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Newest Episode

Episode 32: Cassandra Martin - Physique-building by Old-school Lifting and... Construction Work? Cassandra Martin is known for serious muscles and heavy lifting on Instagram, but doesn't share much else in her posts. She and her husband Hunter stopped by to discuss how they train, how their work makes her stronger, and why she feels lifters should eat their way through a plateau.

Ep.isode 32 Highlights & Transcript


  • From cosmetology school to construction and bodybuilding
  • "Construction is cardio, right?"
  • Her diet (spoiler alert "I eat a lot of red meat")
  • How long it took her to start seeing serious muscle gains
  • The difference that beams and bags of concrete make in strength and muscle gains
  • Her inspirations: Ronnie Coleman, Branch Warren, Johnnie Jackson, and "powerbuilding"
  • "If you plateau, mostly, it's just diet"
  • Her advice for women looking to discover what they're capable of
  • The importance of self-talk
  • Why she doesn't use captions or many hashtags
  • "I just wanted my page to be a place for people to go it they're lacking motivation. I don't need to hear you talk, I just want to see you get after it and lift some weights."
  • Her split, and how she structures her individual workouts
  • How the way she dressed changed when she began adding serious muscle
  • "Never be afraid to eat. I think that's the one thing I tell everyone."
  • Her thoughts on onstage competition and "friendly competition"


Nick Collias: Hello, everyone. Good morning and welcome to your Podcast. Everybody sleep well? No, no?

Heather Eastman: Perhaps, kind of.

Nick: The answer is always no. Heather Eastman to my left, our muscle insider.

Heather: That's right.

Nick: She won a protein chugging contest yesterday...

Heather: That's right.

Nick: Down in the gym dressed like Heidi from the Bavarian Alps.

Cassandra Martin: Congratulations.

Heather: I looked more like Dorothy. Thank you. I was very proud of myself.

Nick: Dorothy, Heidi, we're not going to make you repeat that now. Cassandra Martin, Instagram fitness sensation? I don't know, how do you describe?

Cassandra Martin: Just Cassandra Martin, slash bodybuilder, slash construction worker.

Nick: So, okay bodybuilder ... So, and this is her husband, Hunter here as well with her. So, the term bodybuilder is not something that you find yourself struggling with, like at the family dinner table? Aunt Mabel's like, "What do you do?", and you're like, "God damn it, I'm a bodybuilder."

Cassandra Martin: I'm a bodybuilder. I guess I feel now we're kind of switching it to “powerbuilder.” Because we like to lift heavy and stuff. We just like to go to the gym and workout basically. Just like everyone else who's there.

Nick: But, you happen to have a million or so people watching you every time you do it, right? For those who are not familiar with Cassandra, she is, I guess, an Instagram fitness star at this point. Puts up tons of videos and people just kind of love it. Tell us how this happened.

Heather: Yeah, how'd this start?

Cassandra Martin: Well, I used to have an Instagram with no profile pic and I was like ... I knew only a couple of people who were IFBB pros or whatever and about them. I was like, "Oh, this is so cool. I love watching their videos and looking at their pictures." I was like, "I want to do that. Let's try it." So, we just posted a picture and ...

Nick: What was the first one?

Cassandra Martin: It was the first one, it was my T-bar back. ‘Cause I had been working out, I was pretty strong or whatever, and I was like, "Let's just put it up there and see how it does." I had no followers. I didn't even ... I don't even know if I followed anyone. I just put it up, it took like two weeks to get a couple of views or whatever. I think I hash tagged two things and then after that people were like, "Oh, my god!" Just like off that one picture. This is cool, you should post more, so I started posting more, then it kind of became a business thing after.

Nick: You are the cameraman.

Hunter Martin: Yeah, I'm behind the camera.

Nick: And, you're selecting the music as well?

Hunter Martin: No, that's both of us. It's just the music we listen to.

Nick: Okay.

Hunter Martin: That's the question we get.

Heather: How long were you lifting before that? At what point did this kind of come into your fitness career?

Cassandra Martin: So, we've been together for like seven years. We had been lifting for seven years, but it wasn't until five years ago that we were consistent with it six days a week. That's how long we've been lifting. I think we went to the first Olympia and I saw everyone and I was like, "This is so cool". So after that, we came home and we were like, let's make this a consistent thing. Let's see if our bodies can change and that's what we started doing. We started posting more because we noticed the more we posted, it was getting good feedback and we kind of learned along the way.

