It’s been a while since I last featured someone here on the blog, but I can tell you, it’s been worth the wait! I’ve followed Tara’s blog for quite a while now and watched her progress over the last couple of years. She has an admirable approach to an IIFIYM (if it fits in your macros) diet and ‘strongwoman’ type training.
Without further ado…
Name: Tara Senic
Occupation: Media Manager/Personal Trainer
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am an Australian living in London who got into lifting almost three years ago, and I recently started competing in strongwoman.
Four words to describe yourself?
What’s your ‘day job’?
I currently work as a public relations manager but I also do a few hours of personal training on the side as well as online training via my blog at “Sweat Like A Pig“
What’s your story? How did you start living an active life?
I’ve always been pretty active, as a dancer for 15 years and a long-distance runner for three years. When I hurt myself through running, I started lifting weights and became hooked!
What has been your intentions behind your change in training/goals?
My initial intention was to enter a figure competition but due to some hormonal complications – which meant it wasn’t healthy for me to reach low body fat levels – I decided to look into powerlifting instead. I had an accident in February 2013 and was initially told I wouldn’t be able to lift weights again due to one of the operations I had to have. After seeking a second opinion, I slowly eased my way back into things and started strongman training in June 2013. I competed in September and October 2013.
In some ways, my hormonal problems and accident have been a blessing in disguise. I had always hated my body, and lifting was just another way I tried to change my shape. When I was forced to take the focus off aesthetics, I was able to look at the strength aspect of the sport. I had never considered myself an athlete before – now every training session serves a purpose and I always have my goals in mind. Competing was a very emotional experience, as I wanted to prove that I can do anything I put my mind to – despite what other people may have told me. Every day I am trying to be a stronger and better version of myself.
Tell us a little about your first strong woman competition?
My first competition was extremely nerve-racking! When I turned up and saw the calibre of my fellow competitors, I had a big ‘what was I thinking?’ moment and wanted to run away! But I stayed and put up a good fight, surpassing my single goal of not coming last by placing sixth out of eight. The full recap is here.
I competed again the following month in a less intense competition (my first competition was the national qualifier for an international event) and beat eight other competitors to win my weight division! That was a very surreal moment, but it made all the tough training over the previous few months worth it.
What’s your ‘mantra’ – your fitness philosophy?
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
What would we find in your shopping basket every week?
Chicken, steak, salmon, bacon, burgers, white rice, a lot of regular and sweet potatoes, bananas, butter, cheese, almond milk, coconut milk, dark chocolate and ice cream!
What is your favourite exercise?
Deadlifts! Nothing can beat ripping huge amounts of weight off the floor. My current PR is 120kg but I would like to get 140kg by the end of 2014.
How do you stay motivated?
I use myself as motivation. It is very easy to get sucked into negative thinking and compare yourself to other people who are stronger than you. It is only fair to compare you to you! I want to be the best version of myself possible. One day I would love to take the title of Britain’s Strongest Woman, but I know it will take years of blood, sweat and tears for that to happen, so I don’t have time to be complacent!
My next goal is….
I want to compete in Britain’s Strongest Woman, which is in March. My coach has set me a couple of goals to reach first before I can enter – if I don’t achieve them, I will be training for 2015.