Interview With Powerlifter Natalie Freed As told to Powerlifting USA by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
Natalie Freed holds many world records. She holds world records in the WABDL, USPF and in USAPL. She has 4 American Raw records in the USAPL. She has 6 National World Records (2 in the bench, squat and deadlift,) and she has 14 PA state records. She has so many records that it would take too long to write them all here. So let's skip the accolades and meet this dominate powerlifter! Powerlifting USA brings you, The Natalie Freed.
CB: Natalie, tell us about yourself.
Natalie: I'm Natalie (Natty) Freed, a 25 year old powerlifter from Pittsburgh PA. I went to school at Carnegie Mellon and right now I'm the Director of Web Content and Marketing for SupplementCentral.com here in Pittsburgh.
CB: That's pretty cool that you set so many records while you were a full time student. Where do you compete and what are your best lifts?
Natalie: I've competed all over the country (PA, OH, VA, FL, CA, TN) in three different federations – WABDL, USPF and now USAPL. My best lifts in competition are (in pounds): Raw - 209 squat, 165 bench, and 314 deadlift. Single ply – 300 squat, 203 bench, and 352 deadlift at 123lbs.
CB: Great numbers, Natalie! Tell us about some of your most memorable moments in powerlifting so far.
Natalie: Great moment - I set 2 world records at the 2007 WABDL World Championships (even after I puked all night!)
Hardcore moment – Completing my third attempt 352 lb deadlift at the 2010 Night of the Living Dead deadlift meet after I hit a sticking point
Funny moment – Walking out on stage to lift with somebody yelling "I love you!" over and over!
Moment that changed me – Realizing that my deadlift at my very first meet was a world record! That was when I knew I would be powerlifting for a while.
CB: Natalie, let's talk about your first meet for a minute. What was it like when you found out you set a world record?
Natalie: Hhahaha, I know! It was awesome! It was the first record that I set and I was a jr. I just went out and the meet director goes, "it's a world record!" I was just totally shocked. After that moment, I knew I was going to make powerlifting a passion..
CB: Very cool! You also got to compete at the Arnold Classic, a powerlifters dream. What was that like?
Natalie: I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun. I liked how there were a lot of people watching.
CB: Natalie, tell us five things that you love about being a powerlifter.
Natalie: 1. I love staying healthy & fit, 2. The great people I have a chance to meet & lift with, 3. The personal challenge, 4. When all my time & hard work pays off at a meet, 5. Lifting heavy weights!
CB: Tell us about your training routine.
Natalie: I train 3 days a week plus cardio. Usually I split up the days with attention to each of the 3 powerlifts and any accessory work.
CB: Where do you currently train?
Natalie: Right now I train at Umberger Performance (and sometimes LA Fitness) in Pittsburgh PA. The atmosphere is great – Scott & everyone else are pretty no-nonsense about working out, but still friendly and helpful. I feel comfortable doing what I need to do. The facility has all the equipment I need plus fun stuff like flipping tires!
CB: Great stuff! Give us your top 5 tips for a bigger bench, squat, and deadlift.
Natalie: 1. Train hard & put the time in – there aren't any shortcuts, 2. Eat right, 3. Pay attention to good technique as well as repetition, 4. Something really important to me anyway- core strength, 5. Don't set boundaries for yourself.
CB: What are your future goals?
Natalie: I'd like to go back to Carnegie Mellon for a Masters in Professional Writing at some point. As far as lifting, my next meet will be the 2011 Arnold Raw Challenge. Long term, I wouldn't mind getting into more writing and maybe some food photography!
CB: Speaking of the future, how do you see the future of powerlifting?
Natalie: I'm hoping that powerlifting can get past some of the politics that seem to be breaking it up right now. It will have a better future if everything can become more unified and standardized.
CB: When it comes to powerlifting, what fires Natalie up?
Natalie: I'm ready to go when I feel strong & have friends cheering me on – plus some good old death metal never hurts - I love lifting to some Lamb of God, Devildriver, Black Label Society..
CB: What makes Natalie happy?
Natalie: Riding horses, good food, Brian Yeager, reading, real country music (Waylon, Kristofferson, you get the idea), watching thunderstorms, the way you feel when you just finished a super hard workout, owls, shooting at the range, peanut butter, my family, sunny days, my funny toe shoes, photography.. lots of things, I'm easy to please.
CB: Tell us something random that you have never shared with the public before.
Natalie: I love scary movies & hold conversations with a Michael Myers mask that I keep in the living room.
CB: Natalie, you are everything powerlifting and then some! What is your advice for strong people who want to be super strong?
Natalie: Don't cheat yourself by trying to take any shortcuts – if you want it, commit yourself and work hard, no excuses. And believe you can- don't ever limit yourself in your own mind.
CB: When you're using a shirt, what shirt do you use?
Natalie: I actually haven't lifted with a shirt in a while, but I have a
Titan F6. It works with my arch pretty well & I'm happy with it.
CB: What does your family think of your powerlifting?
Natalie: My family is always supportive of me, but none of them are lifters so they don't really understand everything I do for it. They're still cheering me on though! My mom worries that it's not really a feminine sport, but most people love that I'm a female powerlifter & it hasn't bothered me at all.
CB: How do you want to be remembered?
Natalie: I'd want to be remembered first as a good, honest person. Also, for coming back from a major physical setback to be the best powerlifter I can be.
CB: You have met a lot of people in Powerlifting. What do you think of the people in powerlifting?
Natalie: Most people I've met through powerlifting are really genuine and friendly. I love how other lifters and coaches at meets go out of their way to help each other instead of being so competitive that they take the fun out of the sport.
CB: If you could be any kind of animal what kind of animal would you be?
Natalie: I'd definitely go for an owl.
CB: What do you like doing away from powerlifting?
Natalie: Right now I don't have too much free time, but when I do - reading, target shooting, and hanging out with my boyfriend. I also enjoy photography and would really like to get into a little food writing.
CB: Natalie, you're a powerlifting champ with a complete life. It has been great talking to you. The powerlifting world wishes you the best with everything. In closing is there anything you would like to say or anyone who you would like to thank?
Natalie: I'd like to thank Ben Tatar, CriticalBench.com, PLUSA, Supplement Central, Umberger Performance, Optimum Nutrition, Titan's Ken Anderson, and APT Pro Wraps.