Vegan powerlifter Ali Crowdus hit impressive form at a recent exclusive meet at the legendary Westside Barbell in Ohio.
The gym describes itself as 'an invitation only training laboratory where only the strongest of mind and body survive'. Its goal is to 'become the best and push every boundary known to man in doing so'.
"The lineage and achievements of all Westside Barbell athletes who have walked through our chalky doors is of legends," the organization says. "Our gym has broke over 140 world records, won olympic gold, heavyweight world championships, to name but a few of our achievements.
"This gym not for the timid nor is it for those seeking fame. You must earn your membership through blood, sweat and other peoples tears. You are held accountable for every word that you say and at any time you must be willing to back it up verbally or physically."
Being invited in to lift is an achievement in itself.
Crowdus, who recently had shoulder surgery, started with squat. "I was mentally confident, which is huge for me," she said. "I opened with 520 lb, took 550 for 2nd and ended with 570 [259kg] for a 50lb meet PR."
She describes Bench as 'my nemesis', although it's worth remembering she's the 10th woman in the world to have benched 500 lb (read more here). However, this was before shoulder surgery.
She did hit a few issues which gave her two failed lifts before a successful lift at 460 lb [209kg]. "This was a big one for me - first successful bench in a meet since my shoulder surgeries. Still very far off from the weight I should be benching, but it's a start,” she said.
Her deadlift went well. "I opened at 455, took 475 as a second and 505lb [229 kg] as a third. My first 500+ deadlift!"
Lifters have done well to set foot in the gym, although there is a further goal. The Chalkboard, which is on permanent display, records all-time records for the gym, for each category.
Crowdus' lifts got her onto the board no less than three times – with her Bench, Deadlift, and Total.
"Overall I'm extremely happy with today. I earned three spots on the Westside board, broke some mental barriers, and executed the plan as intended," she said.
She's also provided yet another example of a vegan woman powerlifter capable of amazing things.
Crowdus has been vegan since 2012, making the change to continue weight loss and improve overall health.
"Over the course of a month, I filtered all of the animal products out of my diet and quickly noticed positive changes in my body and mind, improved recovery time with my training, a better awareness of food and flavors," she told Great Vegan Athletes.
Great Vegan Athletes was set up to celebrate the incredible achievements of elite vegan athletes, and highlight that a vegan diet is in no way a hindrance to athletic excellence. The writers profile more than 100 top level athletes - including world champions and world record holders across a range of sports, as well as spreading news of their success. The site can be found at www.greatveganathletes.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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