Women & Sports: Kim Stevenson Farmakis, Powerlifter
Kim Stevenson Farmakis is a female powerlifter who represents Australia at an international level. She wants to show that anyone can take up a strength sport and still be feminine. (Amen!)
Powerlifting is a sport that is steadily growing in popularity. How long have you been powerlifting for and what kind of advantages do you see for women in your sport?
I have been competing since 2013 and internationally since 2014
Powerlifting is a fantastic sport to learn about your inner strength as well as your physical strength. There are so many lessons that can be drawn as parallels from training the body in a strength sport to the mindset growth along the way. You learn how to fail faster, how to get back under the bar (or life) when knocked down. You stand up for yourself both physiologically and in the boardroom. You learn that practice makes mastery. These and many of the tools gain from training at that insinsity will equip you for life.
What does a typical competition day look like and how do you train for competition?
Comp prep is the exciting part of the journey where I get to showcase all the hard work that I have put into training. It starts typically 5 weeks out from comp where the weight becomes heavier and the reps become less finishing at 90% of my max for 1 rep. The week before comp I practice the first lifts (openers) that I will do on the day in my onesie which is an all-in-one piece of lycra that allows the judges to see my body move and ensure that I have depth or lock out all my movements. It is part psychological, as it tells my brain it is comp week and it is time to get serious.
Those weeks leading into comp I really focus on self care, having massages, having a float in a magnesium rich float tank and nailing my nutrition to ensure that my body is well fuelled. The day before comp I centre myself at the beach or near a body of water, spending that time in prayer and meditation. For me, I need to be in a calm state before comp as I am usually an excitable person. On comp day weigh-in is first up and at an international meet that is 2 hours before comp starts. I must weigh 63kg or under to be in my weight class. Then it is breakfast time of banana, dried mango, Evolve WPI protein shake, coconut water. Carbs and protein to be completely fuelled. 45 min before comp starts I warm up by doing activation drills and mobility followed by 5 warm up sets.
What don’t you love about training, how do overcome this?
Sometimes the fatigue is exhausting which means I need to pull back from my business Transformations By Kim and just do the basics which is looking after my clients. By understanding that this is just a moment in time and removing the guilt of just focusing on what needs to be done allows for peace in my soul.
How would you recommend someone get involved in powerlifting if they were a complete novice?
Definitely find a good coach. I wanted the best coach in Canberra and knew that was Joe Matthews. It took a fair bit of hunting to find him as he doesn’t have social media but eventually I found him and the results show for themselves.
What you don’t know, you don’t know. If you are training with poor form you are just making that movement pattern stronger and it is so much harder to break once it is ingrained - I see it all the time in my clients and we have to work so hard to re-correct it. Bad habits die hard.
Find a comp that you are comfortable with. Some novice comps are all female, some you can do in your everyday gym clothes. Some people choose never to get on the platform and just test their 1 rep max every 6 weeks. Some people go all in and do a sanctioned APU comp on their first meet. Whichever journey you choose, you will gain immense knowledge about yourself and become a stronger person mentally and physically.
If you would like to follow Kim's journey on instagram, she can be found here or via facebook
Readers of this blog also receive a 25% Discount from now until Dec 5th: copy & paste discount code: Powerliftwithkim into your shopping trolly!