Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An Interview with Allison Bradshaw, Female Powerlifter

You may be familiar with The World’s Strongest Man competition, and you may have even seen heavy weightlifters on TV, performing unthinkable challenges of lifting extremely heavy objects. Their strength is jaw dropping, and their lifting success proves that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to…even if it involves lifting hundreds of pounds!

Men aren’t the only ones that can tackle heavy lifting, however, and Allison Bradshaw proves that when it comes to lifting with power, women rule! Allison is a nationally ranked in Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, and Track and Field. By day, she is Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Hofstra University, on evenings and weekends she is a personal trainer, and with the rest of her time, she competes in powerlifting and strongwoman competitions.

With such a grueling schedule dedicated to fitness, how does Allison recover and stay in her best shape? We had the chance to ask Allison ourselves, and here is what she told us!

Cheribundi: Allison, how long have you been powerlifting?

Allison: I currently compete in Strongwoman competitions (tire flipping, atlas stones, farmers walk, and other events where you lift odd shaped objects or run with heavy things) where I recently placed 6th in the USA, but I have also competed in Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting competitions, which I have also been ranked nationally.

Cheribundi: How did you get into it?

Allison: I started competing in strength sports as a division I shot putter, where I also was introduced to strength and conditioning. Then after graduating I started competing in Olympic weightlifting, then was talked into doing some powerlifting and then into Strongwoman competitions a year and a half ago when I was working at the University of Florida as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. I have been training and lifting hard for the past 9 years. 

Cheribundi: Do you follow a special diet for energy/muscle recovery?

Allison: Right now I do not follow a special diet for energy or muscle recovery, that's the reason I drink Tart Cherry Juice every day. I find that it is one of the best products out there for muscle recovery and also helps me sleep better which is a big factor in muscle recovery. 

Cheribundi: How/when did you begin drinking tart cherry juice? How did you learn about it?

Allison: I first learned about tart cherry juice while working at the University of Florida and all of our athletes would drink it part of their recovery, so I also started to drink it and noticed that my recovery was a lot better between workouts.

Cheribundi: What is your experience drinking cheribundi? Do you notice an improvement in muscle recovery?

Allison: When I am training hard cheribundi really helps me recover and be ready for my next workout. If I forget to take it for a couple of days I can tell the difference in the quality of my workouts. I also use cheribundi when I am competing in Strongwoman competitions, since  they normally last 4-6 hours. I'll drink half a bottle between events to prevent cramping and to keep my energy high. Often times there is only 30 minutes between events, so it is the perfect drink to keep me from getting too depleted during a long day of maximum effort events.

Cheribundi:  Would you recommend cheribundi to other powerlifters or athletes?

Allison: I would definitely recommend cheribundi to other athletes. It is perfect for athletes who compete multiple times a day in strength sports and also for endurance athletes. I recently completed in the Tough Mudder New England, a 10 mile run/mountain climb with 26 obstacles in between, and after I was done I drank 2 cheribundis and then another a couple hours later. I think the reason I did not feel as sore as I should have been was because of the cheribundi.

Cheribundi: What advice do you give to aspiring powerlifters?

Allison: My advice is to train hard and get with a group of other aspiring athletes in your sport to train with. The sky is the limit, so if you want to be a world champion start working towards it!! 

To watch Allison in action, check out some of her videos!

Tire Lifting
250 Lb. Hang Clean 

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