Introducing noted powerlifter Lana Del Rey

Don't worry, we still know almost nothing about her. Plus: a subscription sale!!, here comes LIFTOFF!!! Peloton ~did not~ do that thing, and more. This is Links #14.

Introducing noted powerlifter Lana Del Rey

I’m very proud to announce three things this week:

Barring some big unforeseen production mishap (and let me say, doing everything yourself is hard; you randomly lose hours to many inane questions such as “Am I supposed to collect sales tax on an e-book in my state?”), I can’t believe I’m saying this, but,

The beginner strength program/guide I’ve been working on for over a year will be out next week.

It’s called LIFTOFF: Couch to Barbell. I’m going to tell you a lot more about it very soon.

The regular price will be $20, but in the holiday spirit, it will be ~50% off~ at launch for a limited period of time. The best way of staying on top of it? Subscribing to this newsletter.

The second thing is that She’s A Beast subscriptions are on sale as of today!

The NEW YEAR, SAME YOU She’s A Beast sale gets you 30% off this newsletter for yourself or a friend or family member, if you choose to gift them a subscription.

All subscriptions support making a quality free newsletter every week, but paid subscribers get additional perks, including advice columns and access to our lovely and supportive Discord community.

The third thing is that, for a limited time, all existing and near-future paid subscribers to the newsletter will receive a FREE copy of LIFTOFF.

Folks doing the math at home will notice this is the most cost-effective way to get their hands on LIFTOFF. (If you just want an update when it’s available, I’ll be sending an email to the whole list about that too 🙂)


A post shared by A Swole Woman | eating/lifting (@swolewoman)

And lastly, a reminder that we are exactly one week out from the entirely virtual fun and games PRs-with-friends event, PLATESLAM, which occurs December 17-18! I hope you are choosing your PRs accordingly. My plan is to finally, FINALLY attempt a 300 pound deadlift, and if that goes off without a hitch, attempt 315 (three plates!!). Absolutely failing that, I will pull one Adele’s deadlift (170 pounds) for as many reps as possible.

A reminder to tag all your PLATESLAM posts with #PLATESLAM2021, as every post up to 100 posts will move ten of my dollars to the Sunrise movement. Yes, this is an effort to motivate those of you who are shy about your secret meathead lifestyle. And don’t forget the shirts and stickers!!


A post shared by A Swole Woman | eating/lifting (@swolewoman)

The big news of my week (well, until the thing that happens at the top of the Drink section) was Lana del Rey getting a LOT of attention for her big quads (and to a lesser extent, the questionable dress she was wearing). My professional analysis of the dress was that, when you lift weights, you understand your body in a different way. Its value is about what it does, not what it looks like. In my experience, the strength-training-to-relative-wardrobe-complacence pipeline is real, and just one of its many enjoyable side effects.

Anyway, this photo led me and several in the She’s A Beast community to a 101.9 KINK.FM radio interview from a couple years ago, where a radio host asks “What’s a thing no one knows about you?” and Lana del Rey responds with “I powerlift. I’m like a big weight trainer.” And then—and then!—the THREE hosts ask ZERO follow up questions and just KEEP GOING.

I’m doing the Jim-Carrey-pointing-out-the-scratch-on-his-car-in-Liar-Liar gesture at the absolutely insane number of likes on the orignal Paper Magazine Instagram post. Do you know how many likes the average Paper Magazine Instagam post seems to get lately? Between 5,000 and 10,000, no offense. Do you know how many likes their Lana del Rey thick thighs post got? Well over 100,000, more than twice as many likes as any recent post for several scrolls. This is a photo that includes little-seen Avril Lavigne and extremely popular and trendy Olivia Rodrigo, and still virtually all of the comments seem to be about Lana del Rey’s thighs (and to a lesser extent, her dress, which it turns out was SheIn).

Not all of them are positive! But I can’t believe the unwillingness to tap this subject as a thing people want to talk about. I just can’t believe it. They make the bear-crawl-jumping-jack-Russian-twist-Pilates workouts and 1200-calorie-a-day diets rain down upon us day in and day out, but a celebrity finally ACTUALLY speaks up about about her real strength training workouts and muscle building process, and you don’t even bat an eyelash? You blink like she said she prefers tap to sparkling water? You continue to peacefully inhale oxygen and steadily expel carbon dioxide like she just commented on the weather?

