I write a column for women about fitness and health at SELF called


                 ∭         ASK A SWOLE WOMAN         ∭


Have a question for me? Email

You can see all my strength training/eating/gratuitous belfies on Instagram at @swolewoman.

My newsletter, A Swole Letter, will alert you every time there’s a new column

It includes links to good stuff to read, watch, buy, follow, and think about.

Previously, the column ran at The Hairpin. All past columns are organized by subject below.



NYMag Grub Street Diet: 'Swole' Writer Casey Johnston Breaks Up Deadlift Sets With Thin Mints

Popular Science's Tales From the Field: My Powerlifting Pulpit

Plz Advise with Molls and Mary HK Choi

Hey, Cool Job Episode 21: Wellness Expert And Swole Woman Casey Johnston

Fitless with Bianca Brady: EXPERT ALERT with Casey Johnston

The Awlcast Six: Powerlifting


columns at self

How can I find safe and inclusive gyms?

Are fasted workouts safe?

Can I start lifting weights if I feel really out of shape?

Is weight-lifting a fat-burning workout?

Should I include gym machines in my workout?

How can I actually do a pull-up?

Can I start weight-lifting if I’ve basically never exercised?

Do I have to track calories to maintain my weight?

How often should I lift weights to actually see results?

How do I start lifting weights when I’m so busy? 


COLUMNS at The Hairpin

How To Get there

Do I have to spend money on a gym?

How do I get back into lifting? 

How do I go to the gym, though?

What if fitness and diet talk feel toxic?

Should I get someone to teach me to lift?

Can a personal trainer touch me without my permission?

How do I keep track of what I'm doing?

How to do it

How do I learn to lift?

What's wrong with my squats?

Why is my deadlift so weak?

How can I learn to do a pullup?

Is bodyweight training good? 

How do I learn to use my muscles?

Is this program really enough?

Do my workouts have to be hardcore?

Why does my bench press suck?

How do I deload?

Do I use gloves if my hands hurt?

What shoes do I wear?

Do I have to warm up? Ok but how?


Does nothing taste as good as skinny feels?

Is tracking my food necessary?

Should I eat more meat?

Should I do keto?

Should I eat clean?

What is the swolest breakfast?

Can I still drink alcohol?

What is a good protein powder?

What if I'm a vegetarian?

What is wrong with me

How can I be perfect in the New Year?

How do I stay motivated?

Should I be this sore?

Can I lift with a crooked body?

Is sweat causing my acne?

How do I fix my broken posture?

What if I want strength but love cardio?

You mean I don't have to do cardio?

What if a man asks why I lift?

What if I pee when I lift?

How can I improve my grip?

What is it good for

Why should I learn to lift?

Should I get stronger for self defense?

How do I get toned arms?

How do I get abs?

Am I doing enough? What if I cry?

be nice to yourself

How do I learn to go to the gym regularly?

What if I get really, really, REALLY sore?

How do I care for my growing baby muscles?

Shouldn't Wonder Woman be bigger?

How do I set goals and still like what I am now?