Kirsty Grosart grew up as a competitive gymnast. After an elbow injury at age 19, she was told her handstand days were over. For years, she believed it. By her 30s, she learned to listen to and trust her own body. She discovered ways to strengthen her arm and fell in love with bodyweight training & movement all over again. That’s the origin of story of this Garage Gym Girl.
Transitioning to coaching after her injury, Kirsty realized how drawn she was to teaching someone new skills – skills they don’t think are possible. Whether it’s virtually or in her gym near Toronto, she gives women the confidence to build both confidence and strength in their bodies. (Note: Handstands are a common side effect.) These same coaching skills are an asset in her other career as a programmer. In that role, she’s forced to break down business problems within a technical team environment.
Yes, we geek out a little about bodyweight training, but this show is also for women who are struggling with how to:
- Pick themselves up after getting hit with one of life’s curveballs
- Juggle 2 careers without burning out
- Slow down to make more sustained progress
- Get regular workouts done, especially if you’re not into traditional fitness options
Learn more about Kirsty and her work here Garage Gym Girl.
Listen to the complete episode in any of these fine places:
Selected link love + resources from the episode
- Connect with Kirsty on social media: Facebook | Instagram
- GMB (Gold Medal Bodies)
- Garage Gym Girl
- STEM (Science Technology XX XX)
- Typical Kirsty workout (video on YouTube)
- Commonwealth Games
- Scottish National Gymnastics Team
- Sara-Clare Lajeunesse
- Agatsu kettlebells
- Kickass Theme Music: “Things Are Getting Better” Written by Rishi Dhir. Performed by The High Dials.
- Stay in the loop about future Le vital corps Salon episodes: Twitter | Facebook | The List (sent twice monthly including helpful health + lifestyle information)
Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Kirsty herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:07:41] I was never the gymnast who would just be able to see a movement and then go and do it, or get the moves immediately. Things wouldn’t just click straightway. I’d always have to break things down to very simple components and figure out what I was missing, and build the movements up in a very progressive way.
[00:13:42]: I was always climbing on things, and trying to do cartwheels and handstands.
[00:15:55] (On the time management lessons learned from gymnastics) I find that that’s something that’s been very beneficial for me in terms of this idea that if I want to get something done, I have to just do it now. There’s no point leaving it for later.
[00:25:17]: Yeah, and that’s what draws me to [bodyweight training]. It’s how can you make this seem simpler. Even now, even though I do these things on Instagram, balancing on one hand and stuff, I still come back to those foundations all the time. Like very basic, just, “Oh, can I move my shoulder blade in this way, and can I push—do this particular movement and feel this here?” It’s all very—the stuff I post on Instagram, that’s stuff that I’m training and I’m playing with. Then from that, you build these other things.
[00:28:35] But my morning—my workout is—I always do it first thing in the morning because I just—I feel good afterwards. And I know that once my brain kind of starts on the workday, I find it very hard to know that I have an hour or so to go and work out.
[00:32:24] “Why am I—I don’t care about what emails I’m getting. Why am I checking my phone in the middle of—we’re out. Why am I checking my Instagram?” So I got rid of [my cell phone], and the first day was uncomfortable. I was like, “Oh, I really want to know if anyone’s commented on my Instagram.” Then you just forget it. You forget that you ever had it, I think. It’s very easy.
[00:35:59] I’m just not very good at staying up. Even my mom, when I go home, my mom’s like, “Really, you’re going to—it’s 9:30. You’re going to bed?”
[00:39:54] It was definitely hard to say, “I’m going to stick with that,” because there’s still part of my brain that’s like, “More training, better.” It’s definitely—it’s really helped me, and it’s helped me in my time outside of the gym because I’m not as tired. I just have more time to do these other things, like experiment with some dance stuff or some more different mobility work.
[00:46:11] “Anything is better than sitting on the sofa and feeling sorry for myself, so I’m just going to take a small step”
[00:49:05] I think sometimes putting yourself in a situation that you’re not used to, it’s way easier to get outside your comfort zone and do things because you don’t really have a choice.
[00:51:02]: It’s very easy to get kind of caught up on the fact of what you can’t do.
[00:58:50]: I think for a lot of women, they think that bodyweight training is just for the petite, strong, gymnastic-type people, and that’s not them. They need to get stronger if they want to do this kind of stuff, or they have to lose weight if they want to do bodyweight training. And none of that stuff is true at all. Bodyweight training is really not about doing fixed exercises, or being able to do tricks, or necessarily doing handstands. It’s really just about anything you can do to get stronger using the weight of your body.
[01:08:34]: (On women’s successes) I think giving more of a shit about acknowledging their successes, and letting people know their achievements, and being proud of those, and not feeling like you’re bragging if you’re telling people the things that you’ve done that you’re proud of.
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