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VALERIE BARTHELEMY

 

I am a professional triathlete representing Belgium in international competitions. I began participating in triathlons after being a competitive swimmer for 12 years. I swam for the University of Michigan (2009-2013) and was a captain my senior year, swimming in the Big Ten Championships all four years. I thought that in the transition from one sport (swimming) to three (swimming, biking, and running), my body would adapt to the loads it was presented and I would eventually gain the strength I needed to compete in triathlons. Running and cycling take enormous loads on your musculoskeletal system, and I found my bone structure having a hard time adjusting to the sudden increase in impact from those two sports. Also, my posterior chain was quite weak, along with my hips as a result of being a swimmer for 12 years.


I started working with Shaun in May 2015, and the results were almost immediate. I was hesitant to incorporate heavy weights and overload my training schedule, but Shaun has systematically designed my program to make me strong for my specific events (swimming, biking, and running). My program is tailored to my weaknesses, and the shoulder pain I had been experiencing for 6 months prior to starting with him is completely gone.

Although I compete at a caliber that is not the norm, I deeply believe that strength training can be a benefit to any athlete. Whether you are lifting for injury rehabilitation, sports performance gains, or weight loss, Shaun does it all. He is dependent, consistent, and an excellent coach.

I am thankful to have made strength progress with Shaun over the past year and a half. I am finishing up my first year as a professional triathlete, and my training and triathlon racing keeps improving. I look forward to continuing to progress under Shaun’s direction!