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About six months ago, I found an interesting Instagram account called @Prettystrongbec. I love finding accounts that demonstrate strong, athletic, big girls that boldly defy fitness stereotypes. Becci Holcomb definitely crushes those stereotypes. I reached out to her and we became fast Internet friends. So without further a do, let me introduce you to this issue’s game-changing Athlete’s Corner.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Becci Holcomb. I’m 29 years old and I’m from Marietta, Georgia. I’m a USA Powerlifter and a member of the International Powerlifting Federation (USAPL/IPF). I’ve been participating in the sport for three years now.
What is the difference between powerlifting and Olympic weight lifting?
Powerlifting differs from weightlifting because of the movements. Weightlifting consists of the clean and jerk, and the snatch. Powerlifting is squat, bench press and deadlift.
Tell us about how you got into powerlifting?
I got into powerlifting when I moved to Georgia for school. I wanted to do something fun and active. Powerlifting seemed to offer just that. I saw a flyer at school for the powerlifting club and it got me interested. From there, I met a girl in my class who was on the team and she set me up with an introduction. You finished 1st place at the USAPL!
Tell us more about this competition and how it felt to come up first!
I have a USAPL retired deadlift American record of 501 pounds (lbs). I have also competed at USAPL Equipped Nationals (equipped lifting allows the use of knee wraps, supportive squat suit, bench shirt and/or a deadlift suit). I competed single-ply, which means there was only one layer of supportive material, whereas multi-ply has multiple layers that can add hundreds of pound to your lifts. I placed 2nd and was a World Team alternate (if two people couldn’t make it, I would be a part of the World Team). I hold all USA Powerlifting-Georgia State Equipped records and all Raw records (Raw is lifting without supportive suits, shirts or knee wraps) aside from the bench-press.
How has powerlifting changed your life?
Competing in powerlifting is one of the most exciting things I have ever done. It’s an adrenaline rush to lift heavy weights in front of a cheering crowd. My long-term goal is to be a part of the World Team. To me, it’s the Olympics of Powerlifting (powerlifting is not yet an Olympic sport). When I started powerlifting, I had no idea I would do so well or love it so much. Powerlifting has changed my life for the better.
How does participating in this sport make you feel about your body?
When I started lifting, I hated just about everything about my body. Growing up my mom told me to cover up because no one should see my fat. This caused me to have so many body image issues. I couldn’t wear tank tops; swimming suits or shorts without overwhelming anxiety. Powerlifting has taught me to love my body, every lump, stretch mark and roll. This body can do amazing things and is capable of so much. I now wear tank tops, swimsuits and short funky spandex shorts with pride!
You recently had a video of yourself go viral on Instagram, what was the response?
That’s right; my bench press video has been viewed over 6 million times! Instagram featured it on their feed under the “bodybuilding” videos. It’s been shocking to receive so much attention. I’ve received a lot of positive and negative feedback. The “trolls” made a lot of hurtful comments but it hasn’t brought me down. I’m glad that people everywhere can see that anyone is capable of working out and bettering themselves.
What do you want to say to women who may not yet have the confidence to follow their dreams?
I want women to know that their bodies are perfect and beautiful!
For more inspiration from Becci you can follow her at:
By Louise Green