How strength training changed my life

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Jo Hill:

I have always been an active person, but never had the confidence to participate in team sports. I gravitated towards cardio and if I felt really adventurous I would branch out and try a fitness class. But then I found Lil, and strength training. Strength training has not only changed me physically, but the mental strength that I have gained has been second to none. 

Lil was someone who I saw as having ‘The perfect physique’, attitude towards training, and undeniable strength. I decided to contact her in the hopes that she could help me get the ‘toned’ look I was after. I expected her to tell me that I had to start each morning with fasted cardio and end each day with a long run but she didn’t. 

She introduced me to weights, heavy weights…weights I would never have thought I could lift. She pushed me to do push-ups, not girl push-ups, but push-ups. She introduced me to the 3 compound lifts: The squat, the deadlift and the bench press. This list could really go on and on. I’ve wanted to give up so many times but, once the bug bites, you know that giving up just isn’t an option. 

I’ve stopped focussing on what my body looks like and have started to focus on what my body can do, and it can do some pretty cool things! I now walk into the gym with a confidence that I never used to have- and let’s be frank, what girl doesn’t want to be able to walk into the weight section at the gym and row a dumbbell the same weight as the guy training next to her?

Traci-Lee Zima:

I’ve always had big shoulders and a broad back from years of school swimming. My fear about lifting heavy was that my back and shoulders would expand get bigger and I’d become “butch” (again). After numerous chats with Lil, I decided to trust her and trust the system! Lifting weights changed my body, my mind and my confidence. The only regret I have is that I didn’t start with it sooner. Plus, Lil and her female athletes are walking examples that lifting heavy will not make you big!!

While I know that I don’t have the greatest figure, and I am far from achieving my fitness and physical goals, I have no doubt that strength training has been the best way forward. I have a long standing knee injury and before I consider the route of having an op, Lil is making sure that I do all the strength and rehab work needed. I have seen several changes in the shape of my body while training at OTG and I couldn’t imagine training under someone who doesn’t love the life that they preach – Lil walks the walk, and doesn’t just talk about it.

OTG is a powerhouse and it’s creating people who are strong for everyday life, not just pretty to look at!”

Arenea Becker:


I am a powerlifter that comes from a figure building background and started training under Lil’s guidance 5 years ago. I had a relatively good figure with average strength but after meeting Lil and following a strict strength program I really elevated my power to weight ratio while maintaining my figure which is important to me.

Training for strength improved my physique tenfold, it took a whole new package to the competitive stage. The transformation over the years has been nothing short of phenomenal which placed me 2nd at the WFF World Champs in 2015.

I am currently preparing for the World Powerlifting champs in September after taking gold and breaking a world record in my weight category at the National Championship recently. Over and above my competitive accomplishments I feel that I am physically prepared for the “every day activities” that life throws at you which is really important in my amazing but physical occupation (dolphin trainer)

Louise Van Nie Kerk:

I’ve been with Lil and OTG since 2015, now two years later and my body has completely transformed – I feel stronger, physically and mentally. Strength training with OTG has helped my running tremendously.

Focusing on strength predominantly, keeps it challenging, pushing me to newer goals and better strengths. Whether I have certain goal changes or am working through an injury, my sessions are always customized to suit the situation.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself during my time at OTG and it’s an amazing feeling to push beyond what you think your limits are. Lil has offered me incredible guidance and I can’t wait to see what the next two years will bring.

Exercise selection for shoot:

Kettlebell Snatch: An excellent movement for total body strength & power. It’s a unilateral movement that builds solid shoulder strength. Due to the need to slow the movement down at the top end of the drill there is a significant amount of work done in and around the shoulder joint. This movement builds strength and explosive power from the ground up.

Zercher Squat: One of my favorite squat movements as I like to stick to the basics and the zercher is pretty simple to execute. Due to the bar being axially loaded there is no compressional force on the spine and because of the load being on the front of the body it makes for a safe deep squat that trains all the muscle fibres of a squat which means tons of posterior chain activation.

Viking Press: I love this movement as it allows you to press with a pronated grip, which means you can handle heavier loads without aggravating your rotator cuffs. It hits your front delts like a ton of bricks, whilst training the entire shoulder girdle. In my opinion this is the king of shoulder exercises but as you know, rarely done.

Sumo Deadlift: This variation is more technical than the conventional deadlift and requires


more glute recruitment and hip strength. The sumo deadlift has the biggest carry over to everyday movements and lifting styles, and is a great option for taking the stress off the lumbar spine from a conventional deadlift.

Jefferson Deadlift: I love this unconventional deadlift as it hits a lot of areas that are missing in most peoples movement habits. Possibly the best movement for core stability and hip durability. I use this movement often with clients who struggle with back issues as it allows more compressive force and fewer shear forces on the lower back.


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Lil Kimble

Lil Kimble

Owner of OTG ATHLETIC, Precision Nutrition Certified and ISSA Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach. Lil is driven by her pursuit to empower men and women both mentally and physically through strength training.

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