Tweetwow. very impressive for 148lbs, thats for sure.
Tweet2006 APF Seniors - 1st Full Meet Back Since Her Reconstructive Knee Surgery 1 Year Ago:
SQ: 501 (EZ, and no suit)
BP: 407 (miss 446); All-Time WR @ 148
DL: 451 (reds on completed 473 for a hitch)
1360 Total at her 1st meet back from knee surgery.
Tweetwow. very impressive for 148lbs, thats for sure.
TweetKH- Kara Bohigian is one of the strongest women ever to grace our great
sport. Not only is she one of the strongest women ever, she could put
any male gym enthusiast to shame. I'm honored she has given me the
opportunity to interview her. So, without further adieu, let's get to
KH- Before we hit the really big issues, why don't you tell our
readers a bit about yourself?
KB- I was born and raised in New York and moved down south to attend
Georgia Tech where I earned my degree in Industrial and Systems
Engineering. During college I met weightlifting coach John Coffee who
trained me to compete nationally in Olympic lifting for 5 years before
I began powerlifting. I'm engaged to Ryan Kennelly who is pretty good
at bench pressing. I have a miniature dachshund named Stella who is
the most clever and mischievous wiener dog in the world!
KH- As one of the most formidable forces in female powerlifting, you
must have a nice collection of records. Care to give use a brief list
on the history you've left throughout your powerlifting career thus
KB- Most recently I broke the all-time 165 pound bench record by
hitting 431, 435, 446 and 451 at a body weight of 154. I also broke
the 148 record with 402. I held the squat record of 553 and total
record of 1422 at 148 for a number of years. My deadlift has been
stuck at 501 since 2002.
KH- To get as strong as you are, I'm guessing you found "what works
for you". Do you use a well known training style, or did you make it
up yourself? Do you mind shedding some light on how you train to get
those lifts so high? Reading through your journal, it says you train
in many different shirts per workout. Why is this?
KB- My training is radically different than any well known styles. I've
fused together what I feel are the most valuable exercises from
various strength sports, schools of thought, and eras in lifting. I'm
constantly learning and revising my programs. For squat and deadlift
I do predominantly Olympic lifting training with added technical days
to adapt to the powerlifting equipment. My bench press training is
even more unorthodox. My main strength exercise is the strict
standing overhead press. I also do a lot of high volume wide grip raw
benching. My equipped training is almost exclusively full range reps
Thanks to Vincent Dizenzo sharing the wisdom of Sebastian Burns and
Bill Crawford, I no longer wear multiple bench shirts. I have just
one perfect shirt and I have learned to use it well. Training
consistently in the same shirt has been one of the most instrumental
factors in my recent bench PRs.
KH- In a sport consisting of more men then women, was it difficult
getting started? I know there had to be at least a few guys getting
really jealous as your bench overtook theirs. I'm sorry, but you knew
questions like this were inevitable right? Haha
KB- I began competing in gymnastics and track and field at a young
age so I'm very comfortable in an athletic environment. I started
bench pressing to increase my shot put when I was 15 and clearly
remember being the only girl on the team who loved lifting. I've been
very lucky that all the guys I've been around have thought it was cool
that I like to lift heavy and have been extremely encouraging.
KH- Can you give us a sample of a day-to-day diet?
KB- My nutrition varies greatly depending on my goals. I really enjoy
manipulating my diet. I've competed everywhere from 127 to 183. When
I'm trying to make a very low weight class or cut up for a photo
shoot, etc. I respond extremely well to high protein, high fat, low
carbohydrates. To plump up I go very high carbohydrate and slowly
increase my gluttony level until I'm at a satisfactory level of fast
food, ice cream and snack cakes. Though it's fun to indulge I always
feel much better, stronger, and have more energy when I eat fairly
clean and balanced along these lines:
Meal 1 - Zone or Balance Bar
Meal 2 - Brown Rice and Vital Choice Alaskan sockeye salmon or albacore
Meal 3 - Muscle Milk Shake
Meal 4 - Ground Bison with a whole avocado and french fries...just
Meal 5 - Ice cream or similar indulgence...more honesty
Meal 6 - Chicken, Turkey or Beef with broccoli
Meal 7 - Cashews, almonds, or pistachios with cheese
Meal 8 - Vital Choice strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
KH- Every interview consists of a question asked by our readers.
UK_machine asks; What's most important in your life, lifting, work,
family any other hobbies?
KB- Work is mandatory so I try to make it as interesting and engaging as
possible. But my family and my lifting are the two things I treasure
the most in my life. My sister is a tall, sleek diva who weighs about
2 pounds and can make you laugh 'till tears run down your face. My
father is extremely muscular, vascular and strong...a true mesomorph.
He was an incredible track and field athlete, football player, and
coach so he really understands my training and contributes ideas. I'm
so fortunate that my parents genuinely enjoy and support my lifting.
