Interview With Powerlifter Kara Bohigian by Ben Tatar
1) Critical Bench: what got you started in the bench press and what motivated you to become
the most extreme barbie doll that has ever lived?
Kara: Long before I had aspirations of donning a rigid exoskeleton that leaves vicious bruises and smushes your boobs (aka the bench shirt) I was a very bored student at Georgia Tech. In an attempt to do anything but study I discovered weight lifting and quickly grew infatuated with the bench press.
Ya know I've never been very impressed with Barbie...she's skinny-fat and seems kinda frigid. An alternative to this vapid creature was long overdue.
2) Critical Bench: Tell everybody about your best bench, squat, and deadlift and how did you train to
achieve those INSANE maxes?
Kara: My best lifts are: Squat- 553 in competition - 606 in training one week before my knee injury :(
Bench- 385 in a full powerlifting meet - 405 in training and hope to make it official in a bench meet soon.
Deadlift- 501 in competition. I never deadlift until the warm up room at a meet.
I have a very unconventional training regimen but it's garnered favorable results thus far. I train as an Olympic lifter which involves completely raw, rock bottom front and back squats, power clean & jerks, snatches, clean pulls and snatch high pulls. Throw on a squat suit a few weeks out and I'm all set. For bench I use a Metal Militia/Kennelly hybrid which is kicking serious ass for me at the moment!
I strongly recommend integrating some Olympic movements into any routine. Not necessarily the full lifts even , but explosive high pulls and high bar, ass to floor squats can really make a difference.
3) Critical Bench: Kara, what's next?
Kara: I would like to get my knee back to 110% and kill some all time records in multiple weight classes. In the mean time, I will be going after bench press records.
4) Critical Bench: Kara tell us about the 5 powerlifting moments that have rocked planet Kara the most! You have reached new pinnacles of doll hood, but along the way, what experiences have been your top 5 favorite moments thus far?
Kara: 1- Stepping on stage at the WPO Arnold Classic bench bash in front of 20,000 people. I'd rather bomb out there than lift at any meet in the world!
2 - Breaking the all-time records in the squat, bench, and total at the WPO Show of Strength.
3 - Winning the national championships in the APF and USAPL, both with 8 for 9 performances and tough competition.
4 - Being invited to guest lift in the WPO. I consider this a huge honor.
5 - Walking through the door at North Georgia Barbell and knowing I'm part of one of the most elite, thriving, ambitious teams in existence.
5) Critical Bench: Give us 5 crazy and extreme experiences that you have had in the intense and barbaric world of powerlifting?
Kara: 1 - Two weeks out from the 2005 APF senior nationals I had a bizarre freak accident and completely ruptured my ACL, tore my meniscus, and fractured my knee cap. I benched the morning before surgery and was back in the gym 5 days later. My leg was in a hip to ankle immobilizer cast and I had to crutch to the bench but I still put up 360 plus 40 pounds of chain for a triple pretty smooth :)
2 - I had the luxury of IFBB pro bodybuilder Annie Rivieccio as my workout partner for an entire training cycle. She is so insanely strong and was constantly smokin' me and setting the pace despite having never trained as a powerlifter. That was the best, most intense training cycle I've ever known.
3 - Smacking the sh** out of Ryan Kennelly at the 2005 Arnold Classic and having to wipe the blood off his face with my wrist wrap.
4 - I was the designated knee wrapper for Steve Goggins at the 2003 Arnold Classic where he squatted 1102. The entire weekend my hands were under strict surveillance, being guarded for dear life.
5 - This was in Olympic lifting but too crazy and extreme to omit. In about an 18 month period I competed nationally in 5 different weight classes...183, 165, 152, 138, and 128 pounds all with 2 hour weigh-in's.
6) Critical Bench: Well, Kara, You're not just beautiful but also a wonder of the world! You set my 7 chakra's on fire! So tell us, what is your message to all the other girls so they can be hardcore and wild bench press barbies too?
Why thank you :) I love your personality, I'm on the floor laughing : ). Anyway, Many people believe that a muscular physique and heavy lifting is the antithesis of femininity. Pity them, for they will never know the joys of our allegedly incongruous behavior. Or that weights are instrumental in everything from self-confidence to preventing osteoporosis to having a nice ass. If you're skeptical about lifting just remember it's easy to achieve homeostasis by cooking a delicious meal after an aggressive workout or applying a touch of lip gloss in between sets.
7) Critical Bench: Thanks Kara, you have set the standard for all the other barbies around the world! What you have done is amazing, in conclusion who would you like to thank?
If not for Inzer Advance Designs my lifts would suck so bad I wouldn't have been asked to do this interview or get to eat delicious wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from Vital Choice Seafood. The Anabolic Fitness Store's cutting edge supplements keep me healthy and in my weight class so I can wear all the rockin' new clothes from House of Pain Ironwear. Check out the controversial topics forum at NGBB.net. You'll never be the same.
Critical Bench: Thanks Kara, it's been an honor talking to one of the strongest female powerlifters on the planet!- Ben Tatar