Nick: So, you went to the Olympia. Obviously you were curious, what led you there?

Cassandra Martin: Well, he's been into bodybuilding.

Hunter Martin: Yeah, I had always wanted to go.

Nick: Just to see the whole thing live in person.

Hunter Martin: Yeah. Then it kind of ... Phil won his first one when we went to the very first one. It was kind of ... It was motivating for us to go and it took off from there. We were trying to work out all the time and then jobs would come up, we'd have to take a few months off to catch up and do some stuff, but the last three to four years have been pretty ...

Nick: Just like all right that's it, we're locked in.

Hunter Martin: Yeah, now we're locked in.

Cassandra Martin: Six days a week.

Hunter Martin: Before it was like, we would work out, but if a job came up we were behind, we would take ... There was a time that we even took like three months off, because we just had to.

Nick: Sure.

Hunter Martin: So, we lost everything, then you feel like you're restarting.

Nick: It's ... Um, construction's cardio, right?

Hunter Martin: Oh, yeah.

Heather: That's what I wanted to ask you about; is that not only are you doing this Instagram bodybuilding together, you also have a ... What would you call it? A construction company, a remodeling company, tell us a little bit more about that.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, we ... When we first met, I was going to cosmetology school, so I was doing hair and stuff and we ... I basically asked him to go to a job and I was interested, I wanted to know how to tile, how to roof, how to put in a window, how to everything. So, he knows a lot about construction because he grew up with his dad doing it. His whole family's involved in it. We just started doing that together and then we're like, let's save up money and let's buy ... You know, those shows were popular on HGTV, where people were buying homes and flipping. I was like, "Let's do that. That looks so fun." We saved up money, we sold my car, we bought our first flip home and we learned a lot through it.

Nick: Fully with the intention of this is going to be our project.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah.

Heather: And learning to work together, that's important.

Hunter Martin: That's the easy part.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, that was the easy part.

Hunter Martin: Everyone asks us how do you work together. That's easy.

Cassandra Martin: The only thing we bicker about is dumb stuff, like I want this color and he's like no, I think we should do this color. That's not even a big deal.

Hunter Martin: It's hard because you're building the house for the masses.

Heather: You don't trust the cosmetology degree, the colors?

Hunter Martin: She gets personal with them.

Nick: At what point were you like, you know what I think I have a seriously good worker here, too?

Hunter Martin: From day one, the very first job we did together, a full job. We reroofed a garage, so we tore it off and it was the whole thing. I've done it before and hired some friends. They worked for like a hour and then they want to quit, it's hot. She outworked me, so I was like, "What's going on here?"

Nick: Oh, really. Why is that? What is it about you that you're such a good worker? Is that because of the gym or is that because of just who you are?

Cassandra Martin: I think I have ... Well, I was interested in it and I wanted to learn about everything. I was pumped up. I feel like people wouldn't be pumped up, like our friends, when we're like, "Come on let's tear off a roof". They're like, "How long are we going to work for?" But, I was like pumped up. Let's see how fast I can get this done. I just ... I guess I want to learn as much as I can.

Hunter Martin: She's a good worker. Very good worker. The hardest worker I've been around in the whole construction.

Heather: Yeah, you seem to have this natural motivation and that comes through on your videos. Do you ever struggle with motivation to go to the gym or is there a certain body part that you hate lifting or ...

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, it's usually not ... I've never struggled to go to the gym, I usually struggle to go to work. I'd rather be at the gym than at work. But, I'm not a fan of doing biceps, to be honest. I'm actually known for biceps, I hate ... I just think it's so boring and you're just sitting there. That's probably the only one. The other ones, like there's exercises that I feel like I want to be stronger at, so therefore I feel like I'm not good at because I'm not as strong as I want to be. But it's usually just biceps that are really boring. I could just eliminate that and be totally fine without it, but I kind of now am taking pictures of people so flexing is ... I'm known for flexing in the pictures, so I would need to still do biceps just in case.

Nick: So, now that there are plenty of women who lift pretty seriously, who take their training very seriously, but don't necessarily get their physique where you feel like you gotten yours. What was sort of the game changer? When did things really start to come together and you go, you know what I think I actually have muscular potential?

