Ogechi Akalegbere - Powerlifter

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

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

My name is Ogechi, I am 29 and I work full time and train as a powerlifter. I have been powerlifting for almost 5 years. I have been competing for 4 and a half years.

2. How did you get into it?

I had always enjoyed strength training throughout high school. I had a bit of a spark doing a strength competition for fun in college. When I came back home my younger brother who had gotten into bodybuilding and powerlifting convinced me to try it out.

3. What are your best lifts?

My personal bests are 440, 237, 440.

So..Iím still working on my super deep Raw Nationals blog post but in the meantime hereís my 418lb pull. At 182.6lb BW this is a USAPL personal best. #strengthdesign #deadlift #rawnationals2017 #gechmeifyoucan

A post shared by Ogechi A ???? ???? (@gechmeifyoucan) on

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

I developed my lifting technique through working with my coach. For squats I used a slightly wide stance because that works best for my hips. I prefer to deadlift sumo because of the same reason. I have worked a lot on my bench technique. I started off with a narrow bench because my triceps were much stronger than my back. Now I actually have a slightly wider than shoulder width bench.

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

I never really followed strict macros until recently. I would essentially aim to have a generally lower carb diet. I would have more carbs on my heavier lifting days. I currently intake close to 2300 calories per day. I discovered that I was under eating for the amount of training I do. The change these last few months have helped my mental clarity and lethargy during training.

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

Currently, I train 5 days a week. I have volume squat, bench, and deadlift days with accessory work to support those compound movements. I have really tried to increase my bench and back strength, so I have a separate back day and a speed bench and shoulders day. I am trying to improve my upper body strength.

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

The best way to test your progress is to compete. With each program my hope is to be able to do more weight or more reps. Max effort weeks leading up to competition and of course the meets themselves test all those weeks of training.

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

Hands down it would have to be the squat. I can be having a crap day physically and mentally and I can always power through a squat. It has always come naturally to me.

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

In such a brief time I have had so many. I remember hitting my first big PR in my second powerlifting meet. It was 290 in deadlift. I had never been so excited. I remember my first time traveling out to Vegas for a national meet. Being around so many strong women was such and enriching experience. Most recently I would have to say anytime we get to travel as a team. So many antics and laughs that make the stress of competing go away.

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

This is an ongoing challenge. I often relate my religious faith to my training. Being consistent in training and setting healthy expectations is key. I can pray every day for a secluded island while sitting on my butt, but chances are that wonít happen. I need to put in the work and be kind to myself when life gets in the way. Consistently making time for self-care outside of the gym (girls nights, date nights, at home watching tv, shopping) has been something I have prioritized. I remind myself this is a passion, but it is a hobby and only a part of who I am.

11. What do you like doing away from powerlifting?

I love hanging out with family, fiance and friends. I volunteer in the community and in my church during my free time.

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

ďOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.Ē-- Marianne Williamson

13. Future goals

I want to expand my experience in other aspects of strength and fitness-strongman, perhaps a bodybuilding competition. I want to see what my body can do. I would love to expand my blog and social media influence to be an advocate for other women of color that donít fit stereotypical beauty norms, but are incredibly strong and passionate.

Contact info:
IG: https://www.instagram.com/gechmeifyoucan
email: oaa11688@gmail.com

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