For someone whose tryst with powerlifting started just two years ago, Yasmin Bhadha has set new records for New Zealand.
The 18-year-old picked up Gold at the National Powerlifting Championships 2022 and went on to set a new record for deadlift at 177kg. After proving there is strength in numbers, the former St Kent’s student soon after won three Golds and one Silver for under 69kgs at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships hosted by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). Not only did the Whitford resident grab the Gold in her weight class but also took out the prestigious overall best sub-junior title across all weights category and set new Commonwealth records along the way!
Biggest high… breaking records at Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships held in Auckland, particularly the deadlift record. The feeling of being on stage, doing something you love, surrounded by a stadium full of people screaming ‘UP’ at the top of their lungs, is indescribable!
Biggest challenge… focusing on all aspects of prep for the Commonwealth Championships. Apart from going to the gym and lifting weights, I had to focus on recovery (such as nutrition, sleep, etc). The standard of this competition was a lot higher than I’d experienced.
Most proud of… Being very disciplined during my prep and giving up on lots of little privileges. Every time things got tough, I reminded myself that I was working towards a bigger goal and the gratification of achieving that goal would be so much bigger than anything else.
My secret to handling nerves on day of competition… nerves on comp day are bound to happen. It just means you care about the competition. Every time I felt nervous, I would focus on my breath, counting the inhale and making sure the exhale was one count longer. It allowed me to feel more in control.
When I’m not powerlifting… I enjoy spending time with my mates. I love reading, particularly books which expand and elevate your mindset/ outlook on life. Photography has always been a passion of mine, I’ve even had the opportunity to be the official photographer at a couple of novice APA Powerlifting Comps. I also play other sports such as netball and cricket. Have been playing team sport since I was a kid and believe it teaches you so much.
My tryst with powerlifting began… in January 2021, when I first stepped foot in the gym and had absolutely no clue what I was doing. Over the year I gained an understanding of training in the gym and nutrition. A year later, I was keen to work towards a goal in the gym and reached out to one of the trainers at the gym who did powerlifting/ strength training coaching. He started me up on a structured programme and decided we should compete in the ‘Auckland Champs’ competition which was just two months away.
Winning three golds and one silver at the IPF Commonwealth Championships 2022 for under 69kgs felt… Amazing! It was a great feeling. It proved that all the hard work and extra effort you put into a goal, always pays off.
Best advice received from my coach… being mentally tough is just as important as physical fitness. My coach Denzil Hogan says you can have all the physical strength in the world but if you choke and can’t execute, then it counts for nothing.
My happy place… would definitely be the gym, particular the powerlifting gym ‘Get Strength’ where I almost did my entire prep. The supportive and uplifting environment was extremely motivating and made me push myself harder.
Difference between powerlifting and weightlifting… there’s a common confusion between powerlifting and weightlifting. Powerlifting competitions consist of only squat, bench and deadlift. Whereas weightlifting consists of snatch, hang clean, push press, and clean and jerk. Also, weightlifting is included in the Olympics, whereas powerlifting is not.
Mantra for success… everyone must choose between one of two pains in life: the pain of discipline or the rain of regret.
Next big goal… to compete at the Junior IPF Worlds 2023. I hope to place in this competition and set more records.