Determined to Deadlift 200 lbs
One day Sarah Moshurchak arrived early for her personal training session and saw her trainer, Pepe Picco, doing a deadlift. The first thought that popped into her head? “I want to learn how to do that!” And in that moment, she had set her sights on her 2011 fitness goal: To be able to do a 200 lb deadlift.
[For those of us not familiar with weightlifting, the deadlift is a powerlifting exercise where a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground from a bent over position. It’s a movement that works a variety of muscle groups and activates all sorts of muscles in the torso, legs, hips and forearms.]
The deadlift wasn’t going to be a huge stretch for Sarah—she already had been training with Pepe for three years, starting out as a “New Year’s resolutioner” with back problems. “I felt lazy and wanted to get in shape, so I decided I wanted to train for a marathon”. She soon discovered that her body was not meant for endurance, and Pepe suggested that she work on explosive power instead.
They started training for the powerlifting movements (squat, bench press and deadlift), first with a wood pole so that Sarah fully understood the movement, and then slowly adding weights. “Initially it was a bit of a joke…it was intimidating. It’s normally a guy thing, so I’d thought I’d look funny.”
But Sarah ended up enjoying everything about powerlifting: “I like the mental challenge, half of it is in your head, being able to psych yourself up to do it…I enjoy getting strong, it’s helped with my core strength and back problems. It’s all about technique.” It has also motivated her to change her eating habits in order to provide the right energy for stronger muscles. Adds Pepe, “Sara has been successful because she has been committed to her health…she makes fitness a priority, she thinks ahead to what she’ll be eating each day and she sets an alarm to remind her to get that elusive afternoon snack.”
Before 2011 ended, Sarah surpassed her goal with a 210 lb deadlift. Pretty amazing, considering how small she is physically—5’3” in height and 130 lb of “sheer muscle”. This year Sarah is looking forward to “beating all the boys”. Guys, take that as a challenge.
Four questions for Sarah:
What motivates you? “I like winning. I hate doing things I’m not good at….and it’s rewarding to see Pepe write my name up on the board. It provides bragging rights!”
What do you like about personal training? “There’s no excuse not to go, I value his time and I know he pushes me harder.” “Pepe is very positive and encouraging. He sets me up to win, which boosts my confidence.”
What’s your next fitness goal: 225 lb deadlift
Your advice? On weightlifting: “Just try it…you absolutely need to be positive, have the right mindset. You also need someone there to support and encourage you.”