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 Davi Cohen.
Davi Cohen is a farmer, educator, horticultural therapy intern, and artist in Brooklyn. She recently surpassed the 400 Wilks mark and is ranked 4th nationally for bench press in the 57 kg class.
A little about Davi
Home City: Brooklyn NY
Question and Answer time!!
USAPL-NY: What got you interested in Powerlifting?
Davi Cohen: I’ve been a dancer and athlete since childhood. After rehabilitating some serious injuries, I decided to delve into lifting as a way of addressing imbalances and some mechanical patterns and training habits that weren’t serving me. And I’ve always liked being in contact with people, animals, and objects that are larger and heavier than I am. I like carrying things. I like using my body in invigorating, challenging ways. I remember vividly my first powerlifting training session. The deep concentration and deliberate, structured effort combined with built-in rests were very different from many of the other ways I’d trained in the past. I appreciate how my body, breathing, and presence have changed since I began lifting.
USAPL-NY: Where was your first meet?
DC: USAPL NJ State Championship in 2013
USAPL-NY: What have you learned since that first meet?
DC: I enjoyed my first meet experience tremendously. I noticed that I had different expectations of myself for the second one and some disappointment and self judgment arose. I’ve learned to view competitions as moments in time, investigations of my training, and just one part of a bigger, longstanding embodied practice.
USAPL-NY: What goals do you have for the future?
DC: I’d like to collaborate with different friends and communities as a coach, combining lifting, bodyweight exercises, therapeutic movement and bodywork, dance, and meditation. I also have some shorter term benchmarks for each lift and the intention to continue competing now and as a masters lifter. Another area of interest is ongoing learning about how our entire bodies adapt to training over time.
USAPL-NY: What is your favorite lift and why?
DC: I love the bench press and the squat. When I first began my training, I found squatting intimidating – I had to let go of certain movement patterns that came from other training (particularly my theater training, which was very physically specific) and it took some time to find my groove. With benching, it was a fairly organic movement for me from the beginning. It’s been joyful and fun to work on subtler refinements of the bench press.
USAPL-NY: What is your least favorite lift and why?
DC: I enjoy deadlifting, but it is the area where I’ve been most challenged in terms of seeing an increase in numbers over the last couple of years. I am excited to continue developing my technique and grateful for the opportunity to deadlift. I don’t take it for granted at all, especially having experienced two lumbar herniations before I began powerlifting.
USAPL-NY: Do you follow a specific training program? And if you do what is it?
DC: I follow the Reactive Training Systems style program my coaches Paulie Steinman and Rebecca Meyer Steinman give me. In 2016, Paulie brought the intermediate lifters at South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club into Mike Tuchscherer’s Project Momentum. I found it beneficial for all my lifts. Project Momentum was an eight week program, but we continue to train four days a week working on all the competition lifts with assorted accessory work.
USAPL-NY: Do you lift as part of a team? Who are they and how did you become part of that group?
DC: I do! I have met some of my dearest friends and most beloved community at the gym. We are a team that trains together at SBWC.
USAPL-NY: What advice would you give any new lifter young or old?
DC: Listen to your body. Take rest and nutrition seriously. Utilize self massage and mobility work consistently (undulating, twisting, fluid movements as well as ball work/foam rolling/specific therapeutic things). Develop supportive relationships with other lifters and your coach(es). Cultivate patience. Practice self compassion.
USAPL-NY: Tell us something about you that others in the PL world don’t know about you?
DC:This summer I’ll be a member of the support staff at Insight Meditation Society’s teen retreat. I’ve been on several retreats there myself, including one with George Mumford who is a dharma teacher, mindfulness coach for athletes, and author of the book The Mindful Athlete (it focuses on his work in the pro basketball world, but has a lot of content relevant to athletes in any discipline).