( Photo Credit: 9for9 Media)
Well first introduce yourself to the GWPL Community ( Name, Federation, weight class, division, years in the sport, best lifts etc)
My name is Ellen Liverpool
. I am 24 years old competing in the USAPL 72kg Open Raw class. I have been powerlifting for a little over 2.5 years. My best lifts in the squat, bench, and deadlift are 180 kg (396.8 lbs), 80 kg (176.4 lbs), and 197.5 kg (435.4 lbs), respectively.
So a little birdy told me you were a Track and Field Thrower! Do you mind sharing a little about your time competing as a thrower? Do you think that had any carry over into your passion and strength in powerlifting?
I was a weight and hammer thrower for the MIT Track & Field Team (NCAA DIII). I was a walk-on on a team of athletes who were regionally and nationally ranked among other DI athletes. I originally wanted to be a mid-distance runner as I did that in high school, but my times were drastically slow. I moved to throwing because there weren't many throwers on the team. Throughout my four years at MIT, I was able to go from last place finishes at local DIII meets to among the top at regional DI meets and a DIII national meet. I remember putting in a lot of time and effort in the offseason in regards to strength training and technical work. I wasn't crazy strong by the end of the 4 years; I was only squatting 280 lbs, benching 165 lbs, and deadlifting 335 lbs weighing in at 185 lbs. But I saw how much my dedication to the sport paid off and fell in love with lifting along the way. The passion and dedication I had for throwing back then is the same that I have for powerlifting today.
( Photo Credit: 9for9 Media)
How did you find powerlifting? What do you think attracted you so much to the sport?
How I found powerlifting is actually a funny story. I noticed this cute guy lifting a lot of weight at my college's gym and found out that he was a powerlifter from a mutual friend. A few months later, I mustered up enough courage to ask him at lunch so I could ask him about powerlifting. Of course, I had ulterior motives and although nothing romantic came of the meet, we ended up becoming really great friends, still to this day. He began coaching me once my track and field career was finished. I knew I loved lifting from my throwing days so making the choice to move into powerlifting was a no-brainer.
Can you share one of your most memorable powerlifting moments?
My most memorable powerlifting moment pulling the Junior American Record deadlift at the MASS Weekend meet in April of 2016. The record at the time was 182.5 kg and since I had pulled that a few months ago in the gym, my coach and I agreed we would chip the record for 183 kg on my third attempt. It was my second powerlifting meet and almost a year since I had been a powerlifter. Needless to say, I was nervous and not sure that I would be able to execute. However, my handler was there with me every step of the way and the support at the meet was immense. As soon as I started pulling 183 kg, I knew I had it.
What motivates you in life? Not just as Ellen the powerlifter, but Ellen Liverpool?
I would say knowledge and love motivate me. My love for math, science, airplanes, and space has caused me to learn more about them. Retaining as much knowledge as I can gives me confidence and confidence gets me through every day.
( Photo Credit: 9for9 Media)
You are not only extremely strong but you are also an extremely intelligent and hard working individual off the platform. You studied Aeronautics & Astronautics while at MIT and now work as an engineer! How do you balance your work and lifting life?
Thank you! I live a half-hour away from my job but my gym is only a ten-minute drive from work. I usually finish all of my work in the 40-hour week so this combined gives me plenty of time after work to get my lifting in. A year ago, I asked my coach to give me an additional rest day in the middle of the week so now I lift five of seven days. This change has greatly improved my sleeping schedule and has given me time to do things other than lifting. In addition, all of my friends in the area go to my gym so that in itself is super convenient!
Has powerlifting impacted other areas of your life? If so How?
My growth as a weight and hammer thrower in college made me realize that if I worked hard enough, I could climb the ranks. Powerlifting has allowed me to continue that drive and discipline. I have applied the same motivation to my academics and my career. Since graduating college, I have taught myself how to code in other languages and designing in an engineering drawing program. These subjects have always peaked my interest and will help me advance my career in the aerospace industry.
Have you experienced any setbacks during your powerlifting career? If so, how do you focus and fight through them?
I came into powerlifting with a few back problems. I have a shorter leg because my pelvis is rotated. I’m also dealing with two bulged discs and mild scoliosis in my lower back. Sometimes these injuries cause different muscles in my body to flare up, especially approaching a meet. However, I realize if I continue pushing through the injuries, it might only make things worse. Taking a few days off, doing what the lifting I can, staying positive, and making regular visits to my chiropractor is how I get through my setbacks. I am lucky that my injuries haven’t been too severe.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new lifter?
I would say not to get caught up with the numbers you are lifting. Just enjoy the process of getting strong. Get an experienced coach and compete, compete, compete!