Many female lifters have told me that their parents are disgusted
with their muscularity and cringe at the thought of them wanting to
lift heavy. I always knew my parents didn't feel that way, but my
recent visit to New York really showed me just how much. We had a 60
person party for my Dad's birthday with family, friends, and
colleagues...a classy, white collar crowd. And then there's me. 2
weeks out from nationals, 5'2" weighing close to 160 pounds...most of
which seems to be located in my triceps. You'd think that my super
adorable skinny blond mom (who's perfect, beautiful, and looks about
my age) would want to lock me in the basement or at least make me wear
long sleeves, but she insisted I wear a t-shirt and showed my arms off
to all her guests as if the near 16" of flesh covered in bench shirt
scars was just divine! I'd think she would be revolted but instead
she taps my arm and says "look at that...no flab!" Lol. And wouldn't
you know it...by the time she was done introducing me to everyone and
telling them about my lifting they all thought my muscles were "cute"
and she had them sold on how everyone needs to do weight bearing
exercise to prevent osteoporosis!
Beside going off on long, random tangents (see above) my other hobbies
include reading vintage lifting magazines, assembling
and playing with computers and gadgets, fashion, shopping, sewing,
messaging (more of an addiction than a hobby) and long walks with
KH- You had surgery on you ACL recently. Can you tell our readers a
little about this? How/why it happened, rehab, and maybe some tips on
how to prevent something like this from occurring (if that's
KB- I don't like to tell the story because it was a catastrophe that
never should have occurred and could have so easily been avoided. But
I do have a tip on preventing it (and other injuries) from happening
to you...make sure your spotters are paying attention. However had
the knee injury not occurred I would have never been forced to focus
on just my bench and may never have hit 400, no less 451. At least
that dark cloud came with one hell of a silver lining!
KH- What does the future hold for Kara Bohigian? Gonna take Gene's
record? I think that might be the one thing that could take him to raw
KB- I hope my future holds 1/2 of Gene's record and that I can make it
look as rock solid as he did. Like Gene's 1005, I want to creep up on
a 500+ bench slow, steady and injury free. I won't even attempt it
until I've nailed 473, 485, etc. which is far easier said than done.
My current goal is to repeat my 451 at 148 (triple body weight) in a
My wish list also includes deadlifting anything over the 501 I've been
stuck at since 2002 however I realize this means I might actually have
to train the lift. Come to think of it I haven't exceeded my 553
squat since 2003...wow I have work to do! Most of all I'd like to get
my knee rehabbed to 100%
KH- Any last words? People you want to thank, products you want to
push, last minute advice, anything?
KB- Glad you asked because I really need to thank Brandon at Inzer
Advance Designs. He made the Rage X fit my body so perfectly that it
doesn't even look like I'm wearing a bench shirt to average viewers.
I'm not usually a product pusher but there are a few that are so
beneficial that I must share:
Vital Choice - this company offers the most delicious fresh and canned
wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, white albacore tuna and other fish,
salmon oil supplements as well as organic berries, dark chocolate, and
many other products. I eat their fish and take their supplements
daily and have noticed a dramatic difference in my joints, skin, hair,
and overall health. And being able to carry a nutritious high protein
meal anywhere with no cooking involved is invaluable when you're busy,
traveling or just want something that tastes great fast!
The Anabolic Fitness Store - Talk about cutting edge products! I
haven't even tried half of what they offer but what I have used has
been downright fierce. Sesapure is a very unique non-stimulatory fat
loss aid that also helps with cholesterol levels among other health
benefits. Throw in their Thermorexin and I lose fat while eating ice
cream...see why I love this company? Glucorell R is another fat loss
gem and quite effective for carb loading after you make weight at a
At Large Nutrition - I very strongly recommend ETS from At Large.
I've been absolutely blown away by the results of this product. I
began taking it in hopes of increasing my knee rehabilitation
frequency and it far surpassed any of my expectations. I keep
increasing my training volume, duration, and intensity without a
single sign of overtraining which has always plagued me in the past.
I also managed to do 4 bench meets (one push/pull) in 28 days hitting
8 PRs, 6 all-time records, and 10 benches over 400. I just never got
House of Pain - Every time I think their clothes are the coolest ever
they out do themselves! Their new women's line is totally hot,
sporty, chic, and flattering. I live in HOP gear!
I'd like to thank my parents for having me and giving me strong
lifter genetics and leverages. John Inzer and Peter Thorne for the
very best equipment with the very best service. My Olympic
weightlifting coach John Coffee for spawning my lifting career and
supporting me whether the weights go over-head or not. Ryan Kennelly
for thinking I can lift anything and being ecstatic when I do. Jon
Grove, Mike Lanier, Steve Goggins, Jay Rhyne, Carol-Ann and Bobby
Meyers, Ben Garner and all the rest of my training partners at NGBB.
Eric Adolph for being a great friend and my virtual training partner.
And thank you Keenan for the opportunity to do this interview
My last word and best advice is to enjoy every minute of your
lifting...good or bad. Cherish your strength and physical ability.
10, 20, 30 years from now you'd give anything to be the age you are
KH- Thank you so much for your time. I think I speak for all our
readers when I say I hope you have a quick and successful recovery,
and can look forward to seeing you go very far in this sport! Thank
Tweetdamn, she's ffffffffiiiiineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~!!!!!!!!!!!!
TweetShe could kick my ass anyday.