Betsy Spieler had lifted weights several years ago. And she was a runner.

But the Omaha woman wanted something a little more structured. As a physical therapist, focus on form was important to her.

So Spieler, 47, found a gym that fit. She’s been going regularly since the spring.

Since taking up weights again, she’s been able to deadlift 215 pounds for four reps. Her increased strength has helped her on the job, too.

“It decreases my risk of injury, which is really practicing what I preach as a physical therapist,” she said.

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Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I started in April. It was to get back on track with my health and fitness. I needed a little more structure with some accountability. In the past, I’ve been a runner and I had lifted weights before.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: It’s all strength, and it uses multiple joint movements and a lot of functional movements. There’s a section at the beginning that’s strength-based and has you trying to increase your weight. The rest of the workout is more circuit-based, with higher reps and little to moderate weight. I’m there three days a week. The program changes every four weeks, so it doesn’t get stale.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: Consistency with my nutrition and my strength training.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A: It’s been the commitment level. I have regular attendance. I don’t miss unless I’m out of town.

Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

A: Prioritizing sleep is a hurdle. I’m working on it every time, because the class I go to is at 5:15 a.m. Preparing for that class starts into the early evening.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: It’s an encouraging environment. Everybody else who is there is committed, and that’s part of the accountability factor. It’s nice to have that personal relationship.

Q: What is your gym pet peeve?

A: Since I’m a physical therapist, bad form and bad technique are pet peeves.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: I like singing and music. My hobby the last few months has been learning more about nutrition and whole food, plant-based eating. I like trying new recipes.

Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?

A: Good shoes. It helps you feel grounded and balanced during your activities.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

A: Find a workout partner. I have a running partner, and she’s my accountability for that.

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