Functional Training Institute

Breaking Barriers & Women’s Health Advocacy with Clare Hozack

Do you train women, or have you faced challenges as a woman in a male-dominated field yourself? In this powerful podcast episode, Vanessa interviews Clare Hozack, a competitive sailor, women’s health advocate and education provider for personal trainers. The two women dive into Clare’s inspiring story and discuss the significance of empowering women in sports while promoting their well-being. 

Clare’s sailing journey began unexpectedly when she reluctantly joined her father and sister on a boat. 

“I started sailing relatively late [in life],” she shared during the conversation. “My Dad and my sister used to go out on the weekends, and I never went because I didn’t want to get dirty. I had my little dresses on and used to have my nose in a book.”

Despite initial hesitation, her first experience sailing with her Dad captivated her, and she fell in love with learning and expanding her knowledge. Her father’s unwavering support and commitment to education and sports paved the way for Clare to pursue sailing professionally.

In the conversation, Clare also reflected on overcoming gender bias and her challenges as a woman in a predominantly male sport. She recounts instances where she was denied the opportunity to learn and grow, as men often took over tasks, thinking they were helping. These experiences motivated Clare to prove herself and demonstrate that she was capable of mastering sailing skills independently.

As Clare progressed in her sailing career, she realized the importance of acknowledging the physiological differences between men and women in training. In this episode, she highlights the need for tailored training programs considering women’s menstrual cycles, recovery, and specific physical requirements. Clare advocates for coaches and trainers to recognize these differences and work collaboratively with female athletes to optimize their performance.

In this episode, Clare also shares how sailing requires a combination of on-water and physical fitness training. She discusses her experiences with workouts and how they differed from on-water practice. Clare explains that sailing’s ever-changing variables make it difficult to achieve perfection, but physical fitness sessions provide an opportunity to build strength and address specific physical challenges. However, she acknowledges the need for more sophisticated training approaches that consider women’s unique needs and the demands of the sport.

Reflecting on her journey in this conversation, Clare recognizes the need for a greater emphasis on empowering women in sports. She encourages coaches, trainers, and sporting organizations to consider gender-specific training methods, recovery protocols, and overall well-being. By acknowledging and accommodating these differences, women can reach their full potential without compromising their health.

Clare Hosak’s remarkable journey in sailing showcases the importance of breaking barriers and advocating for women’s health in sports. Her experiences highlight the need for tailored training approaches considering women’s unique physiological needs. By embracing these changes, the sporting community can create a more inclusive and supportive environment that empowers women to excel in their respective fields. Through her story, Clare inspires us to continue pushing for equality and championing women’s health and well-being in all areas of life.

Our favourite quotable moments:

“I actually wasn’t a great sailor. I just worked hard and went out and enjoyed the learning.” – Clare Hozack

“Monitoring my clients and athletes’ menstrual cycles is a major component of ensuring that they’re healthy.” – Clare Hozack

“It’s really that recovery point that I think we forget. Like, people take steroids not because they build muscles; they take them so they can recover quicker so they can go back to the gym and build muscles.” – Clare Hozack

“There’s that limit between health and performance that you’ve got to push.” – Clare Hozack


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About Clare:

Clare began as an athlete in the Australian Sailing Team, where almost every one of her teammates in the team had a back injury. Together with the team’s physio, Clare developed a program for the Youth Squad, screening and correcting muscle imbalances to help prevent injury. Since then she has become a Strength and Conditioning coach, first working with athletes but then moving quickly to apply this knowledge to training mums. Now, Clare delivers internationally accredited courses to Personal Trainers. Clare has presented internationally on the subject of training women and mums.

About Your Host:

Vanessa is a seasoned Movement Therapist with a vast array of skills and experiences in the industry. Her goal is to help as many people find betterment in their lives. She is known as a hybrid trainer, attaining high levels of education, and delivering a quality presenting experience in both group fitness and personal training streams. Attaining betterment drives her knowledge and pursuit for further education for herself and everyone she encounters. Vanessa continues training clients and trainers all over the country and presenting at the International Fitness Conference. Vanessa’s ethos is doing things BETTER.

This podcast is produced by Brave Moon Podcasts.

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