Lissa Braverman

October 2010 - Lissa Braverman

1. Where are you located in Georgia and where do you train at?

I live in Duluth and train at Quest gym

2. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

That I am a classically trained musician. I played violin for 11 years as well as percussion in high school and the bass guitar. I recently went back to school to get my degree in nutritional sciences, but I was originally a music major when I attended

college for the first time.

3. What is your occupation?

I manage a Kickboxing/MMA gym in Alpharetta, GA called KBX Gym. I am also a trainer there and teach classes like kickboxing and bootcamps.

4. Do you find that your occupation interferes with competing or visa versa?

Not really. Any days that I am unable to workout at Quest with my trainer, I can do my workouts at my gym during my break on work days

5. How many years have you been competing?

I started competed in powerlifting about a year ago, after I took a leave from amateur fighting. I competed in fighting for about 3 years and had 20 fights in all styles of kickboxing as well as mixed martial arts

6. How did you get into powerlifting?

Through my boyfriend. He is a powerlifter, so he encouraged me to get into lifting after I retired from fighting.

7. What are your biggest squat, bench press, deadlift and total numbers?

Raw: 181 squat, 126 bench and 253 deadlift. In gear: 286 squat, 187 bench and 270 deadlift

8. What titles, records and achievements did you accumulate in your powerlifting career?

So far I have only competed in two meets. One was raw and one in gear. I did qualify for Women’s Nationals in my first geared meet at 148lbs

9. Can you describe your training philosophy and/or a typical training session?

I really don’t have a training philosophy when it comes to powerlifting. I just try to take my training day by day. I have very high expectations of myself when it comes to competition so I have to try really hard not to let my bad days get the best of me, even though they do sometimes. I would say that the philosophy I developed over the years from fighting is to make the most out of your losses, because you learn the most from them. Someone who has never lost, or had a bad meet has probably never really been challenged either.

10. Do you compete equipped (squat suit, bench press shirt & deadlift suit) or unequipped (no suits) or both?

I have competed in both, but will most likely continue to train in gear in the future.

11. What weight class(s) and divisions(s) do you compete in?


12. What is your favorite lift, squat or bench press or deadlift or all three?

I like bench press in gear because of my short arms :)

13. Who is the most impressive lifter you competed against?

I haven’t really competed against any other girls, since the meets I did were smaller so there were not many women. However, I do plan to lift at Women’s Nationals in 2011 and I know if I compete at 148lbs I will be up against world class lifters like Alyssa Hitchcock.

14. Who do you think is the greatest lifter of all time?

Caleb Williams. Not only is he a world class Olympic lifter, but he was also a world class Powerlifter. He’s won multiple sub-junior and junior world championships and placed 2nd at the 2006 Open World Championships, only 12.5 kg behind first. Had he not switched to Olympic lifting, I’m sure he would have won multiple open world powerlifting championships by now.

15. Do you have any upcoming competitions? If so, when and where?

I will be competing on November 20th at the state meet held at Quest gym in Duluth

16. How do you prepare for an upcoming competition?

I do what my trainer tells me and take any advice he gives me to heart. Usually my expectations of myself are more than what I am capable of at the time. So, leading up to the competition, I always let my trainer decide all my numbers for my lifts in training. When it is time for the meet, my trainer submits my numbers and most of the time, I don’t even bother to ask what is on the bar when I go out to compete.

17. Describe your nutritional intake for an upcoming competition?

I try to eat as clean as possible, but to also get all my dietary needs in the weeks before the meet. It is a very different nutrition then when I was cutting weight to fight. In preparing for a weigh in to fight, the week out was very intense, usually only allowing between 700-900 calories a day, along with intense cardio and training done in the sauna suit, not to mention a water cut the last 3 days. In a 5-10 day span I would usually drop anywhere from 7-12lbs. After a weigh-in, we had 24 hours to fuel up before the fight. Powerlifting only gives you a few hours at the most after you weigh in before it is time to compete, so it is crucial to lose only bodyfat in the weeks leading up to the meet. This can only be done by eating clean, and NOT crash dieting. Crash dieting is only effective in losing water weight and muscle tissue, and you need as much strength as you can get for the meet.

18. How many meets do you compete in a year?

I competed twice in the last yea

r and will compete one more time this year as well.

19. Who is your greatest competitor/rival? I would have to say myself

20. What is your greatest memory from competing?

Making my 3rd attempt on squat at my first meet. I competed raw and had no idea what weight was on the bar in any of my attempts. I went down for the squat and got caught at the bottom, but kept pushing and finally got the bar up and locked it out. It felt like I was at the bottom of that squat forever!

21. What advice & tips would you give to a powerlifter that is just beginning? If you are just beginning, what advice have you received from other lifters or coaches? How has powerlifting changed your life?

I would tell any beginner to be patient. Not everyone has natural talent, but with hard work and persistence you can become a competitive powerlifter. Being patient, is something I have to constantly remind myself to be. The best advice I have received from my trainer is not to hold myself back and that I am perfectly capable of reaching my goals, but I won’t get there overnight. Powerlifting has made me realize even more that I will never know if I can be good at something unless I try it and put forth the effort in order to succeed.

22. Do you stay in touch with lifters you compete against?

I haven’t competed against anyone really, but I am looking forward to meeting fellow competitors in the future. My favorite part about competing in fighting was congratulating my opponent at the end of the fight, win or lose. I look forward to the same in powerlifting.

23. Why did you decide to compete?

I took a break from fighting due to the stress on my body from cutting weight. During the break, I wanted to work on some of my weaknesses in fighting which included my explosive power. As time went on, my health wasn’t where it needed to be to get back into the ring anytime soon. It was hard for me to train and not have something to work towards as far as competing goes. So in the meantime I decided to compete in a raw powerlifting meet. I recently considered training again to fight, but I had developed some heath issues that inhibited my training. Because I enjoy competing, I have decided to put my focus on powerlifting and am looking forward to what the future holds

24. What is your #1 or most prestigious meet you ever competed in your career?

I haven’t competed in any prestigious meets yet, but I am hoping to again qualify for Women’s Nationals and compete this year. I did qualify last year, but did not compete at the national meet.

25. Do you compete in any other strength sports such as Olympic lifting, strongman, highland games, etc?

Not yet, but I would be interested in trying Olympic lifting in the future.

26. What is your favorite memory from any powerlifting competition or event?

My greatest memory from powerlifting was watching my boyfriend compete for the first time in a full meet at Men’s Nationals last June in Palm Springs, Ca. And also getting to meet Wade Hooper and take him to Wal-mart during that same trip.

27. Anyone you would like thank for helping you along the way in your Powerlifting career?

My boyfriend and trainer, Josh, for always encouraging me through good training days and bad ones, and also for being so patient!

28. Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for your time and best of luck in your upcoming powerlifting endeavors!

View the Archives Monthly Lifter Spotlight Application