Tag: Deadlift

I came, I saw, I lifted and I didn’t poop my pants.

October 08, 2013

This weekend was the “Urban Athletic Games” (Formarly Calgary Festival of Strength) It’s a fun event, this year they had Crossfit, Strongman and Powerlifting going at the same time. It’s loud, fun, and you have to dodge protein induced flatulence which while disgusting can also lead to massive giggles.

I was pretty nervous going in. I had only been lifting heavy for 2 weeks after rehabbing a knee injury (kneehabbing ~ Thanks Chris for that) and had done a meet that didn’t go so well a few weeks back.

Time to focus and get things done…

It started with some fun.. This is Robyn Homans, myself and Lesley Unger doing our “powerlifting babes meet BayWatch” Slo-Mo impersonation.


… and back to the main event!

First up was the back squat!

Heaviest lift completed: 145KG / 319.5LBS

What I learned:

1. If I worry about pooping my pants I don’t get proper depth. Which I proved in my second lift.

2. You can see the “whites” of my eyes. The poor head judge! He watches head on and had the perfect view as I crossed my eyes so hard it looked like I was possessed.

2013-10-05 19.00.37

Next Up Bench Press!

Heaviest lift complete: 70KG /154.2LBS

What I learned:

1. Taking a lift from the gym (where I can do 180lbs) to the competition platform can be tough.

2. See # 1.


Final of the 3 lift: Deadlift!

Heavist lift completed: 150 KG / 330LBS

What I learned:

1. Sometimes you are better not knowing. Michele bumped up the weight on me, and I had no idea how much I was lifting. She did warn me it would feel a bit “heavy.”

2. Remember what I said about my eyes in the Back Squat? It appears I do it when I Dead as well.. but at least I also close them so it isn’t as freaky!


I was also reminded that I have a wonderful crew of people supporting me. It turned out that they need an extra hand with spotters so DH Steve was on the platform with me when I did the best back squat I have ever done and having my trainer from The Athlete Factory, Michele Helmeczi give up her Saturday night to keep me focused and performing my best was also amazing.


Susan & Michele


I am one lucky powerlifter. In the process I also met some new ladies in powerlifting that are super excited to be lifting and watched some other ladies make big jumps in their numbers! What a great night!

I lift heavy…for a person.

August 21, 2013

I follow a bunch of athlete’s on instagram, one of which appears pretty hard core, (Bobby Ashhurst) today he posted a picture that said.. “Better sore than sorry” and “deadlift, because somewhere a girl is warming up with your max weight.”

Are you kidding me?

Here is the conversation that followed:

susanknight: Because somewhere a girl is warming up with your max? You get how insulting that is to women lifters.. right?
laxjustin: How is that insulting to women lifters? If anything it makes them look better…
susanknight: Why should it be motivational that a “girl” is warming up with your max? Shouldn’t it just be that “someone” is warming up with your max?
bobbyashhurst:  you’re taking it way too serious. The best female lifter, although impressive, will never out lift the best male lifters. That’s just a genetic advantage men have. Just like women can endure more pain, in general, then men.
susanknight: Yup. You are correct when talking about the best. Please just keep in mind that if you have female lifter friends, even if they don’t say anything, after awhile those cracks start to grate a bit.

I love how he added the “in general” about the pain but not about the lifting. My point here is using a specific group to define something to be “not as good” is just plain rude, and for someone that appears to want to motivate people it goes beyond rude and can not only be demotivating but also sets a horrible example for expectations in the gym and how men and women should look at there accomplishments.

I train at The Athlete Factory with Michele Helmeczi, next to me in those squat racks along with weekend warriors and people working on general fitness are Olympic swimmers and skiers, world class rugby players and elite level hockey, football, basketball and soccer players. NOT ONCE have I felt any disrespect, NOT ONCE have I heard “for a girl,”  NOT ONCE was it pointed out that I wouldn’t lift as heavy because I was lacking a penis.

I have been RESPECTED.

Those athletes and trainers have stood by me and cheered while I tested lifts. They spot me when needed with NO judgy comment about if I make the lift or not. Not once have I ever heard.. that’s heavy.. for a girl. I get respect for what I am lifting because I am lifting it.  I put in the work, I put in the time, I fought with my head and I made those muscles strong. I have cried as I walked out the door and I have also high fived my way out the door.. none of that was due to my sex.  I will say straight up that I have been frustrated while working on my bench because the guys seem to be able to lift so much more so much faster, and we had the male vs female muscle talk.

Powerlifting is about you and the iron. Period. I love the records I hold in powerlifting and I strive to hold on to them and set a few more, in the process of doing that I will out lift other people. Am I motivated because someone can lift more then me?


I am motivated simply because I can lift more tomorrow with hard work then I did today. I don’t need to be motivated by someone else’s achievements male or female. I can admire them, they can let me know it is possible, but the motivator for me is simply.. that I can.

I am a strong but over thinking over emotional girl that doesn’t always feel that she fits into the powerlifting world or the sports world at all. I guess I should change that to “I was” until I found a place that I belonged. Who knew it would be with some of the best athletes in the world?

If you are motivated to lift more because a “girl” is warming up with your max weight, it is time to rethink a few things and perhaps consider how some of the women lifters who are working just as hard as you might feel about a statement like that.