USAPL-NY would like to spotlight some of the stand-outs in the state. We will feature a new lifter each month, and ask them some random questions to get some insight into what makes them tick…..
This month’s featured lifter is KAY GOMES SAUL.
Hi all! My name is Kay Gomes Saul. I’m a Project Manager and VP of Internal Communications at a management firm here in NY, a career I’m both passionate about and proud of. My work entails lots of traveling around NY city to meet with clients as well as air travel nationally, depending on the project and its scope. I’ve lived in New York for about 17 years after migrating here from South America, and although it’s yet to feel truly like my home its a city I love and appreciate the immense diversity of. Most who know me well will say that I live with great intensity, passion, and great purpose. I hold a strong belief that living with humility, compassion, kindness, and appreciation for all things is the path o great joy. I’m likely one of the most cheerful yet serious humans you’ll ever meet and am so honored to be chosen as the lifter of the month for a sport and community I love to bits.
A little about Lifter
Home City: Sao Paulo, Brazil and Georgetown, Guyana
Resides in: Brooklyn, New York
Question and Answer time!!
USAPL-NY: What got you interested in Powerlifting?
Kay Gomes Saul: I was completely uninterested in sports as a high school student, and was highly focused on academia as a college student. I took absolutely no time or spent any energy on physical exercise. I was the girl who hated sweat or anything even remotely tedious, and one of the things I did and never forgot was when I wanted a big snack to convince me to walk to a restaurant to pick up my dinner. So, the transition now to the athlete who can’t keep still or say no to any workout has been astounding. I started with home workout programs, then became a yogi, did boxing then MMA, and eventually found Crossfit which led me to powerlifting. The first time I picked up a barbell I quickly realized I was stronger than most of the people in my class – and the love affair began. I then started powerlifting with coach Justin Algera at Brooklyn Barbell Club, who I credit with helping me find and become competent at my passion.
USAPL-NY: Where was your first meet?
KS: My first meet was a USAPL sanctioned meet at South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club – the Fall classic in October 2014. It was an amazing experience and an exceptionally well-run meet. I had been powerlifting for about 16 months.
USAPL-NY: What have you learned since that first meet?
KS: Where do I begin! I did not expect to win my first ever non-academic gold medal. I did not expect to qualify for Nationals in a sport I was completely new in, on a competitive level. I learned to be confident with a barbell. I learned that nerves can be challenged into something positive and productive. I learned that I could now be part of a community of supportive, passionate athletes who take their craft seriously. I learned that I was capable of amazing strength not just in my personal life with challenges, but also physically. I learned that the body is resilient as long as the mind is. More practically, I learned that I needed to study the sport, learn from various sources and become more aware of movement. I also became known for my deadlift, and more specifically my deadlift face – a sight that only people fond of me would ever love.
USAPL-NY: What goals do you have for the future?
KS: My primary short-term goal is to remain healthy in both body and mind to continue performing in a sport I love, and need. I will attend Nationals next year, perform well, and I hope to qualify for an Arnold event in 2019. I hope to put significant weight on all of my lifts, specifically my squat and bench which need the most love and tender care at the moment. I hope to do well in this sport and compete alongside those who have honed their skill and talent whom I watch consistently. I’ve been challenged multiple times with my health which has made consistency an issue, but I have absolutely no doubt that powerlifting is something I’m great at and these goals will be a reality. No doubt at all.
USAPL-NY: What is your favorite lift and why?
KS: I love squatting – the intricacy, the grace of the moment and how it enables the body to move in great synchronicity are what I find absolutely beautiful. My favorite lift, though, is the deadlift. This is mostly because its the lift I believe I’m naturally most adept at performing, and it lets me know each time that my strength is something I am so appreciative of. The deadlift for me is a reminder of how much I’ve overcome – it possesses a resiliency I strive to have in all areas of my life. I believe there are many nuances between performing this lift and living. It gives a great sense of conquering all obstacles to then stand up strong.
USAPL-NY: What is your least favorite lift and why?
KS: I actually wouldn’t say I have a least favorite lift, but if I had to choose one it would be the bench press. It’s the least interesting to spectate, for me personally and it has been my weakest lift. However, this is entirely because I’ve lacked appreciation for the lift in general. I’m now learning to apply the same principles to this lift that I apply to everything else – if you’re weak at it, its an opportunity for growth. I love figuring out a weakness more than I love finding a strength. Hopefully, in year’s time, it’ll be a lift I can rank along with the others.
USAPL-NY: Do you follow a specific training program? And if you do what is it?
KS: I usually incorporate lots of volume, and generally a linear progression scheme. For over a year now I’ve been a strong believer in a power-building style program, as I was able to assess my weaknesses and address them through strengthening smaller musculature. I’ve been self-programming for a while now, and am looking forward to programming with my new coach – Sean Collins – for what that has in store.
USAPL-NY: Do you lift as part of a team? Who are they and how did you become part of that group?
KS: I’ve been a solo lifter since my previous team at Brooklyn Barbell Club dismantled. We all headed in different directions, but those guys will always be close to my heart. I just started at a new gym – Murder of Crows, where I am part of the team coached by Sean and I also train at Elite Gym and Harbor Fitness (formerly Gold’s Gym) I look forward to building relationships both at Murder of Crows and at Elite.
USAPL-NY: What advice would you give any new lifter young or old?
KS: Be patient. Don’t rush to compete or put more plates on the bar. Hone your craft by studying, listening to your coach if you have one, and finding reputable advice/videos/help. Learn how your body works and moves. Learn what kind of diet best fits with your lifestyle, what you can do to improve and the role of nutrition in the success of your goals. Learn proper mechanics – understand what this looks like for you as an individual lifter and why. And lastly – have fun and enjoy lifting. Training will require you to show up and perform even when you don’t feel like it, but if you stick to it and enjoy the process you’re sure to make amazing friendships and have great success.
USAPL-NY: Tell us something about you that others in the PL world don’t know about you?
KS: I think there’s a lot that others in this community don’t know about me. I can give the perception that I’m not interested in forming new relationships, but I’m always open to meeting dedicated lifters. I’m insanely passionate about this sport, and that’s mostly due to the fact that its given me strength both physically and mentally to fight and survive terminal illness not once, but twice. I feel lucky and am extremely privileged to be here, able-bodied with the capability to do something so strenuous and physically demanding. A lot of my friends cannot say the same. I will always live with tremendous appreciation for this ability.