I am a gym class dropout.

More accurately, I am a gym class hideout. As in, hiding in the locker room to avoid class.

As a child, I cheated on the elementary fitness test… in order to be good enough to score a “participant” grade.

I had asthma and wore Coke-bottle glasses. My best sport was speed reading.

I sink a basketball about one out of every 10 throws. Maybe 20.

I can run 100 meters in 30 seconds flat.

There is a 10 year old girl in New Jersey who weighs 93 lb and squats 215 lb. If I could ever squat 215, I would probably die happy.

I was once passed by a squirrel while riding my bike.

In other words, I should never have created a website on how to get and stay in shape. Or how to be an athlete. Or how to be strong.

At least, not according to the way things are conventionally done.

The “rules” say that you have to be born with some kind of genetic advantage, natural grace, and inherent physical skill to be an athlete. To feel at home in the gym. To have a strong, healthy, powerful body.

The “rules” say that there is only one way to be and look and feel “fit”.

And those rules do not include being over 40 and stumpy.

(Or liking takeout Thai food or chocolate truffles. God, I love chocolate truffles. And tequila. Maybe all mashed together. Yeah. That’d be good. With some rock salt. And I’ll call it PMS Crunch.)


Because there are more of us mere mortals than there are people who sink baskets on every shot.Well, fuck the rules.

There are more of us “average folks” than there are Olympians. And none of us are getting any younger.

Which is one reason I started this site in 1996 — yes the mid-1990s, when the web was shiny and new, or more accurately, ugly and clunky – to bring the power to the people.

All the people.

Let’s keep it real.

I’m telling you all this stuff about myself because weight training is for everyone. Yes, even you.

No matter how old you are, or what gender you are. How big or small you are. How out of shape, dorky, klutzy, or otherwise athletically impaired you are.

Weight training and good nutrition is for everyone.


Strength, power, and mobility. Proper engine fuelling. Joyful daily movement. Physical confidence.

These are some of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

They’ll help you live longer and better, feel and perform optimally, and as a bonus, help you walk tall and look dashing well into old age.

Let’s go, princess. Time to get sweaty.




Stumptuous FAQ

But before you hit “send”, check here to make sure I’m going to be able to help you. Here are some handy tips for emailing the Mistress, and some frequently asked questions.

Check to make sure you have read through the whole site (or the pertinent areas) before you email me. Quite often I have anticipated your request and provided some material already.

  1. What does Stumptuous mean?
  2. Do you answer training and diet-related questions?
  3. I emailed you but haven’t gotten a response. Why?
  4. I’m a guy. Can I still use the information on your site?
  5. Will you beat me up for money?
  6. Will you send me naked pictures?
  7. Will you tell me how to lose muscle?
  8. What if I have a complaint about the material?
  9. Can you hook me up with a serious trainer in my area?
  10. What brand of _______ do you recommend?
  11. Will you advertise my product or service on your site?
  12. How much can you squat/bench press/deadlift?
  13. Why do you have to cuss so much? Isn’t there a way to make your point without profanity? Don’t you consider yourself a role model? Think of the children!

What does Stumptuous mean?

It’s a conjunction of “stumpy” and “sumptuous”, which I was when I first started training. I am still stumpy, but a lot of that “built for comfort, not for speed” padding is gone.

Do you answer training and diet-related questions?

I used to, but due to the volume of email I now receive, I simply can’t. Also, there’s an excellent chance that your question has been answered on the website already. In particular I recommend you check out:

and Honesty is the Best Policy

I emailed you but haven’t gotten a response. Why?

There are several possible reasons.

1. You sent an email that read like it was written from inside a jail cell or an institution for the criminally insane.
2. You sent an email from an account that had some kind of spam filter on it that killed my reply.
3. You sent an email without a valid response address and my reply to you just bounced back or went into the electronic ether.
4. I’m really goddamned busy and have suffocated underneath a mound of “real” work. I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

The last one is the most likely one. I try my best to respond promptly, but it doesn’t always happen. Often I save up email I get during the week, and respond to it on the weekends when I have a few spare moments. Sometimes messages get lost in the inbox, so if you haven’t heard from me in a couple of weeks, try a gentle reminder. Of course if #1, #2, or #3 is the problem you’ll never hear from me.

