MILTON — Megan Melendez, a Florida State University junior from Milton, has made strides in weightlifting.
The 21-year-old Bremerton, Wash., native, who placed second at the April 7, 2017, USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, shared what it’s like preparing for a meet and how she prayed for humility through the competition.
How long have you been powerlifting?
I have been powerlifting for just about a year and a half now.
Do you play any other sports?
I do not play another sport. Being a full-time student, working part-time, powerlifting and my dog keep me more than busy.
What do you do to train for a powerlifting competition?
Training for powerlifting is just repetition. I am in the gym, Capital City Barbell, at least six days out of the week; most of the time seven. As a powerlifter, you have a strong focus on your three lifts: squat, bench and deadlift. You work on getting stronger and tweaking the movement of each to make the lift more efficient and safer for the body.
There are also other factors that play into preparing for a meet such as weight. I am a 63-kilogram/138-pound lifter. This means I can weigh less than 63 kilograms to an extent but not over. I stay at 142 pounds, so cutting is always in the program for me. From water-loading and spitting in a cup the day before and not eating, I have lost up to 10 pounds for a meet.
How do you qualify for powerlifting competitions?
The majority of meets don’t require any qualification. The person just has to be a (USA Powerlifting) member. However, for meets, just as collegiate nationals, you have to have totaled a certain number of pounds lifted in your weight class to qualify to compete.
How did it feel to place in this national competition?
Placing second was an incredible feeling I will never forget. Going into the meet, I was projected as the third-strongest lifter in the female raw 63-kilogram lifter (category). However, throughout the meet, I was far behind that. I prayed to stay humble as I was performing the best I ever had and lifting personal records. By the end of my last lift, a deadlift, I again prayed that God would keep me humble and that, if it was His will, I would make that lift and that He would give me His strength and in return, I would give Him the glory.
That 175k kilogram/385-pound deadlift took me from fifth place to second and, after the lift, I was on one knee giving God the glory. My strength is completely through Him and for Him. The feeling was, again, a moment I will never forget and I am so happy my mom and oldest sister Jessie were there to share that with me.
When is your next competition?
My next competition will be in October for Raw Nationals.