Cassandra Martin: It was slow, it took ... For me I feel like I didn't start noticing anything until two years. I think it's how I eat. I feel like I have a huge appetite. I am constantly eating, I eat a lot of red meat, carbs and stuff like that. I think working helped a lot, too, because we're always lifting stuff. It was two years in basically that I started realizing, I can actually see muscle.

Hunter Martin: It took a little while. It was like even I saw it a little bit, but then after a couple of years, then it was all of a sudden. I think everyone thinks she was super strong at first and she wasn't. I mean we came into bench press and she did the bar a few times.

Cassandra Martin: I was shaking.

Hunter Martin: We were like adding fives and tens, then all of a sudden after a year, I think, of just feeling it out, it just clicked one day. Every week was just ten more pounds. Then I think the things with work has helped, she's picking up 80 pound bags of concrete.

Cassandra Martin: Beams. We're putting 1,000 pound beams up.

Hunter Martin: Just doing stuff that we've had to do that you have to get done that day. You just got to try it and force yourself.

Nick: Odd object strength, right?

Hunter Martin: Yeah, I mean it's so different.

Nick: So, try to tell us, what is the difference that that makes: carrying around bags of concrete, picking up beams, stuff like that. Is it just a ... Do you have access to your muscles in way that somebody who someone who doesn't do physical labor doesn't, or what is the difference?

Cassandra Martin: I think people who are in physical labor, they know how to handle things or pick things up and how to grip.

Hunter Martin: It's a lot of mental. It's different. Yeah, but you just kind of have to ... Mentally you just have to tell yourself I need to move this or do that.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah.

Hunter Martin: Because sometimes we'll be moving stuff and I'm even like, "Hey, that's too much," but she's doing it and it's heavy for me, imagine what it's like for her. But, she's just doing it and ...

Cassandra Martin: The scariest is beams. When we put beams up, because I'm like, this thing will crush me and I could ... I follow this thing on Instagram, it's called “OSHA Is This Okay?” and they show all of the bad things that can happen in construction.

Cassandra Martin: And so I'm like, that was never in the back of my mind.

Heather: And you watch that?

Nick: Construction fails?

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, exactly. There's no other option, but to just lift this beam and get it up there.

Heather: You have to do it.

Cassandra Martin: I'm ... Yeah, so I just don't think about anything else, but trying to do it.

Nick: That's great, that's an interesting idea. So, under the bar you're like, I got to move it.

Hunter Martin: This is easy. You're moving stuff very small.

Cassandra Martin: It's so ... It's the same form all the time in the gym, but it's a little bit scarier in construction, I would say. So, no matter what I'm like I'm frickin’ a beast and I'm strong. I have to hold this. I'm just trying to convince myself of that, even though I'm not sure what will happen.

Nick: So, those two years when it really made the difference then, we're talking training like a straight-up bodybuilder then at that point or ... ?

Cassandra Martin: No. So, Ronnie Coleman has been both of our inspiration, motivation ... He's amazing to us, but we watched him before we would go to bed at night and basically if someone asked me who I look up to it's basically him. His videos are the ones we used to watch before we would go to the gym, but yeah, so we ... We wanted to train like him and he's kind of in a way a powerbuilder. He lifts heavy and ...

Nick: Heavy ass weights.

Cassandra Martin: He lifts for aesthetics as well and I think it's a mixture of that and that's why we train the way we do. It's off of what his style is.

Nick: Okay, so digging up.

Cassandra Martin: And Branch Warren and Johnnie Jackson, so we like them too.

Hunter Martin: The training, it hasn't varied. Everyone always asks that. We've been doing the same routine.

Heather: Yeah, you got to stick to a lot of the big exercises, the squats and deadlifts and things like that, but you're definitely getting your kind of, weird movements with your extracurricular activities.

Nick: Yeah, totally.

Heather: You don't really have to do that in the gym necessarily.

Cassandra Martin: I think that's why I have big forearms, which I never wanted big forearms because I feel like that's weird to have. But I do have big forearms and it's from the hammers and holding the framing gun and stuff like that. You build other muscles in construction.

Heather: Oh, for sure.

Nick: So, you were saying something interesting. You guys basically just do the same routine.

Hunter Martin: We do the same routine, yeah. Even when she first walked in the gym, she wanted to work out. I was already doing the same routine that I got from Ronnie Coleman when I first knew about bodybuilding.

