Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Feb

Powerlifter Goes Primal, Lifts Very Heavy Things for the Win

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

On Primal I’ve gained about 10 pounds – 10 pounds of muscle that is.

Over the two past years, I’ve been trying to increase my strength and add muscle mass.

The first year, even though I was lifting heavy weights, I didn’t add much, if any, muscle. I was eating a low-fat, low carb diet (which was extremely flavorless and hard to maintain) and just got plain old skinny. Not toned. Not jacked. Just skinny.

I then of course fell off that diet and put on a bit of fat, which is when my fiance and I decided to start Primal.

Since starting Primal about a year ago, I’ve seen the scale jump up 10 pounds, but I look lean and more muscled than I’ve ever looked before. And my strength has also really increased over the past year.

It actually increased so much that two months ago I decided to train for my first powerlifting competition.

When I started training, I was told by another trainer at the gym, that I would need to eat carbs, like bread and stuff, if I expected to really see results.

I just shook my head and kept eating Primally and my numbers just kept going up. And actually the couple of times I did cheat, I had my worst workouts EVER the day after!

Although throughout the two months I planned to compete, I didn’t actually enter the MA/RI Powerlifting State Championship meet until right before the deadline. I was super nervous and could think of a bazillion reasons why I wasn’t ready.

One of my reasons not to compete was because my training wasn’t true powerlifting workouts. The second reason was that I’d gained a bit of weight throughout the training and especially over Thanksgiving.

But I’d committed to doing it, so I refused to back out. That last week before the competition, I threw in some longer fasts and only ate meat and vegetables. Everyone at the gym told me that I shouldn’t fast and that I needed to eat “real” food.

I didn’t listen to them when it came to fasting because I was eating real food just later in the day. Delicious meals like pulled pork, oxtail, rib-eye and chili.

And I dropped every ounce of fat that I needed to and felt super strong on the day of the competition. (I also did throw in some potatoes the day before and the day of the competition just to feel extra energized.)

Anyway, on the day of the competition I sat there in my wrestling unisuit, with no equipment and no belt, eating my Primal snacks (potatoes, apples, macadamia nuts and 100% grass-fed whole milk yogurt and protein) while everyone else sported some sort of equipment and chowed down on peanut butter banana sandwiches, protein bars, candy and Gatorade.

I definitely felt slightly out of place, but my fiance thought it was pretty “gnarly” and “bad-ass” that I didn’t wear a belt or use chalk or anything that lifters were supposed to use.

And the meet was a success even though I didn’t lift as much as I had in practice. I won both my weight class and received the MA/RI Powerlifting State Championship award for Best Lifter – Women’s Raw Division (PDF).

The Best Lifter award is a measure of relative strength, which means that this Primal Powerlifter, weighing in at 118, was the strongest woman in the Raw division at the meet!

I was thrilled to receive the award! And so was my fiance. He also ended up loving the fact that I kicked all of their butts while eating Primally. He liked it so much that he encouraged me to send my success story in to you! Actually he was SO excited that he told you I’d won when we saw you in the Boston airport. :-)

(Here is a video of the competition if you want to check it out!)

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Awesome! And some muscle on a woman is pretty sexy, too! Women shouldn’t be afraid to be strong and confident – real men dig that.

    Steve wrote on February 6th, 2012
  2. Great story! You totally kicked ass! How awesome that your fiance is so supportive of your sport, and that you are doing it all by eating primal. I am inspired by you to stick with my heavy lifting workouts and remember that lifting and eating primal gets results. Great job Cori!

    Angela wrote on February 7th, 2012
  3. As a beginner powerlifter, I am extremely impressed and insanely jealous!
    How long did it take till you started lifting the biiig numbers? And did you do any extra training to improve grip strength? Grip is what is really letting me down in deads (stoopid girly grip!)

    mazzz wrote on February 15th, 2012
    • Shoot me an email and we can definitely talk!

      I’ve been really focusing on lifting heavy for at least a year now, but only over the last six months have I been working on maxing out.

      Just be patient!

      Farmer walks are great for grip strength. Also, all back exercises really work on grip!

      Cori wrote on February 17th, 2012
  4. That was awesome. Great job. Gives me something to work toward.

    Deisree wrote on February 19th, 2012
  5. Get a pl trainer to teach you better form and I bet you will get 25% more on each exercise. Bench especially. You have natural talent.

    jim wrote on February 12th, 2013

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!