Take Pride Tuesday: Growing Confidence Within Strength Training

Hello, my name is Mary Nash. I moved from Ireland to New York 23 years ago. I work for a financial services company in midtown. I was involved in athletics and basketball growing up in Ireland. I always received good feedback from coaches and teammates so that really helped to cement a foundation to incorporate exercise in my life.

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I was looking for a program that would keep me motivated to workout and injury free. I found out about Iron Lion through fellow den member ‘Cil Shaw Brewer. I went for an assessment with Chris Carlsen. We tested some movements and identified my trouble spots from old injuries. As Chris was explaining how the programming worked he said something that stuck with me, something to the effect that “there is an art to strength training”, which piqued my interest.

The programming at Iron Lion was something that I had never experienced before. In the back of my mind I still clung to the association of cardio being the only way to stay fit and keep my weight in check. Being a woman in my mid-forties, that philosophy can backfire on you leading to overuse injuries and seeing the scale creep upwards. Lifting weights was never my thing, I didn’t get the connection between how lifting and performance for athletic competition or keeping you primed for life’s demands are intertwined. I had read that lifting can have psychological benefits and I can say that lifting has made me more mentally strong which is a huge plus when dealing with the midlife demands of family and career.

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I usually work out in the morning so Hayley Bridgewater and Chris Carlsen have been keeping a watchful eye over me. With the customized programming I have seen improvements particularly in my upper body (which is something I have struggled with in the past) along with increased confidence on how to work with the barbells and kettlebells. No matter whether you are a beginner or have some experience in the gym the coaches will watch your form and help clean up any bad habits. I have become more confident with my deadlifts, back and front squats along with picking up great queues from the coaches. The monthly programming can be as challenging as you want which taps into my competitive nature.


Iron Lion will give you a roadmap to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. If you are looking for the final piece to push you to a personal best or give you the edge over the competition in your preferred sport then Iron Lion will definitely help you achieve that. For me, I am not as intimidated by the gym as I have been in the past and I love the challenge of learning new skills.