Why I love . . . Powerlifting

‘I love the sensation of lifting heavy – it makes me feel empowered,’ says Rehana Maniar

When I turned 40 years old, I decided I wanted to try something new. I saw a sign in a gym looking for women to compete in powerlifting, and even though I was intrigued, I was worried I would get bulky – a common fear many people have when beginning to powerlift. My coach soon told me there was no need to worry.

After my first class, I remember thinking, this is for me. I loved the sensation of lifting heavy – it made me feel empowered.

Powerlifting consists of three lifts – squats, bench press and deadlifts. My training some weeks can consist of 100 squats, 100 bench press and 150 deadlifts, 500 abs exercises, 500 triceps and 500 leg exercises. My coach, Ger McNamara, really believes in high volume high results, and it works. I commute to train with him in Limerick once a week.

Highly disciplined

I need to be highly disciplined so I never miss training sessions. I was always competitive, even as a kid, so naturally, this sport is a great fit for me.

I now hold 12 world records. Next, I'm off to Poland at the end of November to the XPC Polish Cup, to qualify for the Arnold Classic next February 2019. In four years of powerlifting, I never dreamt of the success that I've accomplished. This is one of the biggest and best changes I've made in my life.

Wanting to be the best can be challenging. Beating my PBS (personal bests) at each competition and the drive to win and break world records and represent my country is always the goal.

For anyone considering taking up powerlifting, the buzz is incredible. At competitions, when I’m out on the platform giving everything I have to get that perfect lift, it’s the best.

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