Introduce yourself to the GWPL community
My name is Ellen Stein-I am a 65-year-old retired (since 10/2010) Verizon employee and self-proclaimed crazy cat lady! born and still living in Brooklyn, NY
When did you get into lifting and why?
In 1994 after a successful 15 year running career (every distance from the mile to the marathon) I joined a local gym and saw a bunch of big guys covered in powder and chalk yelling and lifting heavy ass weights and was immediately intrigued. I needed something different to challenge me athletically
Best meet total to date?
983 lbs RAW (sleeves), 1025 lbs RAW (wraps), 1050 lbs (single ply) all in the 132 lb (60kg) class
Which of the big 3 is your favorite and why?
The deadlift because squats scare the crap out of me since more things can go wrong during them and benching is not my best lift given my long arms and narrow grip-it is, however, my MOST IMPROVED lift
You have a nickname, "949 Ellen Stein", how did that come about?I historically always make smart attempt selections thanks to awesome coaching by Matt Gary (2009-2015) and Swede Burns (2015-present) however the name was fondly given to me by Matt when it became a regular occurrence-the fact that it rhymed certainly helped!
What is your greatest accomplishment in powerlifting?
Totaling over 1000lbs twice at 64 years old and now again at 65!
What gets you through the tough training sessions?
Lots of coffee, 12 hours of sleep daily, great training partners and the positive gym atmosphere where I currently train (Harbor Fitness). I also drink VITARGO which is a high carb fuel mixed in with a half dose of SSP pre-workout
What advice do you have for women getting into powerlifting?
Get a coach (not an online one either), stay away from PED's until you at least reach menopause and even then under a doctor's supervision! -follow a program for a LONG time-get a group of people to support you in the gym and even at meets -limit your time on social media
As all women know, as we get older our bodies change. How has your training changed to combat those changes? (i.e. frequency, mobility, rest, etc.)
I get more sleep now that I am retired so I recover really well. I train smarter now and don't push the envelope by maxing out constantly. I train in the 70-80% range until it comes time to peak. I only train 3 days a week with my volume being mostly in my assistance work
You've been around powerlifting for some time, how have you seen it change over the years.
Well, the most obvious change is that social media has had a tremendous influence on and presence in the sport. When I began all the info we were able to get was through the magazine Powerlifting USA. Also, the first meet I ever did there was 2 women competing (I came in 2nd place :( ) Now there are meets (think USAPL Raw Nationals ) that have sometimes 500 women competing in them. I think part of that has to do with the influence Crossfit has had on bringing back barbell training. Women are stronger than ever I think partly due to the availability of coaching and support from their peers and even the men in the sport. It is not unusual to see men supporting their women at meets and the men have accepted our strength and encourage us-we are not outliers anymore.