Monet Bland - Powerlifter Interview

Author: Jonathan. L, owner - Models Observer
October 2017

1. Tell us about yourself and how long have you been powerlifting?

My name is Monet Bland. Iím 26 years old and Iím a physiologist and researcher in Boston, Massachusetts. I have been powerlifting for about 5 years now.

2. How did you get into it?

Sports have always been a huge part of my life. In high school, I was sprinter and I assumed I would continue throughout college but plans changed. I started powerlifting while I was a student at Northeastern University. Unfortunately, I was not cleared to complete in NCAA sports so I searched for a club sport to participate in because I needed to incorporate a sport into my life again. I came across the powerlifting team and decided to give it a try despite the fact that I didnít even know what powerlifting was. I was on the Northeastern University Womenís Powerlifting team for four years until I graduated in 2016.

FIN-AHHH-LYYYYY! 227.5kg/501lbs in a full meet. Bless up. One of the highlights of yesterday. My own little redemption for a shaky start to the competition. Now we build. . . . #DNDL #teamDNDL #EatLiftLive #girlswhopowerlift #earneverykilo #southbrooklynwc @southbrooklynwc #teamRTS #teambaystate @reactivetrainingsystems #girlswholift #teambaystate #beyondhumble #antisuperstar @eleikosport @usapowerlifting

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3. What are your best lifts?

I compete in both the raw and equipped divisions in USA Powerlifting. My best lifts raw are:
Squat: 175kg/385lbs
Bench Press: 95kg/209lbs
Deadlift: 212.5kg/468lbs

My best lifts equipped are:
Squat: 257.5kg/567lbs
Bench Press: 9120kg/264lbs
Deadlift: 227.5kg/501lbs

4. What is your lifting technique like and how did you develop it?

Thankfully, I have a coach that is the mastermind. He is responsible for all of my program but I provide input as well. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses and provides a challenging program to follow each week in order to improve my technique. I also try my best to visit his gym as often as possible to get live feedback on my form and technique for the major lifts.

5. How do you utilize your diet as a way to maintain your weight while increasing strength? What is your caloric intake?

I wouldnít say that I utilize my diet necessarily. I have a very hectic work and training schedule so I donít track calories or macronutrients at this point. However, I keep all of my meals balanced and as consistent as possible. I make sure that I am eating to fuel my body and eating properly for performance and recovery. I usually have three meals and two snacks with an occasional doughnut here and there. This isnít to say that tracking isnít important but you have to figure out what works for you. Right now, this is what works. In the future, I plan to begin slowly tracking macros.

6. Please describe your daily/weekly training. Which muscles do you target to improve lifting?

I usually train 5 days per week for powerlifting. Rather than sending me a program with specific exercises for each day, my coach sends me a priority list and I can arrange the lifts throughout the week as I see fit due to my work schedule. My lifts are arranged in groups starting with Priority 1 and ending with Priority 4. I train all of main lifts each week but I also incorporate assistance exercises as well. As an equipped lifter, I train both raw and equipped throughout the week. Right now I am training for the IPF Open World Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic. My training is primarily in equipment which consists of a squat suit, bench shirt, and deadlift suit. Whether I am training raw or equipped, I target all of the major muscle groups. I put a lot of emphasis on back exercises, triceps, and core exercises.

7. How do you monitor your strength building process in squat, bench and deadlift?

Iím old school. I keep a notebook with my training log and I keep track of my competition lifts as well. I look through both my training and competition lifts and keep the line of communication open with my coach to discuss as well.

8. Which lift is easier for you, and why?

HaÖIím not sure if I can answer this. As a taller lifter (Iím 5í9íí), each of the lifts are difficult due to the distance the bar has to travel. If I had to choose, I would say that the deadlift is the easier lift of the three.

9. Tell us about some of your most memorable moments in powerlifting so far.

My entire lifting career is quite memorable because I never would have thought that Iíd be a powerlifter. However, there are a few moments that are extra special. The first moment is when I squatted 501 pounds in competition for the first time. It was at the 2015 Womenís National Championships. The second moment was when I deadlifted 501 pounds in competition which was actually earlier this year at the NAPF/IPF Pan-American Powerlifting Championships. Other memorable moments include competing at Collegiate Nationals with the Northeastern powerlifting team and competing in Belarus and Brazil.

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10. How do you successfully grow your mental strength in addition to physical strength?

I have always been very critical of myself and itís actually worse with powerlifting. So if Iíve had a bad training day then I give myself 24 hours and then I have to get over it. You have to remember that one bad day isnít the end of the world. Use that experience as a learning experience to improve. I try to remain as positive as I can when it comes to both training and competitions. My key to success to always remain calm. I am usually a very relaxed lifter but if I allow myself to stress too much then I make mistakes in both training and competition. I am also learning to communicate as well. My coach provides with me a lot of support and he helps me to remain focused when I fall off track.

11. What do you like doing away from powerlifting?

Outside of powerlifting, I enjoy being with my family, traveling to new places, going to museums,

12. What is your favorite motto/quote in life?

ďI donít believe in shortcuts because you donít earn anything. You have to earn it.Ē

13. Future goals

With my first open world championship approaching, my goal is to do well and represent USA as best as I can. My long term goal is continue to improve as a lifter and help others in this sport as well.

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