You’ve heard of super moms, but Power Moms – make that Proven Power Moms – are a far rarer phenomenon. We were honored to spend some time with Rylee Johnson, Power Lifter and Mom of three kids under the age of four.
So how does a high school athlete push herself to become a long term Power Lifter? How does a Power Lifter find time to care for three kiddos? What does life look like with so much to balance? If you’re a mom with big fitness goals, you’ll want to tune into Rylee’s story.
Talk about your fitness history.
I was a runner in high school – track and cross country. I was naturally strong at 6’2’’ – stronger than the average female. When I first tried lifting weights, I realized I’m kind of good at this. I worked out all through college. I met my husband a week after graduation. He was also working out consistently, and that was kind of our bonding moment – so we started going to [power lifting] meets together. We looked at the results, and I said “I think I might be competitive.” When [my daughter] was one, I did my first power lifting meet and we’ve both been competing ever since.
Is Power Lifting your main focus?
We train collegiate athletes during the summer. We have a mini PL gym at our house, so we train here with all the guys and girls over the summer.
Are you in training for a meet now?
Yeah. I train out here in the garage usually at night after the kids are in bed.
How old are your kids?
Three, four and three months old. During the day I also watch an 8-month-old and another 5—year-old.
What’s your current training schedule?
Right now I’m training six days a week. My main lifting days are weekends.
Squats on Saturday; bench on Sunday; dynamic lower on Tuesday; dynamic upper on Wednesday; dead lift on Thursday; accessory day on Friday. Speed squats, box jumps, prowlers, get the muscles to move quickly. Some days I’m trying to get faster—if you can lift light weight fast, you can lift heavy weight; other days I’m just trying to get stronger. I would like to get cardio in for aesthetic purposes, but [opportunities are] few and far between.
How does that ladder up to the meet?
Power lifting meets are just a squat bench and deadlift. Of three lifts, they take the highest one. Everything else is just accessory stuff to improve those [three lifts].
How do you integrate P4 into your training?
I love, love, love the Pre Game; I take that while I’m warming up. Since I lift at night, I’m ready to go, I’m focused, I’m not wanting to go to bed, I’m excited… it makes me want to work out. It makes you want to get in there and move some stuff around.
And then I like Energy mostly during the day instead of coffee or if I’m doing any sort of cardio. I’m good to go and I’m good to go all day if I take Energy.
And towards the end I take Recovery. Especially in the summer, our workouts are two hours long – they get boring. I’m losing focus, I’m ready to be done. But I drink the recovery and I’m not so fatigued, and I feel better the next day and the rest of the day.
P4 gives me something in my system to finish the workout, where I’m not just running on fumes. And especially during power lifting meets, they can be more than eight hours, just lifting from 8am to 5pm. You can’t store enough carbs in your system to put out that much work.
What’s the biggest challenge you face?
Definitely the biggest challenge is just finding the time. Ten o’clock at night is not the ideal time to train, but there’s just no time. I can’t get up any earlier because I already don’t get any sleep. Making the time is hard.
How do you over come it?
I just know I am going to do it. I’m going to get them in. It’s going to happen. There’s no point in me dragging and complaining about it. You just get out there and do it. So I might as well make the most of it. Yeah it’s 10pm. Yeah I don’t want to do it. So I take my P4. Get excited, and make it worth my time. If I’m going to be out here at 10pm, I better be getting better. I gotta do it. No matter what it is or what comes up I have to make it happen.
What makes you want to keep doing this?
Most of my motivation comes from competing – I usually have some competition, some meet coming up so I can’t just skip a workout. My training plan is all worked out.
I don’t have a choice. I’m a competitive power lifter. I have to come out here and train
Knowing that the women I’m going to compete against aren’t going to skip their workouts.
And our kids love to workout with us: They pick up medicine balls, they want to warmup with us, they’ll do jumping jacks when I do jumping jacks. They copy everything we do and I want to show them what hard work looks like – that you can’t just skip your workout.
And we can say with confidence, the P4 team is proud to be part of Rylee’s Power Regimen.
To fuel your Power life as a Power Athlete and a Power Parent, look for exclusive deals on P4 this month.