Sarah Paliotti - Powerlifter Interview

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

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

I am actually relatively new to powerlifting. Although I have been in the gym for as long as I can remember, I have only been powerlifting for about 2 years.

2. How did you get into it?

I’ve dabbled with all types of training but the core concept of everything was to “lose weight” or “get lean”. When I changed my focus to “get strong” it changed everything. It took some convincing from friends but I decided to give it a go and hired a coach. Pretty much immediately I fell in love with it because I finally felt like I found a direction in the gym that makes sense for me and my body.

3. What are your best lifts?

My current PRs are 170 bench, 305 squat, and 385 deadlift at 164 body weight...only going up though!

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

With powerlifting, everything is about those 3 lifts - squat bench and deadlift - and getting those numbers better. Everything I do in the gym supports those lifts.

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

I realized that I was actually not incorporating enough carbs into my diet. That change was huge for supporting my lifts and ultimately changed my Body as well. My calories are pretty flexible but I always meal prep. When prepping for a meet I track my macros closely though. 45% protein 35% carbs 20% fat and around 1700 calories.

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

All of them! I have 4 main lift days - squat, bench, deadlift, and overhead press. On each of those days I do that as the main lift with accessory work. Generally speaking I incorporate a variation of each lift on at least 1 other day to get the most out of it.

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

PROGRAMMING!! Following a progressive program is a must. I like to incorporate a “peak week” where I test out to see what my new 1RMs are - generally I do this leading into a powerlifting meet. Every week of programming is based off the week before and every month is based on what you were able to perform the month prior. Basing your training on the science of strength makes it fun and successful.

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

Deadlifts. Have you seen these legs?! Picking heavy shit up is thrilling to me..especially when it’s next to a bunch of goons in the gym that think they are strong. Squats would be second and bench is my “weakest link”.

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

Well nothing can compare to the first meet. The nervousness and anxiousness of it all - of having the whole crowds eyes on you while you attempt lifts that you may have never done before. But above all - I think my most memorable moment was in this last meet. I had a lot of factors working against me through the training cycle and leading right up to the meet. I was cutting weight to be in a lower weight class and had a lot of stuff going on personally which lead to a pretty unsuccessful final phase of training before the meet. I had been struggling with my deadlift and it become a huge mental block. To top it off, my final deadlift was the FINAL LIFT of the whole meet. I had set my mind on pulling 385...10lbs more than my previous meet and at a body weight of 15 pounds less. When they loaded the bar I approached it and thought to myself “there is no fucking way I am not going make this lift”. To me, the bar resembled all the bullshit and struggles I had gone through during that time and making the lift symbolized overcoming all of that. It was a grind but I made the lift. It was such a powerful moment for me that it actually brought tears to my eyes.

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

I read a quote recently that was totally accurate: Like a dog, the bar senses fear and respects confidence. Powerlifting demands that confidence. Without it you restrict yourself from opportunity that would otherwise bring you to new levels. With every successful lift I feel more empowered to move into the next. It’s the days where you aren’t successful that create a challenge and can damper that confidence. But, at the end of the day - everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. It is what it is and you just gotta stay committed and remember why you started.

11. What do you like doing away from powerlifting?

I am a pretty chill kind of person so I really enjoy laying low with my wife or friends with my feet up and a glass of wine.

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

If you can not stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.

Probably the loudest I’ve ever been in the gym ?? 315x14 #repPR #volumepr #deadlift #damn #cheersquad #strong #strongwomen #powerlifting #votd #girlswholift #lesbianswholift

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13. Future goals?

Short term: squat over 315 and deadlift over 400. long term: become an elite powerlifter

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