Nick: This is years basically.

Hunter Martin: Ten years. Hasn't changed.

Nick: Okay, so everybody else who's like, "Oh, I plateau I have to change every week."

Hunter Martin: I don't think ... When we've ... If you plateau mostly, honestly, it's just diet. She can change her diet and in couple a weeks and she changes. That's kind of the way. Or whether we ... If we're doing a job, a flip house or something, it's hot out and we're working. You're gonna lose strength, we know it. The winter comes around and if we don't have a project she can get 20 pounds of strength in a month, it just kind of happens to what you're eating and not moving around as much.

Nick: Okay, so eat your way through a plateau.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah.

Heather: I like that.

Hunter Martin: Make little tweaks.

Heather: I can get behind that one.

Hunter Martin: That's what we've done and it's worked ... it works better for her than me, so yeah.

Nick: Now initially you guys said the word ‘powerbuilding’ came up that has connection to other strength sports though, makes me want to ask what are you chasing some serious one rep max strength here? Are you thinking about powerlifting?

Cassandra Martin: I'm thinking for the future, powerlifting. I've been interested in powerlifting and I follow a lot of powerlifters. I just like that I guess. I'm attracted to that, but I think in the future after we're done with work and stuff because I do feel like work holds me back strength-wise. That would be something down the road I'd be interested in doing for sure.

Heather: Very cool.

Nick: And for women who want to explore their strength potential and really see what their potential is because clearly at the start of this you didn't know what your potential was. What sort of advice do you pass along to them? How do you find your foundation? How do you discover what your physique is capable of, what your body is capable strength-wise?

Cassandra Martin: Just testing it. I feel like, just go and push yourself in the gym because you never know what you're capable of. I didn't think I would ever be this strong to be honest with you. I remember flat bench dumbbell, 35-pound dumbbells and I was super excited that I got it. I was like, "Oh, my god. I can't believe I got it. I'm so strong." I just think that I ... I just think push yourself is the easiest answer to give because if you push yourself and try and work hard, you'll be surprised with the results or achievements you can ...

Hunter Martin: Yeah, it's mental. She just has that next level of doing something, trying something, maybe even ... She tried stuff that ... I'm carrying two bags of concrete and then she grabs two. It's like she's doing it, but should she be?

Cassandra Martin: I think I have that ...

Hunter Martin: She has this like, when she lifts, she has that look in her eyes.

Cassandra Martin: He's like, "Don't carry two, you can't do it." I'm like, "Yes, I can."

Heather: Oh, that what I was going to wonder. Is there a little bit of a competition?

Cassandra Martin: Yeah. Let's see if I can. There has been times where he's left and I'm like, I'm going to see if I can do this even though he said I shouldn't be picking it up. I just want to see because I'm stubborn.

Hunter Martin: It's so much patience and just don't ... I think you set your boundaries on it mentally and for her she never really did it, she almost just pushed and pushed and it wasn't really about ...

Cassandra Martin: And, I would say don't think about how heavy anything ... Well, obviously be safe, have a spotter and everything like that, but don't worry so much about how heavy it's going to be. Think about more so, like how many reps you're going to get or how easy it is. I feel like I convince myself a lot or I try to convince myself that things are easier than they probably actually are, so before I'm getting ready to do a set, I'm constantly talking to myself like, "I'm strong. You can do this. This is going to be easy." Then I try to believe it because I think that's what it's going to take for me to get it up or whatever. I think that ... I don't know if that sounds weird. I’m like my own hype man.

Heather: Yeah, no it's ...

Hunter Martin: For her sometimes too when we were first starting out, she really didn't know what she was lifting. I'd throw something on and if it was easy I'd put more. Then all of a sudden even I realized, wow she's like getting crazy strong quick. It just kind of took off and it just ... She has that no fear, push, try, get it done.

Nick: Now, the routines that ... You're kind of a mystery online. Because, there's your account … You don't do the crazy hash tag thing, “Hey everybody, link in the bio.” Work every day. There's no comments really. You're just sort of there.

Cassandra Martin: I don't really caption ... Yeah, I just wanted my page to be a place for people to go if they're lacking motivation or I don't know ... I feel like people just want to see me work out and not really hear me talk or my opinions, so that's why I don't really post anything in the caption part, but I think it's just a place for people to go and look for motivation if they're lacking it that day.

