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Profile: Josie Penfold

This week Her Campus Leeds talks to their very own Editor-in-Chief Josie Penfold to find out what she’s been up to outside of Her Campus! It turns out, Josie has been spending a lot of time in the gym and on Friday, she recieved an email confirming her place in the YNEPF Powerlifting Spring Open which is taking place 5th Match! 

Tell us about Powerlifting and how you got invovlved? 

I’ve been lifting weights since 2013 but I never really thoroughly committed to it – my social life came first basically! But then this year the University of Leeds started a Powerlifting Society – I’ve written an article about that and spoken to the guy who sorted it previously! Anyway, I thought oh why not I’ll join and might meet people who can help me get better. Well it turns out they have! It’s a very different style of training from what I am used to. I used to train six times a week, splitting my muscle groups – basiically like how a bodybuilder would train. But with Powerlifting its just the three lifts: squats, bench, deadlift – so you only need to be training three to four times a week – depending on the program you’re on. It’s a lot less exercises – but they’re a lot more intense. The last few months have been some of my hardest gym sessions – EVER! But I’m loving it!

How do you feel about the competition?

Excited but nervous! This is my first comp and I don’t really know what to expect. I only got in yesterday so it’s all sort of last minute – I have like three weeks to prepare which is scary but luckily my coach is going to help me! Also, I know a few girls who are in my weight class and they are insanely strong – like I aspire to be like them – so I’m not going in there expecting to do all that well lol! BUT it’s just an experience, first time to get a feel of it all and hopefully there will be more to come when I’m a little more prepared and hopefully I’ll see myself improve. I think that’s one of the best things about powerlifting – you test your 1RMs and you see the progress you’ve made in however many months and it is really cool. So yeah, I am excited. I’m excited to see other people as well to be honest – like I said – the girls I know doing it are incredible so it will be amazing to see how they do and stuff. It’ll be a fun day and a nice break from Uni work – I’m looking forward to it. 

What’s your favourite lift?

BENCH! It was once squat when that was my strongest but to be hoenst my squat isn’t all that great these days. BUT my bench is really improving quickly so  I’m loving it at the moment. I think if the others improve soon it might change but it’s the one I feel the best about right now. I absolutely HATE deadlifts. They hurt and they’re hard and my back just isn’t strong and it’s awful lol. But again, if that improves I’m sure I’ll be giving it its praises. 

How do you balance training with HC and Uni?

Ahhh that is a struggle to be honest. But it’s possible – I think the key is organisation which I am still working on…! Its third year so there’s a lot of work but you’ve just got to get on with it. I found in the first few weeks I was just sat staring at my work and thinking about everything I had to do…you’ve jsut got to get on with it. As for training, it’s a nice release from all the stress to be honest.As the training is getting more intense the hours I spend in the gym are increasing. I used to do just a quick forty minute session but now I’m there for up to two hours, so I do have to facotr that into my day and plan my work around it. But it’s cool, like today I worked all day and then this evening I finished off with a gym session – cleared my mind and was good to escape the library and do something positive!

Josie will be writing up all her Powerlifting experiences so check out our page in the coming weeks to find out how she got on and what a Powerlifting Comp is all about!


Image: Josie Penfold’s own. 

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