World record holder Ryan Celli is coaching me on the deadlift.

The deadlift is an exercise that has become one of my most vital exercises. There is a very valid and intelligent reason for this. This exercise is an allover body developer and will build the legs, back, arms, and grip strength. It’s an exercise that also causes the body to release a growth hormone that will build muscle mass everywhere and reduce fat. The deadlift is a multi – joint exercise that targets the posterior area muscles more than any other exercise. What more could a breast cancer survivor want? The deadlift is considered the top three for powerlifting; the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift. The deadlift is typically utilized by Pro – football players, and obviously – power lifters, and to an extent – some bodybuilders. Pro – football players use the deadlift to build strength, body mass and explosive power so that they can have explosive speed and power on the field and knock down anyone that gets in their way.
I don’t play Pro – football, so why would I need this kind of muscle mass and strength development? Because radiation treatments can tax and break down the body somewhat and I needed to rebuild in order to compete in fitness. I was struggling in the gym with muscle gains and had hit a plateau and needed a change. I consulted with a personal trainer who was also a competitor, fitness model, and power lifter. Amie Hornaman is my trainer and nutrition consultant who has given me lots of technical advice for training, dieting, supplements, and posing so I could get ready for my next show. Amie started me off on dead lifting to build the muscle mass through my legs and back that I would need to compete. Amie is truly amazing – she has had multiple surgeries on her back and now competes in power lifting!

I had consulted with world record holder Ryan Celli from Celli’s Fitness Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Ryan was able to coach and train me on proper technique and form and as a result – I have made strength gains and mass gains through the roof! My lats are so developed that my waist looks smaller and my suits are a little tighter. The muscle gains and cuts that I exhibited in my next show -The Northern KY Beverly International 2011 were amazing! I even did a fitness challenge at the Arnold Expo. I still have a long way to go – but this shows that you can still rebuild after cancer.

Deadlifting is not an easy exercise. It can be brutal and you have to prepare psychologically or else you will not be able to train with this kind of intensity. Its not like going to the gym and picking up a set of dumb bells and doing some bicep curls – it’s tough! I only train heavy every other week and sometimes I go to the gym and just star at the 135 lb. barbell sitting on the floor in front of  me and say to myself – how am I going to do this? It’s not like I’m a Steeler quarterback making millions of dollars to train like this, however; I do believe that millions of cancer patients/survivors will be empowered by this video to take back their health. I have also seen how this style of training can impact the body even post cancer treatment.

What area in your life is equivalent to the deadlift? I understand that not everyone wants to be a bodybuilder or competitive athlete. What are your goals? What are you really struggling with right now? What plateaus have you hit either during treatment or after? For some survivors – it may be just having the strength to get through the day, for others it may be going back to work after treatment. Everyone is different and will be faced with struggles unique to their situation. The goal of my video is to motivate and encourage the cancer patient or anyone faced with a devastating illness to try and move on. I know it’s not easy – I’ve been there.

Lisa Nicolette


  1. Emilee Snyder

    Wow, great blog article. Awesome.

    November 26, 2011
  2. Oliver Otto said:

    Oliver Otto

    I appreciate you sharing this article post.Much thanks again. Cool.

    December 16, 2011
  3. Deandre Cathcart

    Wow, great blog. Cool.

    December 29, 2011
  4. This is my first visit here. I found some really interesting stuff in your blog especially this discussion. Keep up the good work.

    March 5, 2012

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