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Laura Clancy


Until 1999,  the only weight that I had ever lifted was a fork fully overloaded with sweet food.  In 1999, I began lifting weights with a personal trainer to lose weight between “birthin' babies” and found that I was no longer “between birthin'”.  I lifted weights through my entire second pregnancy and bounced quickly back to (better than) pre-pregnancy weight.  In 2002, I asked my trainer if there was a program that I could follow by myself to ready me for a 20 year HS reunion. That trainer pointed me to Bill Phillip's book, Body for Life.  I achieved the leanest and meanest physique EVER from that book.  I was strong and hot.

Somehow, life took over after the reunion and I not only gained the fat back, I lost that earned muscle tone.  In 2008, with another reunion looming large, I lost 30 lbs using the South Beach Diet and was pleased to be a MUCH smaller version of myself.  To outsmart my fat tendencies, I took a leap-of-faith step and invested in myself to become a Certified Personal Trainer.  I began at National Personal Training Institute in October 2008, which is where I met our Team Coach, Tim.  During those six months, the muscle tone came back,  fat was dropped and strength was gained.  I found out that I was  pretty BOSS ATHLETIC when I made “Team Captain”  by holding a 5 minute plank, rowing 500 M in 1:54.8  minutes and squatting 205 lbs.

I continued lifting after graduation and decided to join Team Force in April 2010.  I have been training to get stronger ever since and  have competed with the team in three PL events.  My training, of course, includes the traditional PL moves in all forms (high rep, low rep, cluster and negatives) with some help from assistant exercises.  Some of my favorite assistant exercises are the incline bench (makes your chest muscles pop and look good) and all shoulder exercises (military press and front and lateral raises). The assistance exercises I love to hate are the DB Row from floor and reverse hypers...they both almost make me vomit.

My best lifts in competition occurred at the 100% Raw Worlds in Orlando in 2011 where I nailed a 236.5 lb squat, a 137.5 lb bench and a 281.6 lb deadlift.  It was awesome to break two world records for my age and weight class.  My future (in)tense goals are to take home all 4 categories of 100% RAW World Records at the same event.  That would entail the following numbers ~Squat 240, Bench 145, Deadlift 305.  I love having this goal and have no doubt that I will achieve it.

I have found powerlifting to be empowering.  It has taught me that you can absolutely do anything that you want to do no matter how absurd the goal may seem to your inner cowardly lioness. In addition, it's amazingly awesome (can I say that?) to be “small” and incredibly's the unexpected.  I now have something to talk to people about at dinner parties.  I don't shrink away as the wallflower in the group (just kidding, I did not do this anyway).  Powerlifting has given me an opportunity to reinvent myself and to expect the unexpected when you work consistently toward a goal.

When it comes to other modalities of sports, I am in awe of what other athletes can accomplish.  Bodybuilders earn my respect for their unwavering discipline with nutrition.  However, I must admit that I am not a big fan of their physique and often have to talk the women that I train out of their belief that if they lift over 15 lbs they will look like them.  Runners are amazing, but I will never become one because I feel like a bulky elephant when I go faster than 4.5 MPH.  Whatever.

I am a big believer that the culmination of any training should be rewarded by seeing where you stand in competition.  Competition is where you test your mettle both physically and emotionally.  Win or Lose, at least you attempted the feat.   I even believe that getting back in the gym after a competition can be THE most important part of any meet.

I feel fortunate to be a part of this team whose members possess an unequivocal work ethic.  It is a pleasure and an honor to continue working on earning this team's respect. 

My favorite moments are too numerous to recount, so I will end with this humorous thought....can you imagine how it feels to be about a foot shorter,  100 pounds lighter and a lot less hairy than most of  the other team members?  Well, actually....unique and exulting.  It feels uniquely exulting to be able to earn the Big Hairy Team Members respect.  It makes me feel loved....Oh, what's that?  A tear running down my cheek?  Nope, it's just sweat ;-)

Vadim Snitkovsky,
Dec 23, 2011, 7:01 PM
Vadim Snitkovsky,
Dec 24, 2011, 7:11 AM