Girls Who Powerlift: Becci Holcomb

Becci Holcomb, women powerlifters,

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into powerlifting?

Hello everyone, I am Becci Holcomb. I am 28 years old, I live in Marietta GA. I have been powerlifting for almost 3 years now. I got into powerlifting when I moved to GA for school. I knew I wanted to do something athletic, but I hated running. I found the PrettyStrong Powerlifting team through a fellow classmate. We set up an intro with my now coach, Vanessa Gale. The rest is history.

What do you love about powerlifting?

When I started powerlifting I was a shy person. I grew up with a mother who would tell me all the time that I am too fat, I can’t do anything, I shouldn’t wear tank tops, etc. Since then my confidence has sky rocketed. I am wearing tank tops all the time, and the biggest thing is, I love myself now. I can definitely thank powerlifting and most importantly my amazing team (PrettyStrong Powerlifting) for this. I can honestly say that powerlifting has changed my life for the better. It is so empowering it is to get out there and lift weights. The feeling of having 500+ pounds on your back is thrilling.

The past few months have been pretty crazy for me. I didn’t realize it, but I was becoming depressed and slowly started withdrawing myself away from my friends, family and even lifting. I was even considering not competing in this year’s USAPL Raw Nationals, which would be crazy since I live right by Atlanta. All of this was brought on by a toxic and abusive relationship. The day after my ex after beat me up and drug around my home. I was back under the barbell. Granted, there were tears shed as I was squatting, but this was the first step to my healing. For the first time in weeks, I wasn’t just going through my workout just to do it. I was doing it for myself, proving that I can get back to a normal life.

Photo by 9for9 Media

Best meet total to date?     

 My best meet total to date is 562.5 KG/ 1240 pounds. I achieved this total at the USAPL-GA 2016 Summer Showdown. I hit a PR squat of 230 kg, a bench press of 105 kg and a deadlift of 227.5 kg. This was also the first meet I have ever won a cash prize. That was pretty cool.

Which of the big 3 is your favorite and why? Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. I enjoy all three. I love to squat, it’s an adrenaline rush to have 400-500+ pounds on your back. You have to stand up with it or get smashed. Bench press is fun because it is so technical. I am always trying to improve my technique.  As for the deadlift, just grip, rip it, and don’t hitch it.

You started a brand called Pretty Strong at Any Size. Talk to me about the product, the message and why you started it?

 I created PrettyStrongAnysize when I got fed up with the workout clothes options for plus size women. Everything was so boring, plain depressing colors and the shorts I did find that had cool prints, the seams ripped within 4 squat sessions. I also wanted a brand that would cater to everyone, not just the people up to a size 12. There is no size discrimination here. You send me your measurements, the fabric you’d like and I create your shorts/capris/leggings or singlet.

What get's you through the tough training sessions? 

Gummi bears or worms. Hahahaha. But in all honestly, what gets me through them is the drive to be better. The workout may be hard, I might have to drop weight but with every rep I take, I am slowly getting better.

Another thing that motivates me, are my little sisters. I have 5 of them and I want to be better for them. They look up to me so much.

What advice do you have for young women getting into powerlifting?

Just do it! There is no need to self-conscious of that weight you’re lifting. I’ve talked to my little sisters about powerlifting, every time they tell me “But I’m not as strong as you”. I always tell them to not compare themselves to me or anyone else.  What matters is getting out there, slinging some iron around, becoming more confident and trying every training session to be better than the last. That could mean an increase in the weights lifted, reps and sets done, doing your accessory work, or improving your technique.

What is your prep like, for the day of a meet?

I usually begin to pack for the meet after my last training session of that week.

First I make a list of everything I need. Next I’ll wash my singlets, deadlift slippers, meet shirts, knee sleeves and socks. After that I’ll pack everything and triple check my bag. I’ll my snack bag at the same time.  I like to get as much done ahead of time so I am not running around the day before I compete trying to get everything together.

 Meet day, I’ll find a place to camp out. I usually bring a blanket and pillow. I’ll nap until weigh-ins and then nap after. Here’s a secret. Naps  are anabolic.

What is your favorite post workout meal?

Hmmm probably a cheeseburger on a bed of veggies with some sort of potato. The potato is usually some sort of fry. I am obsessed with fries. One time I had 5 different varieties of frozen fries/potatoes for after training.

Do you have any specific goals in powerlifting?

My goals are to be better than I was before. Hitting PRs and breaking records are nice, but I learned that it is just as important to focus on increasing your attempts made. I was on a streak where I missed my third deadlift attempt 3-4 meets in a row. At this year’s Arnold, I finally got my third deadlift. That feeling was amazing. I burst out in tears, grabbed my coach and carried her away. For me, that moment was sweeter than hitting a PR.

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