A note from GGS Co-Founder Alli McKee: Recently, I attended a Powerlifting meet to support a great friend and colleague. While I was there, I loved seeing just as many women participating in the meet as there were men. I was able to catch the deadlift portion for the women and all were impressive! There was one young lady in particular who captured my attention, and I instantly became a fan. In the moments of her first lift, I couldn't help but tweet about her results.
After watching her perform her three lifts (and break an American record!), I scouted the area to see if I could connect with her mom and ask permission to spotlight this young gal. When her mom told me this was her daughter's first meet, I was even more excited. I have a big space in my heart for young weightlifters as I too started lifting when I was just 15. We especially love seeing young women doing strong things, and this young lady has a bright and strong future ahead of her.
Name: Kendall Luz
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
It is such an honor to be a “Girl Gone Strong.” I absolutely love the idea of educating and inspiring women of all ages to strengthen their mind and body.
How long have you been involved in gymnastics?
I have been involved in gymnastics for five years now.
Do you play any additional sports?
I play soccer and all-star competitive cheerleading, as well.
How long have you been strength training and how did you get involved?
I was first introduced to strength training at a local gym with my Dad. I would go to the gym with him every so often, and eventually my Mom introduced me to training at Crossfit Diesel where she trains. I love working out there when I am able to (because of my busy schedule). After seeing some of my strength lifts, my Mom’s coach (Evan) informed me about a powerlifting competition being held at the gym and asked if I was interested. Sure enough, I loved it and had a blast! I am ready for the next one.
How have you found strength training to help you in other sports?
Strength training is so helpful with my sports. Being mentally and physically strong is a huge factor, not only in sports, but in life. The strength training transfers over to power in my jumps and tumbling in cheerleading. In soccer, I feel that the strength gives me more speed and endurance.
Back squat is by far my favorite lift.
Most memorable PR:
In my high school they recommend students to take a weights class. Luckily, I signed up and my teacher knows how involved I am with strength training, so he pushes me extremely hard. One morning we were doing squats and I was able to squat my heaviest squat: 205 pounds!
Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:
I must have my Camelback water bottle, Ipod or some type of music device, and tape.
Favorite post training meal:
I don’t necessarily have a post training meal I prefer, but after every workout I drink a delicious protein shake.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.
Last year I read a book called The Compound, and it was so interesting I could never put it down.
What inspires and motivates you?
My parents motivate me and inspire me to perform 110 percent with whatever I am doing. I have never seen either of my parents give up, and I strive to be just like them, now and when I am older.
What’s one of the best pieces of advice you’ve been given? And from whom?
Right before my first lift at my first powerlifting competition, my mom and coach Susan both told me not to stress out and to just have fun out there, and I ended up breaking 4 American National records!
(Kendall's lifts were a 198.4 lbs. squat, a 126.8 lbs. bench and a 237 lbs. deadlift, for a total weight of 562.2 lbs!)
What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from strength training?
Being stronger than most of the boys in my weight class is pretty awesome!
Next training goal:
I would like to increase my squat by at least 10 pounds within the next month, which I feel I am extremely capable of doing.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Ambitious, innovative, and dedicated.
What do you want to say to other young women who might be interested yet nervous to start lifting?
Being strong is beautiful. Everyone gets nervous every once in a while, but you will feel so amazing walking around in a body that reflects all your hard work and all your strength.