Nick: You must have people still reach out to you all the time though, right?

Cassandra Martin: Oh yeah, I get tons of questions because now I'm starting to realize maybe people kind of want to know a little more about me, but ...

Nick: Is it about you or is it about your training? “Give me your workout, I need your workout.”

Cassandra Martin: I think ... Well, not personally me just more so the training and then there are some people who ask about us or me. So, little things like that. I'm still learning to be more outgoing online.

Hunter Martin: It's still different for us.

Nick: Yeah, I imagine.

Hunter Martin: We still have our full-time ... Our whole life invested in construction, so this is a part-time job that deserves full-time attention.

Cassandra Martin: We're naturally conservative really.

Hunter Martin: Yeah, really.

Cassandra Martin: We don't really share a lot about ourselves.

Hunter Martin: We'd never had social media before.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah.

Hunter Martin: Neither of us.

Cassandra Martin: I feel like we sucked at it and then it was growing and I was like, maybe we don't suck at it. I have no idea what's happening.

Nick: Well, that's the thing you watch other it's just like that crazy hashtags everywhere, all the time. You're like the zero hashtag lifter.

Cassandra Martin: I do hashtag.

Heather: But it is refreshing in a way. In the world of oversharing here's someone that's sharing just enough to intrigue you.

Cassandra Martin: I don't think anyone cares about ... I guess more so people just care about the training part. That's why I was thinking if I were looking at Instagram and I am lacking motivation or something and I want to see someone working out, I just want to see you work out. I don't need to hear you talk, I just want to see you get after it and lift some weights.

Nick: Totally. The couple of routines that are floating around out there, either on phony sites or people that act like they've interviewed you but haven't. They fairly accurate though? Or it's like basically one heavy lift and then a ton of volume after that?

Cassandra Martin: We don't even know all of the ...

Hunter Martin: We don't know what's out there.

Cassandra Martin: We've heard some weird stuff though. I'm like, what the heck? This is not …

Hunter Martin: Someone wrote that she graduated from Harvard.

Nick: Oh, really?

Hunter Martin: Just crazy stuff.

Nick: I saw this other one too where it was, “Here's my new video and it went to this video. It was clearly not created by you. There's some fake you's out there.”

Cassandra Martin: Oh yeah, and there's ... It kind of makes me mad because people are telling other people false things that isn’t ... They're sharing, this is the pre-workout I take or this is my favorite thing. So, you're giving these people an image or first impression of me and that's not who I am at all. So, that's what was annoying I thought, but you can't control what other people are doing, so whatever.

Heather: It's true.

Cassandra Martin: So whatever. I think people who follow my page know it's actually me and people who follow those fan pages or fake pages, I'm sure they could tell it's someone else cause some of them are foreigners.

Nick: Right, you can tell sometimes by the sentence construction.

Cassandra Martin: Yes.

Heather: Hmm... that doesn't really sound…

Cassandra Martin: That isn't how I sound.

Hunter Martin: They get her height and weight wrong.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, guys I saw that you were 5'9".

Nick: She is 6'7" over here, I just want to pass this along.

Cassandra Martin: It's so messed up.

Nick: Okay, so then give us an idea though of how you do train. Are we doing straight body part split, this classic Ronnie Coleman-style training you guys have been doing forever?

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, we basically workout one body part each day, except for legs; we do that twice a week, just because I wanted to work on my legs and get them a little bit bigger. We split that up with hamstring one day, like hamstring focus and then quad focus another day. Then we've added in chest recently with biceps and triceps because we want to get stronger in that area. If I ever do a powerlifting meet I wanted to get that number up specifically. I want to hit 1,000 pounds.

Nick: What principles do feel really guide you in your training? What ... If somebody were to try one of your workouts, what do you feel like they would feel. Oh my god, this is heavy or this is crazy volume.

Hunter Martin: For the most part, yeah we've gotten both. We have a powerlifter friend who all he does ... He's really strong. He's 19 and his numbers are way up there. We've lifted with him a few times and bench and he'll hit his few reps and then he's done. Then we moved on to ...

Cassandra Martin: I think he does one rep for like ... it was weird.

Hunter Martin: He does ten more reps ... So, then ...

Nick: Oh, a bunch of heavy singles?

