EP007—What Weightlifting & Yoga Have in Common—WENDY SPIES

EP007—What Weightlifting & Yoga Have in Common—WENDY SPIES

On the surface, it may seem like weightlifting and yoga have very little in common. But if you ask Wendy Spies, the practices parallel each other. In fact, she refers to weightlifting as ‘honest yoga.’ 

Wendy is a Certified RYT Yoga Instructor and USA Weightlifting Coach. She has been practicing yoga since 1987 and is a nationally-ranked weightlifter, setting the world record in the women’s 53kg at the 2018 Pan American Games and winning gold at the Arnold Weightlifting Championships. Wendy is also an accomplished software engineer and product designer with bachelor’s degree from Stanford and a master’s in convergent media from the University of Texas. 

On this episode of Holistic High Performance, Wendy joins Daniel to explain how she discovered yoga as a girl growing up in the backwoods of Louisiana. She discusses how she was introduced to weightlifting later in life, describing how she came to compete and win on the world stage and what self-care practices she uses to increase her training capacity. Listen in for Wendy’s insight around the parallels between yoga and weightlifting and find out how she is navigating the pandemic—on rollerblades!

What You Will Learn 

  • How the experience of growing up in the backwoods of Louisiana drove Wendy to find her own power in the world
  • What inspired Wendy’s shift from medicine to enterprise software 
  • How Wendy was introduced to yoga through a book at the age of 12
  • The false narrative that pulled Wendy away from track and field + how she overcame it in her 30’s to pursue weightlifting
  • Why Wendy refers to weightlifting as ‘honest yoga’
  • Wendy’s insight on the chess game of competing in weightlifting and how local meets differ from the world stage
  • Wendy’s take on how discipline and self-care impact your chances of making the podium
  • How Wendy leverages red light therapy and other self-care practices to recover more quickly and increase her training capacity
  • How Wendy got better at competing with intentional practice and the world records she has achieved
  • How Prince inspired Wendy to take up rollerblading as a hobby during COVID 
  • Why Wendy took a break from weight training during the pandemic and how she is cutting herself some slack as she picks up the bar again

Connect with Wendy Spies

Wendy’s Yoga & Coaching Website

Wendy on Instagram

Wendy on Facebook


East Coast Gold Weightlifting Team

Hassle Free BBC

Joovv Red Light Therapy

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Arnold Sports Festival

Questlove on Prince’s Epic Roller Skating Party

Daniel Christofferson

About the Show

Executive Producer and Host: Daniel Christofferson LMT, CHP

The Holistic High Performance Podcast is all about showing up as the best version of yourself in whatever you do. We will be interviewing athletes, coaches, bodyworkers, innovators, and thought leaders to share their stories, mindsets, and tools to help you achieve your dreams and goals.

This show would not be possible without the help of our team.

We wish to thank:

Harlowe Brummet-Dunn – Executive Assistant/ Marketing

Dan Harmon of DH Podcasts – Producer/Post Production

Anjel B. Harwell; Host of Wickedly Smart Women Podcast – Mentor

Luca Milard-Kish for composing and arranging the show’s theme music