From Ballyhaunis To Boyle - Meet Sandra The Powerlifter - StrongLife

From Ballyhaunis To Boyle – Meet Sandra The Powerlifter


Today you’re going to meet the lady that travels from Ballyhaunis to Boyle to train in StrongLife Gym.

With July 2018 done and dusted, it’s time for another Member of the Month.

And the one and only Sandra Coyne hailing from Mayo (say nothing about the GAA!!) is July’s MOTM.

Towards the end of 2017, Sandra called over for a days coaching in the run up to her first powerlifting competition.

And in July 2018, she competed again under the full coaching of myself.

So as always, I’m going to let Sandra take it away from here.

What Made You Join StrongLife Gym In Boyle?

“I trained in James Hanley’s gym (Revolution Fitness) in Dublin for a year.

He was always encouraging the girls in the gym to try powerlifting.

Once I got a decent strength base up for my weight at the time I decided to move home to Mayo.

I didn’t train properly for 2 years but I found a trainer at home who brought me back to where I was and more.

He was a brilliant trainer, however he wasn’t familiar with the rules of powerlifting.

I was following Colm for a while on social media so I messaged him and he told me to rock up.

Went through all the rules, lifts and commands with me and didn’t charge me a penny. 

Once I had my first competition over I wanted to go again.

But I felt I needed to be part of a club and that’s when I joined Stronglife.”


James is quite possibly the main reason I got to open my gym. From having coached me in my own training and then given me advice throughout.

He’s a man I always look up to.

So to have a client of his come to train here means I had a bit of pressure on!

Thankfully, Sandra is going from strength to strength.

In regards to a free coaching session, I love powerlifting and having spoken to Sandra I just wanted to help her get going.

I look at myself as a coach with a lot to learn still, and to have someone willing to travel a decent distance to be coached by me was quite the compliment.

How Has StrongLife Made A Difference To You?

“Since joining StrongLife, I went from rarely squatting to squatting 4 times a week.

My confidence has improved, my technique is getting there and the weight on the bar is going up slowly.

I work hard in the gym. I will always push myself to do better than the session before.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not going anywhere but it’s noticing things like being able to bench 15kg dumbbells for 9 reps when this time last year I couldn’t get one.

It’s all down to the programming Colm sets.

If I stick to it and follow it I’ll end up with the results I want.”


I think Sandra is being a touch modest here.

To see her now compared to when she first came to me, she has came on leaps and bounds.

What was her max Squat 6 months ago is now a warm up to her!

Tell Us About Competing In Powerlifting With StrongLife Gym.

The best thing about powerlifting in StrongLife is you feel part of a club.

To train and lift with Stephanie and Colm is great.

It’s great to have the extra support, encouragement and someone to have a laugh with.

It all helped to settle the nerves.

It was great having Colm there because he knew what number we should open at, he took over in the warm up room, and he knew what we were capable of getting in our final lifts.

We just had to lift the bar.


For anyone new to powerlifting, I just want to ensure that they enjoy the experience.

So I set reasonable goals and take away as much stress and worry as I can.

That way they come away feeling great and they will more than likely compete again.

I never want anyone to have a bad experience and throw in the towel.

Would You Recommend StrongLife To A Friend?

I would wholeheartedly recommend Colm to a friend.

He’s a great trainer, he’s loads of fun and he wants everybody to feel better about themselves, whether that’s to lose some weight or pack on some muscle.

Or for me, to Squat 1.5 times my own bodyweight…..someday!

Well Done Sandra “Solid Mayo Muscle” Coyne

So now that Sandra has told you her story, I’m going to do the rest.

Sandra has been such a welcome addition to the gym.

She’s super friendly and trains hard.

More importantly, she’s always willing to learn and take on advice.

But it’s not all plain sailing.

We do fall out plenty.

She comes in giving out that she takes too long because she does be yapping away.

And when I do give out and run her back to the Squat rack she gives me the stink eye.

Sure me heart is broke trying to get her to stop showing people pictures of her dog and do a few feckin deadlifts!

It’s fantastic though to have girls who are not afraid of getting strong.

Girls who don’t follow the stigma that is associated with girls and weight training.

We’ve built a really good base for her lifting and she’s making progress every training cycle.

So it’s going to be another great few months for Sandy Pants!

And our next powerlifting outing looks like it’s Cork in October for the IPF Open.

So if you’re thinking of getting strong and challenging yourself, then feel free to get in touch and I’ll teach you everything you need to know and do.

Until then, well done Sandra, Sandy, Sandra-With-The-Pants, Coyne.

Up Mayo!



Colm Duignan

Colm Duignan

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