“People are really shocked that an attorney can do things outside of just being an attorney,” says Meredith Weiner, a defense lawyer at Patti, Sgro, Lewis and Roger who also happens to double as a bikini fitness competitor. “My boss Tony [Sgro] is in a band and has another life. It’s like when you’re a kid and you can’t believe that your teacher can have another life outside the classroom.”
Outside the classroom (or courtroom, in this case), Weiner follows a strict training schedule. She wakes up at 5 a.m., then works out for two hours, seven days a week. Her routine is focused primarily on weight lifting (“Women should not be afraid of heavy lifting,” she says), mixed with some cardio, which she increases as she gets closer to a competition. Sometimes she’ll even read case briefs while climbing the StairMaster.
Weiner began frequenting the gym as “an outlet” from studying in college. The habit stuck through her career, and when one of her regular workout buddies started training for a bikini competition, Weiner was inspired to do the same. She trained persistently and entered her first competition in August 2014, her second a few months later, and placed in the top five of her division at both.
Along the way, Weiner receives guidance from trainer Lexi Harris. (The two met through City Athletic Club, and while Harris is now based in Seattle, the two still work together.) Harris guides Weiner’s diet: six small meals of lean protein and vegetables a day. “Re-feed,” or cheat days, are rare, but when she gets them, Weiner likes to indulge with rich pasta and wine. “I’m a carb girl,” she says.
Harris says that Weiner’s drive is key to her physical prowess. “I can count on the fact that she’ll follow our plan to the best of her ability, even though she has such a demanding job. I’m just super proud of her and how hard she trains.”
That same discipline and motivation has helped shape Weiner into a successful attorney. After feeling like she’d plateaued at her desk job at Paris Las Vegas, Weiner “secretly” took the LSAT, scored well, then took it again to improve her score before applying to law schools. These days, she manages 20 to 40 cases at a time, and she’s worked on some high-profile projects, including contracts for Prince and the extradition appeal for Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman.
Between the work and the workouts, Weiner says prioritizing is paramount. “You really have to take some time to plan in advance how you are going to accomplish things with some kind of a checklist. At work, it may be a sticky note with a written list of things to accomplish for the day. At the gym, it’s a mental checklist of all the different body parts and exercises.”
Weiner’s third competition is Jon Lindsay’s NPC Patriots Challenge on July 4 at the Orleans. As with previous competitions, she’s expecting friends, family and even clients in the audience. She’ll spend a few short seconds onstage, showing off her muscles and months of hard work. Then she’s going to Parma for pasta and wine.