PLL OF THE WEEK: MEET DYLAN SCHENK

Say hello to the Pretty Little Lifter of the Week Dylan! She owns and operates the gym Lift Society in Los Angeles with the her husband. I met @youlovedylan when I went to film a workout with one of her coaches (Bree Figgins…hey girl!) at Lift Society and since then we’ve been running into each other at Nike fitness events and getting our sweat on! I was interested in learning more about her fitness background and her gym so what better way than to ask her some PLL of the Week questions! Dylan makes time to be a gym owner, wifey, and a momma…and still makes time to get her own workouts in! Yesss girl! Read the Q+A to learn more about her!

 

Name:

Dylan Schenk

What’s your fitness background?

I grew up as a competitive dancer. When I moved to Los Angeles in 2005 I was 16 and became obsessed with Pilates and immediately got certified. I taught Pilates at a small studio and also started working the front desk to learn the basics about scheduling, payment and boutique studio promotion.

At this time I also starting teaching Pilates at Equinox and my eyes were opened to the vast world of fitness. I started taking spin classes, bootcamps, and all the HIIT classes I could. It was so hard and such a good change from the low intensity workouts of Pilates! I was moved to management at Equinox and hired my first personal trainer. This is where I started to notice the most difference in my body. For the first time I used free weights, weight machines, and sprints on the treadmill and I was quickly toning up! I then met my husband at Equinox and he introduced me to power lifting and more in depth strength training. From there, it’s just been an evolution into all things weight training!

 

What is your favorite movement/exercise? Least favorite??

Barbell walking lunges are my favorite and least favorite exercise! Is there any explanation needed here?!

How often do you train? Do you follow any specific programming?

In the past, I have been super obsessive about killing it every workout and never missing a day. I would train in hoodies so I could sweat more, drink a ton of coffee so I would never get tired, and be insanely sore and exhausted on a daily basis. After years of following that ridiculous self-induced programming, my focus is to workout consistently, to enjoy my workouts, and to not be so hard on myself.

Right now, I enjoy being a well-rounded athlete and coach so my general program consists of a few heavy days, some high-rep muscle isolation and a little bit of metabolic conditioning (AKA cardio that isn’t on a machine).

I typically train four days a week. Some weeks I would love to do six, and some weeks I wish it were only two. The weeks where I feel less motivated I rely on habit to get me through, and if that doesn’t work I allow myself the rest. Our bodies are constantly communicating with us so if I’m not feeling it, I probably need that rest day.

 

Hello lady boss! What inspired you to open your gym Lift Society?

My husband is a serial entrepreneur. He had owned his own gym in San Diego before we met so it was a natural desire for him to open his own space in Los Angeles. When we opened the gym I was still teaching Pilates, so we created a cross-training program where members would do 3 days a week of Pilates, and 3 days a week of strength and conditioning. It was actually an awesome program and we loved it! Around that time I was getting more and more into lifting weights and we felt like we were selling a program that we weren’t doing. We would “sneak away” to the gym to get our lifts in, but were selling a totally different program as “the best” avenue for our client’s fitness. We introduced a class called LIFT at our studio as a test. It was really basic barbell movements and some muscle isolation with kettlebells. People loved it and every LIFT class we added would quickly sell out. As we added more and more LIFT classes to our schedule we attracted a different type of clientele and ultimately re-branded our gym to LIFT Society in June 2015.

Alright spill it please…what’s your favorite class to take at Lift Society?

This is so hard! I truly love them all and they’re great for different reasons. Our goal is to provide a space for people who love to lift, and there is a lot of variety in that.

I’ve always loved training legs (hello, metabolism!) so I must say that Glute LIFT is my favorite class right now. It’s an hour of bands, heavy lifts, and high rep movements to strengthen the lower body and specifically the glutes!

I also love our Total LIFT class, which is a total body workout and includes Olympic lifting, power lifting, and so much conditioning work! I love how we are able to offer an aesthetic and athletic component to our gym, and Glute and Total LIFT embody that.

 

What’s your daily eating like?

Right now I am reverse dieting. I’m new to eating like a normal person (see obsessive workout habits above) so reverse dieting is a challenge! I got to a place where I was training like a lunatic and eating around 1200 calories a day and I could not lose weight, in fact, my body was holding onto fat and I was gaining weight! Enter reverse dieting.

Reverse dieting is a program where you slowly add calories back to your diet to rev up your metabolism. It’s very precise and can take months as well as cause weight gain so I’ve learned I have to be patient. Calorie cutting is very common in the fitness world and I see this issue in a lot of my clients. So if you’re reading this and you can’t possibly eat less to get to your goal, talk to a coach about reverse dieting. It will blow your mind. For real.

 

Mmm cheat meals…what’s your favorite?

This is a big one for me! I used to cry at restaurants because there was nothing “healthy enough” for me to eat on their menu. I had zero moderation, or happiness. Right now I focus on eating foods that make me feel good. Most days I eat lots of salads, protein, greek yogurt, etc, but if I feel the need for some peanut butter cups I will definitely eat them.

How do you balance being a wife, mommy, gym owner, and fit in your own fitness?

I absolutely have to workout in the morning. If I don’t, it won’t happen later that day. My husband and I are a team so we split a lot of the stuff at home and at the gym, and we work opposite days so one of us is always home with our kids. In some ways owning our own business is more challenging because we never have a day off, and work never ends. But we also get to create our own schedules and take time off whenever we need, so it evens out! At this point I couldn’t imagine working for someone else.

 

Why do you think women should pick up a barbell and lift?

Lifting heavy things is the best! To feel tough mentally and physically is something we are all entitled to if we desire it. I’ve had so many friends who are terrified of being the only girl in the weight room or simply not know what to do around free weights and barbells. Aside from the speedy body transformation that lifting weights provides (especially if you’ve never done it before), it’s way more fun than walking on a treadmill, it’s a great way to meet guys AND you’ll get super strong and athletic. I’d say that’s like, a quadruple win.

 

What is your favorite way to feel pretty and confident?

I definitely put effort into looking my best each day. I live in workout clothes so it’s easy to feel sloppy if my hair and make-up aren’t done. I also invest in fancy gear so that keeps me feeling snazzy.

As a mom, business owner, and trainer, I feel confident when I’ve accomplished a lot at the end of the week. Sometimes I feel like I have three full time jobs, which can be overwhelming. But if I can keep moving all of those things forward while still being a happy and loving person I feel good about myself.

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