Hunter Martin: Yeah, we move on to a volume to where it's mostly four sets of everything and each one progressively heavy, so your last one you’re really pushing it. If you feel strong that day it's like, hey let's throw a bunch of weight and see what you can do.

Nick: Okay.

Heather: Okay.

Hunter Martin: That's kind of where the strength aspect, I think is ...

Cassandra Martin: But, we've never even trained like one rep max ever. I've never even tested it really. So I bet ... I feel like we exhaust ourselves so much before anyways so I don't know what the true number would be if I were to rep.

Nick: Does it even matter? Do you need to know that number?

Cassandra Martin: No.

Nick: Because you feel like people certainly obsess over that a lot.

Cassandra Martin: They like to compare, so ...

Nick: But, it's one. That's just one day.

Hunter Martin: And she's kind of like, if she can get it once, she wants it twice.

Nick: Yeah.

Cassandra Martin: I never want it just one time.

Hunter Martin: If she gets it twice, she wants it three times. Even if she gets it ...

Nick: What number does guide you guys?

Hunter Martin: It's not like a, I got it then I'm going to rack it. You get it and you're going to do another one.

Heather: So, you're not locked into chasing the reps. You're locked in to chasing the heavier weight.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, for some reason I'm obsessed with that.

Heather: Okay.

Cassandra Martin: I like it.

Heather: It's a good way to approach it.

Nick: One other interesting thing is I hear you guys talking about how we train. You train the same way, right. Some women struggle with that. Of course, I wouldn't want to lift this guy, he's a big bearded muscular guy, but no, you guys train the same way. With the same expectations, fall in the same program. Is that just ... I mean, for a woman who isn't accustomed to that, how do you explain that?

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, I mean I feel like it's the way you carry yourself obviously so I think a lot of people do have the misconception that if you lift like the guy, you're going to look like a guy, but it's the way you carry yourself. If you walk around with invisible lat syndrome and I don't know. I just think ... I think the way we train and the way bodybuilders look, I think it's a beautiful shape and you can achieve that. A lot of girls think kickbacks and stuff like that are the way to go for a big booty, but squats are too. There's a lot of exercises that you could do because even the shape of my butt has changed from when we first started to now. I don't think lifting like this is a bad thing or will make you look like a man or anything like that.

Nick: I know I like the way you said that, it's a beautiful shape, a muscular shape. Did you ever struggle with that though, where you're like, “Oh wow, I'm seeing a lot more muscle than I was expecting here. This is totally different from what I expected.”

Cassandra Martin: No, I think it was like I had fat on top of the muscles, so that's what I was struggling with when we first started because I was ... I wasn't overweight, but I was gaining muscle and trying to burn the fat at the same time. I think it was the fat at first that I was struggling with and then how to wear clothes, because I was so used to one style. Now I need to wear skin tight clothes, because if I wear a big fluffy shirt I feel like I look ... I don't know it doesn't look the same. The way you dress. You have to learn how to dress and I guess everything fits differently now. I don't even wear jeans anymore to be honest, because it's so loose up at the top and it makes me look like I have a big belly.

That was one thing I had to change and then I don't think anything else. I wanted the muscle, I didn't exactly even know what I wanted, to be honest. I just wanted to work out and I got more obsessed with the weight part of it, lifting a lot of weight. Then when my body started to change it was for the better, it was never like, "Oh my god. What is happening here?" It was more like, "Dang, my legs are looking toned," or "My butt’s lifting. I'm not flat chested anymore because I'm building muscle up here."

Hunter Martin: There was never ... She never ever said I want to not necessarily look like this. It was just I want to train and then as it started changing it just ... So does your mind. You might think you want something, you train, you start seeing results and now you want it bigger and more tighter. Even now it's ever changing. She still ...

Cassandra Martin: I want bigger legs now.

Hunter Martin: This and that. Things grow that you don't know are going to grow. Her traps, my traps, we never lifted traps a day in our life.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, like forearms.

Hunter Martin: But, it comes with the work we do. You're lifting stuff and I think that that has played a huge part in her physique and her back and stuff and it's kind of, I guess a good thing.

Nick: Sure, don't be afraid of heavy lifting and maybe don't be afraid to eat.

Cassandra Martin: No, never be afraid to eat. I think that's the one thing I tell everyone through a plateau.

Hunter Martin: That's the biggest thing, yeah.

