This is the first part in a two part interview with Obstacle Course Racer, Beverly Provost.
The LoseStubbornFat blog is about you being proud of your body and inspired by what it can do.
Beverly is perfect example of how training like an athlete and actually getting strong is a great way (and usually more empowering way) for you to get the body that you want. And she's definitely trained her body up to an amazing and inspiring level of fitness. I'm so stoked about this interview with her.
Josh Hillis: How has obstacle course racing impacted your view on fitness?
Beverly Provost: Obstacle racing to me is a true test of ones overall fitness. You must be strong, fast, flexible and agile to conquer a course. It's changed the way I train as each course shows me the gaps in my training/development and helps drive me to keep training as it provides markers along the path towards my continued fitness
JH: Do you think obstale course racing has brought a bigger focus on strength training to athletes who might have traditionally focused just on endurance?
BP: It absolutely does. I know many racers who have realized that just being fast isn't going to cut it. Even my own clients see that training to be stronger WILL make you faster and even more importantly prevent injury.
JH: Has developing a high performance body that can race and lift and do fun things impacted your the way you relate to your body and your self image?
BP: First and foremost it has gotten me off many medications that were tearing my body down (I have a very advanced case of acute fibromyalgia) so while I feel physically and emotionally more capable because of my training I have found a new sense of beauty in my strength. I can shape my body however I want thanks to weights. Bigger booty, more cleavage, etcetera. It gives me a sense of power over my self image as a woman.
I have never felt more beautiful than I have since I have developed a strong lean body. And nothing makes me feel more badass than throwing around some kettlebells and barbells!
JH: What's you average training week like?
BP: Average training week includes 3-5 runs of carrying distances (3-10miles) depending on where I'm at in my season. I lift 4-6 days a week focusing on the major lfts (squat, DL, and bench) for every hour I train a day I spend at least an hour on recovery as well to include ALWAYS programming a rest day
JH: Do you have any lift PR's you wouldn't mind sharing?
BP: Happy to share PRs!
Deadlift - 300 pounds
Squat - 250 pounds
Front squat - 200 pounds
Bench press - 150 pounds
JH: What's your eating like?
BP: I aim for 3,000 a day but I find it difficult especially with my disease to eat that much so I shoot for 3,000 but often can only get 2,200.
Only real restriction is gluten due to my auto inflammatory disease. So I eat more healthy fats to make up for my lack of carbs when I have a longer race coming up. I eat about 150g of protein a day. But mostly I eat clean with a cheat meal once a week.
JH: Also — do you have any OCR races you'd like to talk about? Either personal records or races you are especially proud of?
BP: I've place podium in about half the races I've competed in this year as my first year in the competitive division.
This is especially awesome to me as 10 yrs ago doctors told me id never be a runner and would have to have one if not both knees surgically replaced my 2015. Still got both the originals and they feel better than ever!
The hardest race I've done was spartan wintergreen. An 8 mile OCR on a double black diamond ski slope. This race will be televised on NBC sports later this month.
I've run 19mile courses but wintergreen took everything I had. I think I died twice on that mountain! Lol
That's the end of Part 1 of the interview with Beverly Provost.
Huge thanks to Beverly for the interview. Massive thanks to her strength coach Jason Manous for filling in some of the details and putting us in contact. Amazing pictures by Luis X. Battistini.
You can catch Beverly at:
You can catch Luis X. Battistini at:
I definitely want to share about how strong she is (her strength personal records above) because I want you to get a feel for what a woman who deadlifts 300 pounds and squats 250 pounds actually looks like — lean and fit.
Most readers would be closer to the body they want if they were a lot stronger, and yet there is still that myth that a women that lifts a lot will get too "big and bulky". I've said it before and I'll say it again — at any given bodyweight, the strongest person will be the hottest.
None of this is for you to actually emulate her training (unless you want to be an obstacle course racer). You can get really lean on a much more abbreviated schedule, but it does take putting in the work (even a couple years) to get a lot stronger.
Part 2 is coming next week, which features every detail of one of Beverly's workouts - sets, reps, weights, everything. I think it's really cool to see what her training really looks like. And both Beverly and her strength coach Jason talk about how she built up to this amazing level of fitness.
by Josh Hillis