Our fans and followers are the absolute best! And we've made special effort to support them as much as they've supported us. I found Sandy Jiries's instagram page before starting GWPL, and was so stoked to find out that she followed us. Her contribution to our page and girls who powerlift in general is enormous! I couldn't be happier to interview this beautiful, strong and inspirational woman.
Introduce yourself to the GWPL community
Hi there! My name is Sandy Jiries aka Ms.Pants J. I'm 26 and I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. I am a Help desk engineer for a Global logistics company
When did you get into lifting and why?
I got into lifting (bodybuilding) about 4 years ago just to lose the weight that I had gained over the winter. Once I started to see the results I fell in love with it. It was an outlet from the world and the problems I was having at that time. I started powerlifting last August when I joined an ex-boyfriend to go watch his training sessions. I knew absolutely nothing about powerlifting but I thought it was insane how someone can push their body to that point. In November I watched my first real powerlifting meet and decided that I wanted to start training for my first meet. In December I was asked to Join Team Lilliebridge and train under my coach Ernie Lilliebridge Sr., and the rest is history.
Best meet total to date?
810lbs at 148lb bw. I hit a 303 squat, 170 bench and 336 deadlift.
We hear a lot of negativity when it comes to girls with muscle. Have you ever encountered that personally? How do you respond?
When I first started lifting I got made fun of almost nonstop because almost everyone I knew said I would turn into a man if I kept lifting heavy. When I received comments like that from family members or friends, I would get really upset and just cry to myself. I did not understand why I did not get the support I needed. It took almost 4 years for family and friends to stop with the "don't get too big" comments and realize this was not a temporary fad. Now I receive the "I want your arms or legs" comments. After a while I got over it and just lifted for me, whether I had the support or not. Now when someone makes a comment about my muscles or how I'm "too big" I just laugh and brush it off.
I've noticed that most girls that are into power lifting, also have significant others that are into it too. How do you think it affects your relationship? (positive or negative)
Powerlifting has affected my relationship in a very positive way. We share something we both love and have the opportunity to do it together. He understands the stress that comes along with training and meet prep, so he tries to be as supportive as possible. Without him most days I probably would have gone insane. Most non lifters would not understand the importance of training sessions and spending hours in the gym. Without that huge support system, most relationships fail.
What's your approach to nutrition?
I am currently followed a relaxed version of my clean eating plan that I used when I was cutting for my last meet. I eat clean and get my normal 6 meals/day during the week, but basically eat and snack on whatever I want on the weekends. A balance nutrition plan is the best way to stay sane IMO.
Favorite go to meal
My favorite go to meal would probably be my homemade chipotle bowls. I get the deliciousness of it without the added sodium.
Favorite cheat meal
My favorite cheat meal would probably be sushi. If I was given the choice I would eat it every day for the rest of my life!
What advice would you give to younger girls just starting power lifting?
I wish I would have discovered Powerlifting when I was younger. When I see younger girls who are given the opportunity to powerlift, it makes me smile. The advice I would give younger give is to record every set and never give up! You will experience hard times where you feel like you are not strong enough, but that is where the videos and pictures of your previous lifts will come in handy. You will be able to go back, look at how far you have come and that will be the motivation you need to keep moving forward to being a better stronger you.
What gets you through the tough training session?
My lamb of god Spotify station and my team. Without their support and pushing me to keep going I would have quit a long time ago.
Follow Sandy on Instagram