Athlete of the Month


Courtney is completing her first year of training at ASF and has progressed well into Powerlifting training.  “Courtney is consistently in the gym three times a week, first thing in the morning,” said her coach and trainer, Eric Nayden.  “This has led to improvements in not only strength, but technique as well.” Courtney’s enthusiasm for the gym and the training process motivated her husband, Bradley, to start training with she and Eric and together they have quickly become one of our favorite power couples. Courtney shared her thoughts about ASF and powerlifting, read them here.

What do you do for work/ in your professional life?
I work in fundraising for a local nonprofit. I actually think this is relevant because so often in the nonprofit sector, you’re trying to help others or working for a cause greater than yourself, so you start to put your own priorities & health on the back burner. It’s easy to make excuses about skipping a workout when you’re working on something to take care of others, but in order to be the best care giver to someone else, you have to take care of yourself first. It’s like putting your oxygen mask on before assisting others, right?

How long have you been working out at ASF?
1 year this month!

Why did you decide to join ASF?
I had just turned 30 and was not happy with my body. I’d always played sports growing up, but struggled to find a regular workout routine that I could stick to with my crazy work schedule.

What were your goals when you started?
My initial impetus for joining ASF was when I realized that at 30 years old, I hated wearing anything that showed my bare arms. I decided that 30 was way too young to be wearing cardigans all the time and that I needed to do something about it. That may sound a little vain, but I look at it like we’re given this one body and if we don’t take care of it, how can we accomplish any of our goals (professional or otherwise) if we’re not healthy?

How close are you to meeting them?
Well, I just wore a strapless dress to a function a couple weekends ago and I think I picked the dress out solely because it showed off my arms & traps, haha!

What challenges have you had to overcome, if any, since starting out at ASF?
I think my biggest challenge to overcome has actually been myself. I’ve had to change my thinking from “I can’t lift this weight” to “Ok, this is heavy and it might take me a little longer, but I can do this.” Once I started to believe in myself, everything in the gym got easier. Now when Eric asks me what I’m thinking about trying a heavier lift, I’m like “Let’s do it!” Even if I don’t hit it every time, I’m becoming stronger for having tried.

Any surprises since starting at ASF?
I’ve always enjoyed cardio (running, biking, swimming, spin classes, etc.), but could never get into weightlifting. I think it was because I was intimidated and didn’t really know what to do on my own with weights. After lifting with Eric for a year now, I’m in the best shape of my life – fitter than I ever was with cardio alone. My posture is better, I sleep better, and best of all, my jeans fit better! I think women are often worried about “bulking up” with strength training, but I’ve loved all the changes I’ve seen – more tone, more strength, & a trimmer waist.

Why do you like working out with Eric?
When I first started training with Eric, I had zero knowledge about strength training, so we were starting with the basics. Eric has been so patient with me through the whole learning process and really takes the time to make sure I understand the proper form and develop the best technique. Eric has also pushed me to achieve what I didn’t think was possible. I don’t focus on the numbers or hitting or certain max. with each lift, but Eric has helped me to incrementally improve and now each time that I hit a new max on the deadlift or squat, I can’t wait to get home and tell my husband! I even find myself wanting to tell my co-workers & friends! I never knew I could get so excited about strength training and I’m so thankful to Eric for helping me to discover just how fun it can be!

What is it about Eric/ASF that keeps you coming back?
I love the changes I’ve seen thus far to my body, my lifestyle, & my confidence and I just want to keep building on that.


Any advice you’d share with a newcomer to ASF?
I had no idea what a difference a 30 min. workout a few days a week could make and just what an impact it would have on my life. If you’re thinking about joining, I can’t recommend it enough! If you’ve just joined – stick with it! Once you get into a routine and start to get the workouts down, you’ll hate the weeks when you have to miss a workout. I look forward to my workouts at ASF and can’t wait to try to improve my progress every week!

Anything else you’d like to add about your experience at ASF or with Eric?
Eric’s awesome and Bradley & I are so thankful for all of his help!