I’m a guy. Can I still use the information on your site?

Certainly! Most of the information is gender-neutral. However, I have geared some of the advice to the probable concerns of female readers. For example, we know that young women suffer from a greater incidence of knee injuries, so I have included a page on patellofemoral syndrome. But that doesn’t mean a guy with hurtin’ joints can’t use the information too. Lots of male readers write to tell me that they have used the advice here, and passed it on to their wife, girlfriend, sister, mom, female clients, etc. I think that’s great! Spread the good word!

Will you beat me up for money? (yes, I have been asked this, a surprising number of times)

How much money? Hehe. Seriously, you’re probably thinking of the other Mistress Krista.

Will you send me naked pictures? (yes, I have also been asked this)

Um, no. Surely there is enough female nudity on the net already. Likewise do not ask me to correspond erotically with you. I am flattered that you find me attractive, but I’m married, and if I wasn’t married, I would charge your credit card first.

Will you tell me how to lose muscle?


Trust me, you’ll need that stuff when you’re 80. I don’t care if you think you’re the She-Hulk (you’re probably not), or if your muscular thighs are “too bulky” (most of it is probably body fat not muscle, and your thighs are probably totally normal), if you can’t find clothes (aren’t the manufacturers the one with problem, not you?) I’m not enabling your dysfunctional crap. Find non-fucked up role models and be strong. And enjoy not getting stuck on the toilet in the old age home.

What if I have a complaint about the material?

If you have a complaint about the material on this site, such as a possible factual inaccuracy, please provide me with some evidence for your claim when you email me. I am always happy to learn about new developments and knowledge in the field. If you have some research which suggests that I should reconsider some of the information here, then great. I am happy to explain certain concepts further, or admit when I don’t know something. But if you just want to share something you read on a website sponsored by the Scientologists, prepare yourself for a gentle debunking from me.

I try to be quite polite and helpful in my responses but occasionally I will get a bit snide when others are rude to me. If you have a constructive critique, then great! If you just want to be an inconsiderate bitch then expect either silence or a snotty note from me.

Can you hook me up with a serious trainer in my area?

Depending on your request I am often able to point you towards some resources. You’ll have the best luck if you’re looking for a powerlifting or Olympic lifting association in your area. And I can also send out my moles for more information if I don’t see anything right away. I cannot hook you up with a workout buddy or an average gym trainer, though.

What brand of _______ do you recommend?

In general I don’t make brand recommendations. While I am happy to suggest one of the few reputable online companies that I know, I don’t really endorse many products. I can make recommendations about how to find a good product, though.

Will you advertise my product or service on your site?

Generally, no. However, if you have a specialty, hard-to-find product which is of good quality and meets the needs of my readership, then I can sometimes be convinced to put a plain link (not a banner ad) on my link page. Examples of this are AdFit’s Manta Ray and Sting Ray, and the smaller-sized plates from PDA (these folks definitely deserve mention because their customer service is outstanding). Don’t ask me to shill for your useless supplements, or to participate in your MLM scams. In fact you might want to check the Crap List just to make sure your product isn’t listed there before you email me and embarrass yourself.

How much can you squat/bench press/deadlift?

Not enough, ever.

Why do you have to cuss so much? Isn’t there a way to make your point without profanity? Don’t you consider yourself a role model? Think of the children!

  1. Because it’s my site and I can.
  2. Isn’t there a way to eat food without flavour? Sure, but why? The Anglo-Saxons and Normans brought English the gift of short, zesty linguistic punctuation. Don’t be a re-gifter.
  3. I weep for a world in which athletes are “role models” and a woman who likes lifting heavy things is expected to act like a debutante. And you wonder why we’re so screwed up.
  4. Fuck off.