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Raina Jade: Squatting Deep and Asking Questions

Raina Jade started lifting to help strengthen her joints and get a little stronger. However just like anyone who pick up a dumbbell, she fell in love with the iron game. Now she is hooked and getting ready for an amazing 2016 season. While some do not want to put in the time and drive deep into the world of bodybuilding, Raina has been working relentlessly to change your body from the little, skinny girl to now the young lady who will out squat the curl bros at her gym.

How old are you, where are you from, and do you squat ass to grass?
My name is Raina Jade, I’m 23 years young. I hail from Iowa City, Iowa, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes (GO HAWKS!). Narrow stance ass to grass squats for all of the booty gains!

What areas of weight training do you train and what is your best squat?
I lift bodybuilding style and my best squat was during my last bulk, in the gym, 260lbs for one! I always wanted to hit over twice my body weight on lifts so that was a proud moment.

Where do you train? Do you have a lifting team or partner?
I train at Iowa City Fitness, a local gym. I’m a part of a body building team there so I lift with my teammates or with one of my two trainers. I prefer lifting alone, though I rarely get to because listening to my music and focusing on each muscle takes me to my happy place.

How did you into bodybuilding?
That’s a story. I actually have a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. I had gotten into lifting, starting very light, to strengthen my joints. My goal with lifting was to only no longer need my hinged knee braces to do things like walking on uneven ground or for long periods of time. Those newbie gains changed my life! I exceeded any of my expectations and no longer have any pain or dislocations from the condition. My body changed so fast. I started getting told by people that I should compete, so I decided to pick a small competition, then I was offered a great gym sponsorship and it has just taken off!

What does a normal leg day workout look like for you?
Leg day for me starts with a warm up of high kicks, walking lunges, reverse walking lunges with a twist, and hip rotations. I normally go into heavy squats, sumo platform deadlifts, platform straight leg deadlifts superset with calf raises, TRX hamstring curls superset with quad extensions, kickbacks or hip thrusts, and then abs!

So what’s next for you? Any goals you have to hit?
Short term, I am focusing on bulking and getting my lifts, especially my squat, back up to where they were pre-cut. Long term, I’m planning on a year long bulk so next season I can shoot for my IFPA pro card!

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?
Ha! I think half my friends are scared of me and the other half think I’m some kind of stripper wearing that bikini! The first time I out lifted a guy was on a squat, I asked for a spot and the guy told me he wouldn’t be able to help me if I couldn’t get up!! He then went back to his squat rack with his tail between his legs, I THOUGHT HE WAS WARMING UP WITH THAT WEIGHT! PSA, stop skipping leg day fellas!

What do you tell women who think lifting heavy makes you look “manly”?
Haha, I get hear it all the time! I tell them that it doesn’t work that way because we don’t have the testosterone levels for that! Then I refer to my booty gains. That took SOO much time, eating in a surplus, and hard work. I WISH it were easier to build!! But ladies, it’s not!

Anything you would like to tell the younger lifters? and/or anything else you would like to add?
My advice to new lifters is to jump in with both feet because you only get newbie gains once, but make sure you work with someone who can teach you proper form! I also always advise that people start tracking macros so they get the best results!

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