Interview with Strong Strong Friends founder and fitness coach Meg Gallagher
Fitness coach Meg Gallagher is on a mission, with her company Strong Strong Friends, to get a barbell into every woman’s hand. Meg has not only coached many women at all levels of fitness; she has also competed in powerlifting on national stages and has taken an interest in Crossfit and bodybuilding. On her Instagram feed, she shares her fierce attitude, her joy in building strength in herself and others, and tips for proper form and technique for barbell exercises. This month, Parvati Magazine spoke with Meg about accessing her true capacity and helping others do the same.
Parvati Magazine: Your mission with Strong Strong Friends is to get a barbell into every woman’s hands. Why is that mission so important for you? What does the barbell symbolize for you?
Meg Gallagher: Chasing fitness, work, and life goals are really daunting and confusing. For me, barbell training and incorporating a linear progression into my fitness routine with lifting were game changers in understanding what I was truly capable of. With consistency and patience, strength will develop. I always felt so helpless when it came to controlling my body or controlling my life. Lifting taught me that I am powerful.
Parvati Magazine: How would you define your coaching style now compared with when you first started?
Meg Gallagher: I’ve always been gentle and supportive with my athletes. That’s still there, but now I understand which questions to ask, or what to say to a lifter who isn’t resonating with a soft nudge.
Parvati Magazine: Have you ever felt that you needed to portray a certain persona as a female in a typically male-dominated environment?
Meg Gallagher: People are people. I don’t feel any pressure to act a certain way anymore. Plus, fitness is heavily female-dominated. I’m just here to show women that there are more options, and ones that look a little more badass.
Parvati Magazine: You’ve coached a lot of women and watched their fitness journeys. Can you tell us about one of your most successful clients and how it made you feel as her coach?
Meg Gallagher: I have a client who competed in powerlifting for the first time ever last weekend. When she was a teenager, she was told that she would not live for another six months and has battled health problems ever since. I’m just thankful that we were able to introduce her to barbell training and powerlifting. She left her meet feeling thrilled, powerful, and more healthy than ever.
Parvati Magazine: What is something the world doesn’t know about Meg outside of fitness?
Meg Gallagher: I love to snowboard! I learned a few years ago in Whistler, British Columbia. Before age 23, I’d never seen a mountain before!
Meg Gallagher has successfully coached hundreds of powerlifters through their first squats, meets, and national-level competitions. She has studied under and interviewed the strongest strength athletes in the world. Meg is the founder of Strong Strong Friends, a coaching company with the mission of getting a barbell in every woman’s hands.