Passion Profile: A Babe Who Started A Barbell Community
by Tina Tang
Passion Profile: Tiffany Klinger
Google Hangout on Air Interview with Tiffany Klinger, founder of Barbell Babes, to find out how she discovered lifting and what inspired the formation of her company, Barbell Babes. Tiffany was one of the first women entrepreneur pals with whom I connected. We both believe in the same mission: celebrating women who embrace strength.
The interview was live on Google Hangouts on Air and saved onto my YouTube Channel. 15 minute video interview. Below is a transcript of the essential highlights from the live interview. Read time 2.5 min.
How old are you?
What inspired you to lift?
I’ve always loved lifting and have never been afraid of the free weight section of the gym. In 2012, after getting out of a bad relationship, I promised myself I would always take care of myself.
Taking care of myself came in the form of CrossFit. It was something I did for myself and I loved it. Authors note: CrossFit is a strength and conditioning sport that combines weight lifting, gymnastics, calisthenics.
Why do you love lifting?
If I have had a bad day, and go lift, I feel so much better. It’s empowering knowing that my body can do this. It challenges me in ways I never thought possible. It’s my happy place.
How did you find out about CrossFit?
I discovered Olympic lifting before CrossFit. I stumbled across videos of a prominent Asian female lifter, Jenny Lam. She was my inspiration for lifting. I identified with her because we are about the same age and she is Chinese. You don’t see too many Asian females in the lifting world.
Since CrossFit is more mainstream and accessible, I started with that. I eventually quit CrossFit to only do Olympic lifting.
What do you parents think about weightlifting?
Like most Asian parents, they still don’t really understand. They’ve never come to any of my lifting meets. My mom always says, “Don’t lift that much, you don’t want to get hurt”.
Yet, they still support anything that makes me happy.
What do they do to exercise or stay healthy?
Mom doesn’t workout and that’s why she has back problems and other physical issues. My dad is the athletic one. I get my muscular genetics from him. He takes walks daily.
What inspired starting Barbell Babes?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. As a kid, I was always starting little businesses. When I got into fitness, I knew I wanted to start a business in the fitness world. My original idea was creating a line of knee high socks, often used in lifting. That was before the flood of companies started doing it.
I was working for a start up at that time. My boss was my mentor.
I asked him if he thought I was ready to start a business and he said no. I worked for 2 years before knowing I was ready to leave.
One day, the concept for Barbell Babes just clicked. I wanted to start a movement. I noticed in the lifting world was lacking representation of the average woman. There were plenty of “ripped” 6-8 pack ab’ed women in social media. That wasn’t ideal for myself. All women, no matter shape and size, need to be represented. That’s what inspired Barbell Babes.
What is your current training schedule?
Before fistula surgery, I used to lift 2 times a week at the Humble Beast Barbell Club. On the off days I would do things in my home gym.
At my peak, I was lifting twice at Barbell Club and doing CrossFit. I was lifting 5 times a week, and sometimes two workouts a day!
What is your big dream for Barbell Babes?
I would love to host a live Barbell Babes conference. Right now we’re ecommerce and online. I’ll bring Barbell Babes to other’s events. I would love to create a conference where we could get people together to grow physically, brainstorm, and learn.