USA Powerlifting-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 NICOLE IDEN.
A little about Lifter
I’ve lived in Virginia most of my life but recently moved to NYC (just hit two years) to run the operations of a nonprofit based out of Brooklyn that aims to leverage the power of data science and AI for social good. In my spare time, I can typically be found either lifting or eating or thinking about lifting or eating.
I will also be representing Team USA this month in Mongolia as a 63kg M1 competitor. Wish me luck!
Question and Answer time!!
USA Powerlifting – NY: What got you interested in Powerlifting?
Nicole Iden: After running marathons for a number of years I got into CrossFit and really loved how strong it made me. But the longer I did it the more I was drawn to the barbell and even farther away from traditional cardio and so after five years of crossfit, I started focusing solely on weightlifting. In the midst of that transition, I moved to NYC, where I found SBWC. Then plan when I arrived was for me to spend a few months working on absolute strength with powerlifting and then to go back to weightlifting. But it’s been two years and I haven’t looked back.
USA Powerlifting – NY: When and where was your first meet?
NI: My first raw meet was a little over a year ago in April of 2017. It was the SBWC Spring Classic and I was absolutely terrified. In fact, the week before the meet I thought, “Never again, I will never sign up for this kind of stress again.” But of course, once that first squat was done and in the books, I was hooked and ready to sign up for the next meet.
USA Powerlifting – NY: What things have you learned since your first meet?
NI: I love the positive pressure that a meet provides for training. For me, the most important thing in training is to maintain consistency – we all have good days and bad days and good weeks and bad weeks. But if you can just keep showing up even through the bad days, you can slowly but surely keep making progress. For me, there’s nothing better than an impending meet to be that friendly reminder to get my butt into the gym even on the days when I’d rather stay home and pour a whiskey. And of course, I’ve learned that no matter how prepared you might be, things might *still* go sideways at a meet so I’ve learned to roll with the punches and always try to make the best of whatever is given.
USA Powerlifting – NY: What does the future hold for you in regards to powerlifting (PR’s higher total, weight loss, etc.)?
NI: Powerlifting came to me a bit later in life. I only started powerlifting raw two years ago and only have only been lifting in gear for six months so I still feel like an incredibly new lifter. So my main goals are just to remain healthy and keep increasing my totals slowly but surely. I would love nothing more than to one day be a badass M3 looking back at a career of 20 years of ever-growing totals.
USA Powerlifting – NY: What is your favorite of the “Big 3” and why?
NI: The squat all day. Wait, is there a debate on this? I thought we were all agreed that the squat is most badass of all the lifts. Next question please.
USA Powerlifting – NY: What is your least favorite of the “Big 3” and why?
NI: The deadlift and I have a long and sordid history. I’ve had a few injuries over the years that always seem to stop me in my tracks as soon as I start to make any progress this lift and as a result, I’m nowhere near where I want to be with the dead… yet! But even if it takes me another few years, I intend to make this lift mine.
USA Powerlifting – NY: Do you follow a specific training program? If so, is it a custom program for you or a template style program like 5/3/1 or the Texas Method?
NI: We follow RTS programming at SBWC.
USA Powerlifting – NY: Do you lift as part of a team or a group? Who are they and how did you become part of that group?
NI: I lift out of SBWC and we both officially compete as a team but (in my opinion even more importantly) we train together as a community even when folks aren’t competing. Especially as I’ve transitioned from raw to equipped lifting, I couldn’t imagine lifting without the team at SBWC. I trust the folks there with my life (and in gear, that is often literal).
USA Powerlifting – NY: What advice would you give a newbie powerlifter?
NI: Well I still consider MYSELF a newbie….but for even a newer newbie? I guess I would tell them that no matter how hard it feels at the beginning, there’s so much strength to be gained and so much technique to be learned that if they just keep showing up and stay with a consistent program, even if at the moment they don’t feel like they’re progressing, a few months will go by and suddenly they will look back and realize they’re lifting twice as much as they were when they started. So just keep coming back.
USA Powerlifting – NY: Tell us something about you that those in the powerlifting world wouldn’t know about you (guilty pleasure, vice, anything at all)?
NI: Whiskey. Or a well-made margarita. These are my vices but there’s nothing secret about them.
USA Powerlifting – NY: Who is your favorite powerlifting athlete and why?
NI: Jen Thompson – This is a woman with whom I share a weight and age group and she continues to destroy national and world open records year after year. How could this woman be so damn strong? Her work ethic is amazing and inspiring to me.