September 2018 Featured Lifter

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 RACHEL KARAM.

I am a 29-year-old Spanish teacher from Clifton Park, NY. I used to be a runner, who turned into a bikini competitor and eventually found my way to powerlifting about a year and a half ago.

A little about Lifter

Training Center:

ABC Sports and Fitness, Latham, NY

Question and Answer time!!

USA Powerlifting – NY: What got you interested in Powerlifting?

Rachel Karam: I have always loved lifting heavy weights and building muscle. A friend talked me into competing, and at first, I didn’t want to because of those dang singlets, but then I competed in my first meet and have been addicted since.

USA Powerlifting – NY: When and where was your first meet?

RC: January 2017, Northeast Iron Beast at ABC Sports and Fitness in Latham, NY

USA Powerlifting – NY: What things have you learned since your first meet?

RC: I’ve learned to have patience with strength gains. You can’t always hit new one rep maxes every single time you step foot into the gym. I used to love hitting ego lifts, but that’s more detrimental than anything to do. I’ve also learned a lot about how big of a role proper nutrition, hydration, rest, and even the right frame of mind play into moving big weights.

USA Powerlifting – NY: What does the future hold for you in regards to powerlifting (PR’s higher total, weight loss, etc.)?

RC: I always look to set new PRs every time I hit the platform. But for now, I’m looking to rise higher in national rankings, hit 400/200/500 sooner rather than later, and also perfect my techniques.

USA Powerlifting – NY: What is your favorite of the “Big 3” and why?

RC: My favorite of the “Big 3” would, hands down, be the deadlift. It was the one lift I accelerated in first, and it’s also the lift that gives the most adrenaline and can put on the best show for the crowd. I, personally, love the fight that the bar can give me sometimes. That’s where my mental willpower comes into play most… I always want to win against the bar and lock out my deadlift. When I do, whether it’s an AMRAP or a new meet PR, I feel on top of the world.

USA Powerlifting – NY: What is your least favorite of the “Big 3” and why?

RC: Bench. My elbows and I don’t get along. I’m still figuring them out.

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?

RC: Whatever my coach, EC Stumpf, tells me to do, I do it. Whether I’m in meet prep or in an offseason, he customizes a program specifically for me that addresses any weaknesses I may be exhibiting.

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?

RC: Team IG (Infamous Graphics). It’s just me and my coach, working together in sync with one another.

USA Powerlifting – NY: What advice would you give a newbie powerlifter?

RC: Listen. To. Your. Coach. If you have them on your side, they should be the only one you’re taking advice from. Also, make sure to properly fuel your body with food, water, and rest.

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)?

RC: Janet Jackson’s song “If” gets me pumped up before every giant lift. I also have a one year old Shiba Inu named Vinny, he is my whole world.

Bonus Question

USA Powerlifting – NY: Who is your favorite powerlifting athlete and why?

RC: My favorite powerlifting athlete is Ivy VonWeisenberg. She is humble in her craft, so talented and strong, and like me, she not only wants to be strong but look it too. She reflects on her lifts and stays on top of her mental game, which is something I’m learning to do as well.

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