All of that is to say, the invitation remains open for any outlet to call me so that someone can ask even one solitary intelligent follow-up question to a big-deal celebrity casually saying she POWERLIFTS.

What She-Hulk could have looked like
Disney released a trailer last week for its new She-Hulk series, mere moments after I sent out the day's newsletter. For a character with "hulk" in the name, she's kind of... lithe? Mostly very lean and veiny? Fine, broadly speaking! But a little confusing in, again, a She-Hulk series.


I missed linking two interviews I did in the last couple weeks, because holidays: this Small Bow interview on what I think strong looks like and what I’d recommend to a dad who wants to keep being able to pick up his increasingly large kids; and my UsesThis interview about all my tech tools. Re-reading it, I struggle so much!

~Discord Pick of the Week: Subscriber Anna, angel and legend, surfaced a video on how to do belt squats without a specific setup or machine; all you need is a barbell, a rack, some plates, a couple clips, and something dip-belt-like enough to loop around your waist and the barbell. I tried it with a superthick resistance band around my waist, and it WORKED. I’m working on my big t-rex legs!!! Lana here I come!!! ~


A post shared by A Swole Woman | eating/lifting (@swolewoman)

Not unrelated to this, I’ve been noticing in my advancing training age that my last reps feel so much harder. (When you’re just starting out, your body parts almost randomly give out the moment a lift becomes challenging. Seeing your nervous system and muscles come alive and learn to function past that point is incredibly gratifying, even as it, uh, kinda hurts.) So much of lifting is staying in tune with yourself, because your relationship to your body and limitations keeps changing all of the time. This led me back to a Jeff Nippard video on what, exactly, "training hard enough" looks like, which has several types of examples.

Australian soccer player Sam Kerr was unfairly shown a yellow card for bodying this smug jerk who broke into the pitch during one of her games. If you can’t take the heat, don’t go in the kitchen, my good man!

I’m once again saying: exercise works, sorry! I don’t care if it does or doesn’t make you lose weight!

How musicians get in concert shape. Related to the below: The girl who plays Charlotte’s daughter Lily in And Just Like That has an incredible physicality in the show and appears to be a real piano player!


Absolutely massive spoiler for the new Sex and the City show “And Just Like That” here, so skip down to where it says “okay it’s safe now” if you don’t want it spoiled… but in the very first episode, Big does a very intense Peloton ride, amply conveyed by many shots of him stressing and straining, and then immediately afterward he dies of a heart attack. Since this happened in the very first episode, it would have been plenty to get along with. Except that here in the real world, it turns out Peloton agreed to have its bike portrayed in the series without clarifying the context in which it would be used. I’m already wheezing from this, but then also Peloton responded with a press release strenuously attributing his heart attack to his “extravagant lifestyle” and went on to claim the Peloton even probably staved off his eventual cardiac event. Peloton didn’t have to say anything! This is mess of the highest order!

This was salt in the wound of Bloomberg pityingly covering the fact that Peloton started offering boxing classes recently, as if it were a coping response to Peloton’s flagging revenue. I’m laughing because I don’t like what Peloton stands for, and even I wouldn’t stoop this low.


Okay, it’s safe now. You’ve heard of the 11-abs influencer, now get ready for “Pretending She’s Just Now Hearing of Packaged Ramen” (counts because she is wearing a 1st Phorm shirt) and “I Hope They Have Protein Shakes in Prison,” who claimed she was curved by a guy who flew her to the Jan. 6 riots on a private jet.

God bless this Media Matters researcher who is listening to hundreds of hours of Joe Rogan to track how his podcast has gotten more fringe, sad, and cuckoo bananas.

I forget how I ended up on a ten year old Goop post gushing about Tracy Anderson, but lmao. I’m just grateful, looking back, that Tracy Anderson did end up completely fixing society and its “batwings,” as was foretold by Goop. On the other hand, how far we’ve… come?


I missed that How to With John Wilson is back!! A strange thing about me is that I love How to With John Wilson, but can’t get into the extremely similar Joe Pera Talks With You. My tastes for nerdy white men ponderously explaining simple concepts to me in mind-expanding ways are… singular.

If sadness and heartbreak are a big part of “holiday spirit” for you, this Airmail story about the latter days of Stephen Glass takes a while to get going but is incredibly touching. Reminds me of this Wired story from last year that is both heartbreaking and a great mystery.

That’ll do it for this week!! I love you, thank you for reading, let’s go—