Cassandra Martin: Eat, obviously don't eat more than you're burning. I feel like the way we eat because of what we do construction has helped a lot, especially the carbs and stuff like that. I feel like it's made my muscles look more bubblier or whatever. The protein helps me not be as hungry throughout the day. We're constantly eating, sometimes I don't even want to eat because it's freaking hot out here and we were on the roof all day.

Nick: But, I'm so hungry.

Cassandra Martin: I'd rather just like not eat.

Heather: Now, have you ever tried dieting down or do you just kind of ...

Cassandra Martin: No, I've never cut to where I can even see my abs ... Done that type of thing, but I am right now cutting back on carbs.

Heather: Okay.

Cassandra Martin: Because I want to lean up for the Olympia and look good.

Heather: Okay.

Cassandra Martin: But, I've never had ... I've never seen my abs to be honest. I know I have a little bit of abs, but I want to get lean enough to see them, but not too lean where it looks like I'm trying to compete in a show or anything like that.

Nick: I was going to say, because a lot of your idols here, you're talking about Johnnie Jackson, Ronnie Coleman, those guys are heavy lifting dudes, but they're bodybuilders, too. They were competitive bodybuilders, does that have any appeal to you at all?

Cassandra Martin: I think it's the heart I'm ... Their determination and the way they go after it in the gym. There's ... It's the ambition that's there that you can't really. I think that what's admirable about them.

Nick: More than the competition.

Cassandra Martin: More than the competition. Obviously, they look amazing and they did amazing up on stage, but it's just their mindset in the gym is ... Is what I was attracted to.

Hunter Martin: Everybody appeals to a certain bodybuilder and you might think they have the greatest physique ever, but they don't have the medals to go with it. That still doesn't mean that they don't motivate you. I look at Ronnie Coleman is to me the great bodybuilder ever, but then I don't think he has the greatest physique. There's other people who have really good ... Flex Wheeler looked amazing, but he doesn't have the Olympias. There's a lot of ... The motivation and just that aggression that we connect to, to go in there and be aggressive and train.

Cassandra Martin: And, I pull it from different people online. I follow powerlifters and I even follow some crossfitters, and bodybuilders of course. There's so many people that I look to and I'm like I want this and I want to relate to them with this and I pull little things for myself to try to make the best me or whatever.

Nick: Yeah, I like that and I like that you're not saying, I have to compete in order to feel like I'm accomplishing something either. We've heard that from some of our guests. Some of them are like, I knew from the start that I had to compete it was just programmed and other ones are just like, why would I want to do that to myself? This is the training is what it's all about.

Cassandra Martin: I want to this forever until the day that I die to be honest, so I just want to be able to be happy. I want to be able to eat whatever I want, when I want and enjoy it and hopefully motivate people along the way.

Nick: That's awesome.

Heather: That's perfect.

Hunter Martin: Yeah, we first ... I mean, I think when you start out your conception is you go to the gym, you start to look good, you have to compete. I mean, there's pressure in every local gym to if you start looking good, there's always somebody there saying you need to compete.

Nick: Oh, somebody will always tell you.

Heather: Somebody's going to grab you and say, “Have you ever thought about standing on stage?”

Hunter Martin: It's the same thing with us. I think you start off that way, but then the more educated we got and the more everything, you kind of learn things. I was like wait a second, maybe that's not for me. I enjoy certain aspects of it or you're not willing to do something and you kind of have to make the decision. I think for her it's not a part of it.

Nick: Sure.

Cassandra Martin: Whatever we're doing now is working so. I like to ... I love construction, but I just like going to the gym and lifting with all of our friends and having a little bit of friendly competition sometimes. That's about it. It's simple and it's fun. I think if you're happy with what you're doing that's all that matters.

Nick: So, when you come to you're going to do and stuff like that. What are you going to share with everybody? What are you doing today?

Cassandra Martin: I guess we're just training and stuff. I'm not use to the whole talking thing just because I never do that, so that's going to be the biggest challenge. The training comes easy for me, but I just hope I have enough energy to entertain everyone and stuff like that. I think what we're doing today is biceps and triceps and we're just going to take people through.

Heather: All your favorites.

Cassandra Martin: I know. We saved those specifically.

Hunter Martin: Yeah, it's kind of funny. We'll post even a video for a leg day and it can be even a heavy leg day or a good leg day and nobody really ... They've seen a million people squat, they don't care.

