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Emily Sobczak : Squatting Deep and Asking Questions

Emily was not always into fitness, she never would of thought of herself as being into bodybuilding a few years ago. Yet, like many of us, she got hooked and now is chasing a 315-pound squat! She has become addicted to going heavy and who can blame her. It just makes lifting more fun. This young lady has unlimited potential and it will be a blast to see what she does next, in the gym and on the stage.

How old are you, where are you from, and do you squat ass to grass?
Me name is Emily, I am 25 years old and I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I started squatting about a year ago. Starting with the lightest weight possible with going deep and to the grass. For about 20 reps of maybe 3-4 sets, depending how I felt. Currently, I have built my weight up to 225 pounds. Not quite all the way to the grass, but slowly getting there. This I do my very last set. Warm up with 45-pound plates on each side and add up from there. The last set should be to the point of exhaustion.

What areas of weight training do you train? And what is your best squat? Gym PR?
I love to warm up with high reps! Not just with legs, but with any lift. This also making it a better pump and to warm the muscles for prevention of injury. I am currently in my off season, coming off stage this past October from my first NPC figure competition. I do not currently have a PR passed 225 right now; as I just hit this last week, but that doesn’t stop me from going up anymore and going heavier!😜😈

Where do you train? Do you have a lifting team or partner?
My goal right now, I’m going to keep on working my way up. However, my next huge PR goal is to eventually hit 315 in the coming weeks. I am currently on a body building team-Team iron Nation. I have a wonderful Coach who is specialized in diet, nutrition and contest prep. While I have an amazing team and surrounded by bodybuilders, my go to leg day partner is is one of my closer teammates. She’s currently sitting around 315 on squats so she keeps me motivated and working on up! ūüôā

How did you into bodybuilding?
If you had asked me four years ago to body build, I would have said, “you’re crazy!” Coming from 215 pounds roughly I start off just diet and light weights. Dropping almost 35/40 on my own I fell in love with the weights. Dropped cardio for a while and just lifted as heavy as my body would let me. shortly after building a solid structure of my own, and being around enough muscles in the gym, I was positively influenced to challenge myself even more and to hit the stage! So I put the foot down and busted my tail off in the gym for 16 weeks! I wouldn’t change it for the world. Now being in offseason and seeing the strength and how much more I can do that I couldn’t before is the best feeling ever!

What does a normal leg day workout look like for you?
A typical leg day for me always starts off with a 5-10 minutes warm up on the stair stepper. From there immediately jolt over to the squat rack and start my warm up set. Followed by 3-5 working sets. Morning on ill hit walking weighted lunges, leg extensions, leg press, deadlifts, hamstring curls, breathe…and finally finish it all off with valve raises. Each of these exercises I start up with warm ups like I mentioned before and do light weight with about 15-20 reps, just to get enough burn and warm the muscles. After the warm up, sets come to the working sets. These I do about 3-5 sets, depending on how fatigued I am. Working sets usually my heaviest weight I can for about 8-10 reps. The last rep should be your challenging rep, where no more energy can get you through! That is a solid lift!:)

So what’s next for you? Any goals you have to hit?
Honestly, I’m loving the offseason. The less stress of having to prep for a show, the life of just being able to hit PRs and do my own thing with still following a strict diet. Just more flexible in an offseason. Next goal for me would be to keep building, but also staying lean enough In an offseason to make the next prep an easier flow. I’m hoping to hit some fall shows after this coming summer!:)

When you lift heavy, when was the first time you out lifted a guy? And what do your non-lifter friends think about what you do?
I wouldn’t say I have ever out lifted a guy, but I do know that some of my PRs are what some guys warm up sets are. Although; now that I think about it, it would be a nice goal to eventually hit. As far as the whole “gym life” goes; and I’m sure all competitors or people with the same lifestyle can relate, you really start to lose connection with the majority of people. Those who do not understand the Hobby or that dedication that goes into it just simply start to back away. Some view it as a very selfish way to live. I look at it as you set yourself to a goal that IS achievable, but like anything in life you have to be willing to suffer the consequences and deal with sacrifice. For me, it was “how bad do you want it?” I stood by my commitment and lost many friends along the way. I knew going into this it would leave an open door for friends to either stick around or walk away. When They saw the commitment and dedication I had the Majority of them stopped asking me to go out. So many people saw it as you’re too focused and selfish. The people who truly understand it are the ones with the same goals and ambition as me. So there is always pros and cons to the sport, you gain some and you lose some.

