing was not something she wanted to pursue professionally.
“Deciding not pursue dancing as a professional sent me a journey of trying to find another way to use my body and mind in the same way.” – Rae Reichlin
This is where Rae fell in love with weightlifting.
“When it comes to weightlifting and getting stronger, you always need to enter the gym with a plan. You need to know how many reps and sets you want to complete of each exercise, and at what weight. You need to stay concentrated on your form, breathing, and the goals you have set for yourself. No one is going to lift those weights for you – but YOU. I found this incredibly addicting, inspiring, and motivating. With weightlifting I was able to walk out of the room with a tangible result of the work that I put in just like I was able to with dance. It taught me so much about myself, my body, and mind’s capabilities. It got to a point where after leaving the gym I knew the best part of my day was done. This is when I knew I needed to become a trainer. I wanted to show other people how much this type of strength training could affect their lives in a positive way,” Rae describes.
Ladies who Lift
Obviously, Rae developed a deep passion for lifting and she wanted to use that passion to help others make a change in their lives. Let me just say, speaking with Rae you feel the love of lift weights and uplifting others. When I asked her to describe her mission with starting Ladies who Lift, the sparks flew. “Ladies who Lift is my baby and my pride and joy as a fitness professional.
Ladies who Lift (is of course, a female) strength training workshop and class offered at two different levels. Level 1 is a workshop and class that breaks down even the scariest of lifting myths, and teaches how to perform lifts properly using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, prowlers, and some of the more intimidating gym equipment. Level 2 is a chance for these females to take the skills they learned in Level 1 and put them to the test in an all female strength training class.
“I created Ladies who Lift with the aim to educate, empower, and inspire women of all shapes, sizes, and lifting backgrounds to get into the gym and break through their mental and physical barriers they have set for themselves in the past. Getting strong is an extremely powerful tool not just for your body, but for your mind and your soul. This is the message I try to preach at my LWL classes and hope to spread to all females.,” Rae explains.
Intrigued by the passion radiating from her as she spoke of Ladies who Lift, I let her continue to tell me more… “I created Ladies who Lift after watching many of my female clients have the physical and mental breakthroughs they never thought possible through learning to lift properly and with confidence. Having experienced it myself, I understand the fear, apprehension, and misinformation that can sometimes come along with lifting and getting stronger. I wanted to create a space and environment where women felt comfortable to come together to learn and perfect this method of training.
Ladies who Lift promotes empowerment through pushing one’s own boundaries, and being there for others who are trying to do the same. By educating women about each of their bodies needs and impressive capabilities Ladies who Lift aims to leave attendees ready to lead happy, healthy, connected lives.”
Getting to do something you love everyday obviously comes along with a lot of rewards. For Rae, clearly a lot of these rewards come from her love of lifting and her ability to share this with others. However, I was interested in knowing what other joyful things have come from her decision to switch gears and pursue fitness as a profession.
“I don’t even know where to start! I am happier than I have ever been as a trainer. It has been a constant journey in terms of building up your own private clientele, to learning what gyms you work well with and which don’t, to finding other trainers to both learn from and get inspired by. I think overall the most rewarding part has been building Ladies who Lift and seeing this community grow and get stronger…both literally and figuratively!
Teaching women to lift that have never picked up a weight before is an incredible experience. To see someone feel good about the work they are putting in, the strength they are gaining, and the goals they are accomplishing never ceases to both amaze me and make me feel proud. I am always getting texts and messages from current and past participants, or even from people who just follow me on social media, saying that they hit a new personal record in the weight room, or had a great workout with confidence in a room filled with experienced male lifters, and that they could not have done that without my coaching, Ladies who Lift, or positive messages I put out across my social media pages. That is the greatest compliment I could ever receive,” Rae exclaims!
What advice would you give to a young person today who wanted to ditch a sedentary lifestyle and become more fit and healthy?
My advice would be to just start – and start with something that you genuinely enjoy. Obviously I believe strength training to be of the utmost importance when it comes to a workout routine, but sometimes this can be too intimidating of a place to start for some people! Find a workout, an activity that pushes you physically, and that you genuinely enjoy. Maybe it is zumba, or pilates, or yoga.
Let the excitement for this activity be your catalyst to push yourself a little further outside your comfort zone week by week, month by month. Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle and the journey is never ending, but it should always be enjoyable. This goes for diet as well! Start small, feel how good it feels to give your body the right fuel by adding more vegetables, water, etc., and work from there.
Where should they focus most of their energy to get the most bang for their proverbial buck?
If I have said it once I have said it a million times – lift something, and if you can, lift something heavy! When you lift weights with proper form and proper breathing techniques, especially with compound movements like squats and deadlifts, you are working your entire body. Learn to lift in the right way and you are not only going to get the aesthetic benefits you might be looking for, but you are also going to get strong, improve your bone density, boost your metabolism, fight off injuries, get a better night’s sleep…the list goes on and on.
Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?
Your mind controls everything! I always tell my clients that your mind is going to give up far before your body does, so if you can control your mind, you can control your body. You have to keep your mindset positive and understand this is a marathon, not a sprint. You are not going to get results immediately, you are not always going to hit a new weight in the gym, you are not always going to have a good workout, and you cannot let this get you down. You have to be nice to yourself and give yourself some positive self talk. At the end of the day it is you who is putting in the work to make it all happen. Outside support is great and essential, but nothing compares to truly believing in yourself.