I recently found Erica’s blog when searching around for some fitness knowledge to add into a blog post. I stumbled on her “Fitness Celebrities vs. Fitness Professionals” article and I immediately knew I had to have her on the blog. Erica professed her serious distaste for the new trend of celebrity trainers making its way into the fitness world and used her blog post as a way to educate people on why these celebrity trainers are not the ones you should be following. Basically info on how the fitness celebs are doing a disservice to the people who want to get fit by “dolling out fitness fallacies and useless fluff”, and the fitness professionals who are training the correct way. She called out celebs such as the Tone It Up girls, Jillian Michaels & Tracy Anderson just to name a few and I couldn’t love it more.
I completely agreed with her honest opinions and knew I had to have this positive, knowledgeable, fitness badass on the blog.
Erica currently works training athletes and non-athletes at a strength and conditioning facility in Maryland. She specializes in soccer specifically coaching and training a majority of soccer players & runs her blog on the side as a way to put out her fitness content to a more wide spread genre.
This girl is a true fitness guru working with people in person and promoting her awesome values online for the world. Alright alright, enough about me professing my love for her work and her badass girl power vibes. Time to get to the interview!
Blissfully Lively: Hi Erica! Please introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers!
Erica Suter: Hi, my name is Erica Suter and I’m a Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as Nationally Licensed Soccer Coach in Baltimore, Maryland.
BL: I came across your blog recently and fell in love with your honesty and knowledge on fitness. What was your main reason for starting the blog?
ES: The short answer: I LOVE WRITING. Throughout my entire life, I’ve been a storyteller and have had a weird, quirky sense of humor. Once I had a few years of training clients and soccer players under my belt, I figured it would be a great idea to blog about training methods and be a relatable figure to women and young girls. My blog serves as a platform for inspiration, science-based knowledge, and a sprinkle of sarcasm – all things I feel are uplifting for the fitness industry. I love to share free content as well so that when I’m gone on travel, or people can’t afford the luxury of training, they have something to access every day.
BL: I know you’re strength and conditioning certified and train clients (athletes and non-athletes) in the gym, what is your favorite memory or milestone?
ES: Being a strength and soccer coach has been such an incredible journey. My favorite milestone by far is honestly still staying afloat. HA! In an industry that is oversaturated, it’s easy for trainers and strength coaches to get lost in the crowd. However, I pride myself in honing my niche in the soccer world, as well as constantly working to get better. Yes, I’ve been criticized by veteran trainers. Yes, I’ve cried when first starting out. But all of these defeats have made me a better strength and soccer coach, as well as blogger.
BL: What’s your advice for someone starting out on a healthy lifestyle journey?
ES: Do what makes you come to life. It may sound trivial, but too often I see people embarking on crash diets or intense workout programs that they’re simply forgetting to have fun and live life. A healthy lifestyle should be uplifting, energizing, and soul enriching. So think of your food as energy. Think of your workouts as energy. And do what makes you feel like you’re going to grab life by the balls.
BL: I know recently you posted an article all about the difference between celebrity trainers and fitness trainers. I thought this post was so inspiring. What sparked your interesting to get this out there?
ES: This article took a lot of courage to write. For the longest time, I’ve been waiting to speak my mind on this topic. A few of my colleagues lit the fire under my butt to write about the fallacy of fitness celebs because they knew I would be able to produce an honest and raw piece that wasn’t too “rant-y.” Little did I know, the world would flip upside after I clicked publish. I’m so incredibly passionate about the correct information being blasted out into the world and I’m sick of all the bullshit from the fitness industry. Moreover, I wanted to challenge the celebrities in my post to better themselves from a professional standpoint.
BL: Who inspires you in the fitness/ wellness community?
ES: Lori Lindsey, Tony Gentilore, Michael Boyle, Jen Sinkler Meghan Callaway, and Bret Conteras. These are all true fitness professional who have pushed me to own my niche and never stop learning, both in a research and hands-on environment. Plus, Bret Contreras has amazing biceps 😉.
BL: What is the number one takeaway you want people to know when visiting your blog or training with you?
ES: Become fluent in sarcasm, then visit my blog. In all seriousness though, the number one message I want people to get from my blog is the power of being authentic. I like to challenge my readers to live an unedited life, follow their passions, and to do what makes them happy. Sure, I write a lot on strength training, sport science, and soccer drills, but the underlying theme is owning who you are.
As far as training with me, I’m not a “ra ra” cheerleader type. Rather, I’m very practical and like to progress and regress my clients based on their needs. A lot of my clients would describe me as reserved, but they know I will challenge them to level up their workouts once they’ve graduated from basic movement patterns. A client once told me, “People must be fooled by you. They see a calm young woman, but you’re an absolute savage.”
As an example, clients who have been with me for the long-haul (2+ years) have gone from basic kettlebell dead lifts to varying stances with the barbell (conventional/sumo/deficit) to dead lifts with new tools (chains/resistance bands). I pride myself in simplicity AND innovation to focus on new client goals and switch gears a bit.
BL: How would you explain your training style or philosophy in the gym?
ES: Being an athlete myself has inspired my focus on quality movement training. Even when I am training non athletes, I still focus on the same variables of strength and power, as well as coordinated movement. However, this does not mean a senior citizen will be performing push ups with a weighted vest, or running agility drills off the bat, or ever for that matter. I like to start people with the proper movement patterns and progressions based on their limitations. I also like to give them a better alternative to machine-based work and the same sets/resp each week. Some adults eventually graduate onto trap bar dead lifts, heavy farmer’s carries, landmine variations, and sled pushes. I am very optimistic and want all of my clients to the realize that bodies are capable of becoming strong and durable if progressed with great care.
BL: If you could only pick two movements for your workout what would they be, and why?
ES: Dead lift. And loaded crawling with chains. Sorry if that sounded creepy.
First off, the dead lift is a staple movement for posterior chain strength, which everyone needs – soccer players, senior citizens, moms, etc. Hamstring and glute strength is critical for reducing low back and knee pain, as well as developing a super strong core. Plus, you get a big butt.
Crawling with chains isn’t a weird fetish, don’t worry. The best part about crawling is it builds reflexive strength and ties the body together. Oddly enough, my triceps have gotten jacked from it too. Recently, I’ve upped the intensity by crawling with 90 pound chains (with contralateral load) to continue to progress the strength through my core. And you know, because, #gains.