What do you tell women who think lifting heavy makes you look “manly”?
Boy, do I love this question. Many females associate heavy lifting with bulking up or obtaining a “manly look.” Women lack the right balance of hormones, testosterone and growth hormone, to put on muscle mass the way men do. Many females also ask about the supplements that I take and “will it make me bulk?” Again, this is all due to the fact that a male’s body is designed completely different than a female’s body. While there is a difference from heavy lifting to light lifting, heavy lifting serves many great purposes that most females tend to look past. I’ll be honest with you I thought the same thing, but if you’re not educated enough that’s the only thing that crosses a female’s mind. Heavy lifting aides in a more effective fat loss, more muscle and calorie expenditure, gives a women more of that “hourglass curve,” an important quality of sleep, increased energy, heart and bone health, and lastly and most importantly, stress relief! While I lift heavy, that is not always the case with every lift I do. Lifting heavy with build strength which is very good for an offseason competitor or for bulking. Light lighting will give you that more toned muscle look which is needed for cutting season. There is a¬†method to lifting properly. However, it’s important to be educated enough to know what the body needs to properly respond with what your goals are.

What are some of your bodybuilding goals (short and long term)?
I wish I could tell people who don’t understand it or who have wrong views of it, to better educate them! Bodybuilding is something that should only be considered if you’re willing to go to the level of extreme. It’s not for everyone and so many people think “oh I could do this” but in reality when you slowly start to limit your calories and increase cardio it gets tiring on the body, mentally and physically. So with that said; I would say, mentally I am not ready for another show just yet. Physically I can do it. The mental game is what is the hardest part, but that’s why I did it. It was a challenge for myself and stuck through it for 16 plus weeks. I’ll be honest it’s still mentally hard. I see myself so lean and think gosh, I need to stay like that. Physically though being a bodybuilder, we are hard on ourselves. When we bulk we want to cut and when we cut we want to bulk. It’s more or less a love, hate relationship, but this is why the sport isn’t for everyone. You have to really be ready for challenging yourself and taking the body to a place it’s most likely never been!

Anything you would like to tell the younger lifters? and/or anything else you would like to add?
When I first started I didn’t think I’d like it. As I hit more into it and started seeing results and just the body transform into this “new” person it gVe me the motivation to just keep going. So I’m doing just that’ what I would like to tell people and I still have a hard time with this, to really¬†have fun with it! Know that it’s all mentally challenging and draining. This is not a halfway sport, this is full-time hard work! You need to learn how to balance a hobby with everyday life. You need to be willing to accept that through all of this you lose a lot is people in your life; not because they might not support it, but because they won’t truly understand it. Know that you will become tired as the weeks narrow down, you will start to get mentally challenged at that, too. There is not all bad about the sport, the day of your show is the day the fun actually begins. You find so many people who are in the same boat. “I did it to lose weight, to release stress, to show off, to hit another goal, I was unhappy in life, etc…” Those stories you hear are truly what makes us all appreciate each other backstage and off the stage. It’s inspiring and that’s what makes it worth every tear and every smile! To conclude all of this I would like to say know that it is not easy, but it is worth it!

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Just a warmup of deads. #deads #legday #builtinstrength #teamironnation #muscles #gains #killingit

A video posted by Emily Elizabeth (@sobce28) on


Founder of Fight Against Chicken Legs, part-time workout stuff, sometimes making websites look pretty, and saving the world #OneRepAtATime