Kathi Sottosanti by Ipowerlift.net
In her first powerlifting meet in the Master s 50-54 148 weight class Kathi Sottosanti set the New jersey State and National records in the squat, bench press, deadlift and total. Kathi also set state record for novice deadlift in the 148 weight class. How did she do it? Read on as she tells us about her journey.
My name is Kathi Sottosanti. I am 52 years old and have five kids ages 10 to 18. I have been working out my whole adult life in some form or another. From aerobics and machines in the 80’s to crazy classes with Radu in NYC while working in sales, to powerwalking strollers with babies just to stay in shape. I remember walking the hills of my town with two kids at a time for miles, until one day I looked in the mirror and I realized that didn’t like what I saw. I was just a skinnier version of myself which wasn’t enough for me. I was working hard but it wasn’t the right type of work for the body I was trying to create. That’s when I started weight training. I was in my early forties and it began with weights in my basement. I was teaching myself through videos, which were great and I started to see changes. I was feeling stronger.
At 46, with 5 kids under 12, I had to go back to go back to work. My youngest was only 3. I wasn’t ready for the change and knew I didn’t want to miss out on raising them so NYC was no longer an option. That’s when something amazing happened, a gym was opening up less than a mile from my home, they had daycare for my little one and my hours could be flexible. I have been a life coach forever, regardless of the job or role I was in, so now I had a chance to match that aspect of my life with my passion for working out and helping others. So while they got to work constructing a 26,000 square foot facility called No Body Denied, I got to work on becoming a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Just two months later I was employed. Shortly thereafter, I became certified in TRX as well as Group Power, Group Centergy and more. I taught, I trained and then I trained myself later in the afternoon. It was all coming together. As I teacher, I like to be a leader and feel the need to be as strong as possible if I am going to be on a stage with 30 plus people following me. I worked out 5 to 6 days a week on total body strength with free weights and machines. Then I met my trainer (because trainers need trainers too), Barry Bostick, who had been competing in Powerlifting for a few years already. I was 48 and started training harder and smarter. I pulled my first 225 pound deadlift and it made waves in the gym as well and got me pumped. I was shocked. It was, at the time the heaviest and hardest think I had ever done. I progressed in training and in February of 2015, while launching a new business called Iron Beauty on top of it all, I started training in true powerlifting style. I had a lot to learn at now 51. I had to retrain my squat to get below parallel, which was very hard for me. I had to build my upper body strength to move my bench press past a 95 pound bar, no choice but to get that up and then work on my deadlift to somehow increase past 225. I got to work and that summer I had a new PR for my deadlift of 285. I was psyched! It was time to switch out to hypertrophy so as not to burn out. For the next few months I worked on building shoulder, bicep and grip strength along with building my back with a lot of volume. Pull ups to full extension, a ton or reps for squats, banded resistance work, speed bench presses, speed pulls, rack-pulls to work on my lock out. Now I had eyes on me as my business partner (and best friend) and I were building a motivational coaching business with an audience on social media, and through our website. I had to keep going as our goal is to motivate others to see what is possible over 50!
In November, after attending a meet for a friend, my trainer text me a simple question. “Would you think about competing?” I shocked myself, and him, when I said yes! This past January I put the number 300 on the calendar on the date June 5th. The WNPF Battle of the Border competition date! I wanted that number so bad. We started pre-season training in January working on weak areas, which for me were off the chest for bench, breaking parallel for squats and off the floor for deadlifts. Just kept my focus and told my family, who at times didn’t understand, to have patience because my workouts were a priority.
March began in season training which consisted of 4 days a week with a rest day in between. Squat, Bench, Dead and accessory work on Sunday. Each and every workout was a new PR and became crucial that I didn’t miss for the entire 12 weeks. I would watch myself in the mirror, squatting with no weight, to get depth and eventually broke through my mental barrier. I tried not to look ahead at the workouts ahead of me because my mind would say, how am I going to do that? Then I would. I entered a bench pressing competition for reps (and for fun) and came in 2nd in my weight class. That was my first time competing in public and it was two weeks before my meet. This was key because something clicked in me. I looked back over the last 10 to 11 weeks and recognized the big mistake I was making. Fortunately just in time. My mind led me in fear, but my body led me successfully through the workouts. My strength was increasing week by week. I gained 8 pounds in 5 months. My body fat went down, my size went up, I was getting stronger. My body was adapting to the demands of lifting by adding muscle to my frame. My mindset switched like a light bulb went off, and just in time for my last week. For the first time I was so excited to see if I could pull a 295 deadlift. I actually couldn’t wait for Friday to get here. I was NOT going to lose. That baby was going up and it did! Now rest time. One week to go. My first experience at a WNPF meet was awesome. I learned I was there to compete against myself. I was there to support all the other lifters hoping to do the same. The energy was amazing. I made some mistakes, the bar was different which through my hands off on my bench and squat but I got on the board.
Deadlift: Opened with 285. 2nd attempt went for the 300. Got it and then double PR’d for 305!
I currently hold the state and national record for all 3 lifts and the state record for novice deadlift in the Masters 50-54 148 lb weight class. This qualifies me as an “elite deadlifter” and I will be competing in the Worlds on November 11th. My biggest change in the next round of training will no doubt be my mindset! I promised myself no more looking at the numbers with fear ever again, only excitement for every workout. Now I have the number 315 on the calendar! I’m going for it. 52 feels great!
Author: by Ipowerlift.net | Created: Mon Jun 20 19:34:50 UTC 2016 | Last Updated: Sun Mar 21 12:39:39 UTC 2021