Think Like a Powerlifter

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“It’s just a bar.. So you better lift that damn thing!” These are some of the words I imagine my coach would say before I stepped onto the platform. When I first started a couple months ago, I decided to get a gym membership only to stay active. A small teenage girl in a room full of predominant adults was immensely intimidating, but I never backed down. I worked with a performance coach named Jordan and eventually got offered a chance to join his strength team. This was definitely an opportunity I didn’t want to pass and introduced me to a sport I never thought I’d be in, and that’s called powerlifting.


One of the most important things I have personally learned was how to set goals and achieve them. Performing the fundamentals of powerlifting which were deadlifts, squats and bench presses was very difficult. When I first deadlifted, I walked towards the platform, bent over to grab the bar with alternating hand positions, and bent my knees until my shins touched the bar. I lifted up my chest, straighten my back and took a deep breath before pulling the bar. That was my very first time deadlifting at 185 lbs and I’ve never been this proud of myself. This was only the beginning, and knew that this wouldn’t be the last time performing something like this. Sooner or later, I became addicted. I was only motivated to reach higher numbers and I did. Deadlifting 255 lbs, squatting 175 lbs and benching 125 lbs was an achievement I’ll never forget. Powerlifting allows me to work hard and see the results that allows me to push harder to reach my goals.

By lifting heavy weights, this teaches not only physical strength, but mental strength as well. It takes practice and discipline to perfect the three main lifts of powerlifting. The amount of commitment, focus, planning, motivation, and sweat that I put into my training will help me accomplish my lifts on the day that I compete in the nearby future. During my training days, coach Jordan gives me the mentality that I need to execute my lift. Each time that I step onto that platform he’d scream, “It’s just bar!” without noticing the heavy weights. I never thought I’d be the type of person that I am today. I’d always find ways to put myself down and let all of the negative things affect me. But having this type of mindset has made me look at things more differently. When I’m given an assignment to do, I’d stare down at my paper and think to myself, “It’s just a paper.” And when life gets too hard I’d look at myself in the mirror and say, “It’s just life, there will be better days.”

Powerlifting has become the sport that I look forward to doing in the nearby future. I enjoy its personal achievement where I can mostly rely on myself and make myself better. It’s one of those sports where I get out what I put into it. Even though it’s only me lifting, my fellow peers give me the extra motivation and encourage me to keep going everyday. It’s taught me strength in both aspects, it’s taught me to keep on going when things get too difficult or “too heavy”. I’ve pushed myself to my limits without pushing myself too hard over the edge. I apply this to my everyday life including my education because there are many goals that I still want to achieve. If I keep on going and plan small goals that lead up to my bigger goals, it’ll only encourage me to become the successful person I want to be. This was a choice that I won’t ever regret doing and has changed my mentality. It can be able to give people the mindset where they can be successful at anything as long as you put your mind into it.


Hi my name is Kristanne Ibus and I’m from Honolulu, Hawaii. I plan on going to University of San Francisco as a Business major this fall. I’ve been powerlifting for over a year and I will still continue to do it when I’m in college. I hope to find a powerlifting club in San Francisco and compete in multiple meets. Fitness has been such a huge part of my life and because of it, I was able to set goals and achieve them.

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