Name: Stephanie Fowler
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
To me, a Girl Gone Strong is a woman that embodies strength in the gym in addition to all other areas of her life, too. Strength (in fitness and in real life) is an intentional act, and seeing a woman intentionally get stronger is my jam.
How long have you been strength training, and how did you get started?
I started strength training in high school with the football guys because it’s the one place that I felt comfortable. At 240 pounds, being strong was the only thing I liked about myself back then. I then went on to play college ball and lost a majority of my weight. Throughout my 20’s I started distance running, then moved on to boot camps, and now I’m back to what I love the most – strength training. I get to do that in the gym that I now own, (em)POWERHOUSE Gym.
What does your typical workout look like?
Right now I’m completing a hypertrophy program called the Bigness Project. We’re 12 weeks into the program and lifting five days per week. Before that I was programming workouts consisting of a typical upper body push, upper body pull, hip dominant, and knee dominant with some sort of Lift Weights Faster or body weight finisher to conclude the workout.
May I pick three? I love the bench press, the sumo deadlift, and the Turkish Getup.
Most memorable PR:
I recently pushed a 165-pound bench press after taking some time off from the barbell. I was surprised at my PR, and it reinforced to me that so many other exercise variations (the kettlebell in this instance) can provide great carry over strength to other movements.
Note from GGS: Shortly after submitting her spotlight, Stephanie hit a new PR on her bench press — 175 pounds!
Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
- Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi
- My Body by Young the Giant
- Donk by Soulja Boy
- Fat-Bottomed Girls by Queen
- Barracuda by Heart
I’m pretty diverse.
Three things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:
Music, lifting shoes, BCAA’s
Do you prefer to train alone or with others?
I’ve been lifting alone for the past 12 weeks while completing the Bigness Project, and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this time to myself, I’ve found that I am missing the group setting. Being able to push yourself in a solo setting is an admirable thing, but I also believe there’s an exciting component to working alongside someone that’s willing to push you just as you push them.
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
“Arms are looking jacked, Steph!”
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
Today I told a client of mine that I was incredibly fortunate to have her in our gym tribe. I then hugged her neck and told her that I love watching her continue to remove the negative obstacles in her life in an effort to get stronger, mentally and physically.
Gimme all of the sushi!
Favorite way to treat yourself:
I love a good mani/pedi. I’m partial to patio-sittin’ on my backyard deck with a good book and a glass of wine.
What inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired every day by seeing people rise above the obstacles in their lives. When I was a high shcool teacher, the students who beat the odds always stole my heart.
Now that I am a coach and trainer, I’m in constant awe of those who choose to be brave and show up every day to be their strongest selves.
“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants, electric light the most efficient policeman.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis
I can’t pick just one. Give me anything by Brene Brown.
What do you do?
I get to wear leggings every single day while coaching and training some of the best people in this universe. I own (em)POWERHOUSE Gym, located in Edmond, OK – just north of Oklahoma City, OK. My struggles as an obese teenager have given me the drive to succeed in operating this facility. I want to help people. No strings attached. Healthy is attainable for every individual, and my teenage self is proof of that.
What else do you do?
When I’m not working – I’m lifting, swinging kettlebells, drinking coffee, walking my dogs, traveling, reading, planting flowers, driving the jeep topless, and making a reservation for my next mimosa brunch.
Slightly obsessed with almond butter. Mildly obsessed with collecting coffee cups. Completely obsessed with feminism.
Describe a typical day in your life, from waking up to bedtime:
My alarm sounds off at 4 a.m. so that I can make my first cup of coffee, love on my dogs, and then arrive to the gym before I coach my first strength class at 5 a.m. I coach for most of the morning. I then lift on my own, and after that I spend the middle of my day working from home on blogs or anything to do with (em)POWERHOUSE. Sometimes I squeeze a nap in during the middle of all of that before heading back to the gym to coach my evening strength class. I then come home, walk my dogs, catch up on any necessary DVR (I’m also a news junkie), cook dinner, read a little, and then hit the pillow around 9 p.m.
Your next training goal:
SFG Kettlebell Certification
What are you most grateful for?
I’m grateful for the opportunity to wake up every day and love what I do. I love owning a business that strives to give back to its community, I love my #EEEtribe (our gym hashtag), and I have a pack of the most supportive family and friends.
What life accomplishment are you most proud of?
I ran three full marathons in my 20’s, aaaaaaaaaand I also earned my Master’s Degree in 2015, right before I opened my gym.
Which three words best describe you?
Determined, Energetic, Brave
What’s a risk you’ve taken recently, and how did it turn out?
I quit my high school teaching/coaching job to open up a gym. (em)POWERHOUSE came to be in a matter of a three-week planning process in 2015. An opportunity came to life, and along with my tribe, I ran with it.
How has lifting weights changed your life?
Strength training allowed me to find self worth in what my body could do with its performance versus what my body weighs on a scale. Confidence, energy, bravery, and badassery – that’s how it’s changed my life.
The stronger I get inside of the gym, the stronger I become outside of the gym.
What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from strength training?
It came with a dose of poppin’ biceps and a booty lift. No complaints here.
What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous or hesitant about strength training?
The hardest part is showing up. Find a knowledgeable coach that you trust and find a tribe that supports you. You’ll begin to witness yourself unleash a stronger you. I overcame teenage obesity, and I’ve participated in nearly every kind of fitness one could imagine – but the iron has been my most loyal companion. No matter where my life journey has taken me, the iron is always there. Pick it up. Put it down. Repeat.
If you’re inspired by Stephanie, read on to learn more about—and join!—our community of strong, supportive women…