Cassandra Martin: They don't care.

Nick: Right.

Hunter Martin: You post a simple video of her doing some biceps curls and it goes viral.

Cassandra Martin: Then it gets so many views too, I'm like, what the heck? I look bored in the video, whatever.

Heather: You've got impressive arms. That's what draws them in.

Hunter Martin: It is impressive.

Nick: So, when people reach out to you is that they're like I want that peak. Please tell me how to get that peak.

Cassandra Martin: I don't even ... Well, my biceps are different too. I have a peak on one side and then not a peak on the other side, so it's genetics right. That's ...

Hunter Martin: I mean I'm the same philosophy as she's lifting heavy, it's not ... It's heavy, but it's reps too. So, it's 8 to 10, 12 reps but it's not where you can feel like you can go to 20. She pushes herself that way too, so I think it's helped.

Cassandra Martin: Yeah, I lift fairly light for biceps, anyways. I feel like my wrists aren't strong enough to support ... I don't know, they're like ... It seems like it hurts when I go heavier, just for my wrists ... Just for biceps for some reason. But, everything else I'm totally fine. I wear like all my accessories too, which I know some people are like, you should be squatting with no knee wraps or no belt, you should do it raw. I'm like, I don't care what you say, because I'm trying to lift forever so I'm trying to protect my joints, just in case.

Nick: Absolutely, what other accessories do you feel like, “I can't believe I see people lifting without this.”

Cassandra Martin: I don't really care if anyone else is lifting with it, just for me I just want to make sure my wrists are protected, my elbows and knees and that's about it. Then I wear a belt.

Nick: Squat in squat shoes?

Cassandra Martin: My Converse and then I were a neck brace when I do ... I'm just kidding, you guys are like, what?

Nick: Mouth guard during biceps curls, you know.

Cassandra Martin: Headgear.

Heather: You got me for a second there.

Nick: I saw some neck training vids. Somebody created a few.

Cassandra Martin: I'm just like this. I'm just kidding.

Nick: Well, we'll put links in the podcast page to all of the stuff that you're doing for Thanks for coming out and talking with us. [Editor's Note: visit Cass Martin on social media: | | ]

Cassandra Martin: Thank you so much.

Nick: Cassandra Martin and Hunter Martin.

Heather Eastman: Thank you.

Nick Collias: Yeah, absolutely. Great to have you guys out here.

Cassandra Martin knows the importance of using heavy weights when she trains. Here's a look at one of her favorite arm workouts.

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About Your Hosts

Nick Collias Nick Collias

Nick Collias is the Deputy Editor at He spends his work days typing in primitive sandals at a desk surrounded by full-fat, no-measure supertreats. Lunch time is for blood-occluded core training and Danish presses. Dinner is a terrifying spectacle to behold, so let's leave it at that. His shaker bottle has a kettlebell inside, so swing it at your own risk.

Nick is a certified Russian Kettlebell (RKC) instructor, but can also be found wandering the high desert trails of Idaho at odd hours in odder attire.

Heather Eastman Heather Eastman

A native of Santa Cruz, California, Heather Eastman happened upon a life-changing opportunity while earning her bachelor's degree from UCLA. Though her course work prepared her for a life in the medical field, Heather left it behind to pursue her love of exercise and fitness, earning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Council on Exercise. She finished her degree while working for the university at the renowned John Wooden Center as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor.

In her 12 years' experience training clients and teaching classes, Heather went on to work with health and fitness professionals from around the country and mastered everything from competitive bodybuilding to CrossFit to aerial silks. She enjoys art and travel, having already visited 28 countries on 5 continents, and when she's not exploring the world or attempting new challenges she loves to be home where she can cook healthy meals, spend time with her pets, and watch movies.

Krissy Kendall, Ph.D. Krissy Kendall, Ph.D.

Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. She previously served as's science editor, and spent 2½ years as an assistant professor in the School of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Kendall also served as the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at GSU, where her research interests focused on the effects of training and nutritional interventions on body composition and performance. Dr. Kendall has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and abstracts on sports nutrition, supplementation, and training adaptations.

Dr. Kendall received her master's and PhD from the University of Oklahoma, studying exercise physiology. She holds certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS*D), International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN), and American College of Sports Medicine (HFS).