Hey all! Suhayl here! I played “18 questions” with Shannon so you could all get to know her better! Enjoy!
Tell me your name, what you do and why?
I'm Shannon Walsh. I'm a strength and nutrition coach at Healthworks in Cambridge and founder of Fitness for Feminists. I work to help women get strong, stay strong, and maximize their general badassery.
How would you describe your style as a trainer?
I'm thoughtful and curious about the way your body moves and why it moves that way. I focus on form, range of motion, and tension creation. I want to make you feel strong, powerful, and successful.
How would your client describe your style as a trainer?
I think they'd think I was patient and funny while kicking their butts (I mean, pushing them in an appropriate manner).
What style of trainer would you most enjoy working with?
Someone who can help my body move better and with more power (and who won’t mind that I steal their excellent cueing and exercise selection to use with my own athletes).
When did you know that you wanted to be strong?
Ever since I was a kid. My dad used to call me "tough as nails" and I LOVED that.
What 5 songs are in your personal workout mix ( in no particular order).
"My House" by Flo Rida; "U Should Know Better" by Robyn and Snoop Dogg; "Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Elliott; "Dig Me Out" by Sleater Kinney; "Lost Coastlines" by Okkervil River
What do you enjoy the most about personal training/coaching?
I like seeing people make progress toward their goals, whatever they may be.
How do you motivate yourself when you don't want to get out of bed?
I think, "If you get out of bed now, you can get so much done." I'm a morning person, so if I don't do stuff in the morning, I'm probably not going to do anything all day.
What's your favorite food to eat before you work out?
I don't usually eat a special meal before I work out. Usually I try to plan my workout for an hour and a half to two hours after a regular meal. If I'm hungry when it's time to work out, I might have a small apple beforehand or sip on a super shake during my workout.
If you didn't have access to a gym or weights, what workout would you come up with to get your entire body moving in 1 hour or less?
I'd do a dynamic bodyweight workout—a standing mobility movement (like walking lunges or walking dancer stretch), an explosive or agility movement (like power skipping or carioca), and a ground-based movement (like leopard crawls or crab walks).
What do you consider the most overrated fitness trend?
Barre—it's not going to make you long and lean; eating well and burning calories will make you lean. Nothing's going to make you long.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd be less concerned with what other people think of me.
What is your motto?
Progress, not perfection
Who is your hero of fiction?
If I had to pick one, it would be Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Who are your heroes in real life?
This is hard. I'm pretty much a fan of woman who's not afraid to show her strength. And of Joss Whedon for giving me Buffy. In weightlifting, Sarah Robles and Jenny Arthur. In politics, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. In entertainment, Ellen Page, Ellen Degeneres, and Sara Ramirez. In music, Erika Wennerstraum, Missy Elliot, and Queen Latifah. And, of course, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Never let go, Ruth. Never let go.
What do you consider your greatest achievement — physical or intellectual or both or either...
I made a big career change from editing to training and I'm so much happier now.
What is your ultimate indulgence meal?
$15 Publick House mac and cheese with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and sriracha. So expensive, so delicious.
What would your most perfect 24 hours look like from start to finish?
I'd wake up early, without an alarm, in a tent in the woods. I'd take my dog, Ellie, out, make some water for tea, and hydrate a breakfast. My girlfriend, Jes, and I would eat breakfast while doing a crossword. Then we'd pack up camp, hike all morning, and stop for lunch on a peak overlooking a mountain range or a lake. No one else would be around. We’d hike a few more hours over a few more peaks and then set up camp. We'd rehydrate dinner, cuddle (all 3 of us) on our camping hammock, then go to bed early so we could start again the next day.