Strength Training Is Love

When the 70s big gang went to USAPL Raw Nationals earlier this year, I met a girl there named Becca. She was a pretty lady lifting in the women’s session, and I was paying a lot of attention to her pretty much as soon as she entered my field of vision. I was paying so much attention to her that Justin had to remind me, “You realize you’re currently at a meet, right?” as he was pacing me through my squat warm ups.

Many of you won’t be surprised at my response – “Irrelevant, I can squat 200k in my sleep. First attempt will be ez pz.”

“It is a chore to be your friend,” Justin said.

Justin would use that line a lot throughout the weekend, like when he asked me how he could get my adrenaline going before my third attempt lifts:

“Just tell me I’ll never see her again.”

“Thin ice, Brent Kim. Thin ice.”

To add to the fact that this chick was pretty, she was also a competent lifter with some solid mechanics. I asked her what she finished with after her squats, and she told me that she didn’t know – her parental units, who were handling her, wouldn’t tell her what she was lifting on the platform because she has a habit of over thinking the weight. But when she went in blind, and just methodically repeated what she did in the warm up room, she performed well. I knew instantly that I loved everything about her. She finished with a 286lbs squat, 171lbs bench, and 303lbs deadlift in the women’s 181lbs class. I was sold. Didn’t think I could ask for digits because she was with her parental units, but Justin encouraged me to tell her about 70s big – “Do it or I’ll do it for you” – and I would try to stalk her on facebook. I would ultimately fail, and feel that I would never see her again, but she ended up finding me and after a month or two of chatting decided we should hang out.

We’re a pretty typical, gross couple now, i.e. holding hands in public, which I think is awesome, and we decided it’d be a pretty cool date if I came to lift in Maryland’s state powerlifting meet with her.

I ended up not being able to lift with her because of the 60 lifter cap, and I was a guest lifter so in-state lifter entries take priority over mine, but I still went to see her and help out at the meet.

I loaded and spotted for probably a third of the meet, which was a fair amount of work, partially because a lot of state records were being broken at this meet and there was a fairly strong talent pool present, but pretty satisfying at the end of the day when it was all over. This is the first meet I’ve ever been to in which I did not lift. Met quite a few people from 70sbig, and you can hear all about their exploits in the comment threads of previous posts. Most notable was something that JMOvechkin said to me as I was passing by, “Spotting isn’t a sport,” which I thought was FUCKING awesome.

His brother also asked me if he should take his third deadlift attempt, after rating his second attempt at 501lbs to be a 9/10 difficulty.

“You’re asking me if you should just stop at your second attempt?”


“Uhhh I’m never going to tell you to not take a third attempt, but I’m reckless. Quitting isn’t a sport.”

“Yeah,” he answered, “And I’m not a quitter.”

Boom? Boom.

He ended up pulling 507lbs for his final attempt of the meet.

Becca, who was the main motivation for me being at the meet, also produced a strong performance despite not making weight by 2lbs. She dropped 11lbs in about a week, but started cutting too late. Throw in about a hundred other factors that would screw with her preparation in the final days leading up to the meet, and things didn’t look good. She ended up lifting as an extra, but would break some PRs despite horrendous rest and recovery.

I asked her to type a write up for her meet experience, but she declined and asked me to do it instead, so –

She went 9 for 9, and squatted 281lbs pretty easily. Her squats were iffy in the weeks leading up to the meet so her step-dad and coach was conservative here, but she PRed by 11lbs in the bench press with 182lbs, and 17lbs in the deadlift with 320lbs. I loaded and spotted all of her attempts and it was pretty sweet to watch my girlfriend wreck shit. She brought some intensity into her third attempts, which is apparently rare – Becca says that she’s never made noises when she lifted, but she was pretty fierce, especially with her third attempt bench and deadlift. Her efforts would earn her best lifter. I’m pretty proud of her, and seeing her commit to every single lift reaffirmed that I like everything about her. Watching her on the platform reminded me why my heart yearned for her in the beginning. You can tell a lot about a girl from how she performs under the bar at a meet.

It would have been a lot cooler if I was lifting at this meet, but can’t really complain that I still got to help with keeping the meet operational. “Giving back to the sport” is pretty pretentious and sentimental, and Brent Kim doesn’t really do sentimental, but generally speaking, raw powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting wouldn’t survive in the US without a lot of volunteer effort. Running meets is a lot of work, and in Olympic weightlifting it’s pretty common that meet organizers lose money with the event. But the athletes need to compete, and someone has to put in the money and hours and not expect to get very much in return. It was a good experience to be on the other side of things, “the strength training community” means a lot more when a bunch of powerlifters work together to run a meet.

In short, strength training is love, quitting isn’t a sport, and help your fellow man.

Delta Command out. (When I called Justin to let him know I would be writing an article for the site, I told him, “Hunter Two-One this is Delta Command, we’ll be taking over operations on the battlefield until the situation’s been brought under control.”)

29 thoughts on “Strength Training Is Love

  1. This post is useless without pics (and beards). And since this post is about women I strongly recommend at least 2 pictures…

    Anyway, good post. The people “behind the scenes” deserve more attention!

    I would say Brent is a noob, but that’s not true. My guess is he was just lazy.


  2. Thanks again Brent, the volunteers worked their asses off at this meet! I’m sure Becca was able to win best lifter because you were there to support her.

    Here is a vid of my 402# squat, if you look closely in the background, there is a Brent Kim sighting.

    FYI, spectating is not a sport.

  3. Nice post BK.
    Readers take note: my girl said the other day “your body is changing.” I said “is that good or bad.” She said “neither.” I knew that was bad. Last night it occurred to me my “stack” has been missing creatine for almost 3 months. Its all good though. I have maintained my numbers and now that the creatine is back, everything should satart going up again. If its not part of your stack it should be!

  4. I think I spotted some other girls there doing some “real weight.” It was a lot of novice lifters (me included) Congrats to all the competitors, I saw some gutsy performances by the women involved.

  5. Forgot the real intent of my post…taught my girl the CandJ last night. I have coached several sports over the years but this is a first. Interesting process.

  6. This is a very sentimental post for a guy who claims he doesn’t do sentimental. FYI…you start messin’ around with them girls and your squat will go to shit.

  7. @dcurrin/re:mcculllas. Lifting any weights or even having the balls to compete in front of people, the first time for many of the women who were competitors Saturday is good enough for me and seemingly good enough for them and all of the support they had in the audience. Many of the girls mentioned it was their first competition (nerves can be amazing adrenaline). Christine Black the 198+ just started lifting about 2 months ago. Jo Ann Miller was a 114 who benched 1.5 BW…raw. Susan Stephens is a returning National Champion. The roster was 1/5 women if im not mistaken and for that in of itself im stoked. The majority of male lifters were also first timers and yall can keep an eye out for Gregory Tate 165 JR SQ 452, BP 342, DL 524. Narrowly missing the opportunity for best lifter. Best Male Lifter was Mike Jones with a 1538 total at 220. Not to mention we had a hearing impaired and visually impaired lifter in the mens roster. As well as a 70 year old veteran of powerlifting Robert Rood who returned to the platform with an 865 total. I was happy to have such a diverse population in the gym that day and yes, Brent being there definitely aided in some good lifts, how else could I keep the shrugthug?

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  9. Justin, I can’t believe you let brent write this without at least a picture of brent overhead pressing his new ladyfriend.

    Brent, I am not (yet) impressed.

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