Best Lifter spotlight from the USPC Kentucky State Championship on June 26, 2021.
Top OVERALL Wilks 2020 (and AGAIN a female)...
Name, age & how long have you been Powerlifting?
Tavina Hensley. For about three years.
Best lifts in competition?
Squat 372.5 lbs
Bench 271.1 lbs
Deadlift 478.4 lbs
Total 1075.8 lbs
Athletic background? What you did before powerlifting?
I started getting healthy and working out around 2015. I was just generally trying to be healthy and lift. I began to go out of my comfort zone and start lifting heavier. I started having people at my gym tell me that I could break powerlifting records. So, I started lifting heavy around 2017-18. My first armature competition was a Parks and Recreation in 2019. I won overall Female lifter.
Article about that competition-
Because it is a sport where I have found so many people are supportive of one another. It is a sport that I am good at and love doing. I enjoy empowering and inspiring people through my journey in this sport.
Tell me something about your gym/team.
I have never had a coach/team per say in that I do not work out with a group. I work out alone most every day. I go to Harvey’s gym and am apart of that gym community. If I were to affiliate with a team, it would be Harvey’s gym.
Trying alone or training partner/coach, team?
I train alone most of the time. I ask for a spotter if I need it and someone is in the gym. I do not have a coach. I am apart of Harvey’s gym.
Something most people you train with (or those who follow you if you
train alone) don't know about you?
Some who follow me do not know that I am a counselor. Also most do not know that I have scoliosis and a piece of my skull has been removed for a Chiari malformation when I was 5 years old.
Biggest inspiration in the sport?
Jennifer Weed Thompson is one of my most beloved inspirations in this sport. She has gone through medical issues and kept pushing. Another person in my small town I admire and have so much respect for is Randy Richey. He is a preacher and has been both and inspiration and given direction when I was in need.
What's your favorite lift?
Bench. I enjoy benching because I have trained so hard in it and feel that it is one of my strengths.
Least favorite lift?
Squat. I used to squat more than I could deadlift but now it is my weakest lift.
Biggest challenge in your training?
Working around my health issues and making sure I stay strong.
Ideal training atmosphere? Focused and dialed in or noisy and high
I enjoy a gym that is old school and has the powerlifting atmosphere. I tend to be focused and dialed in when I lift. I am calculated and tend to stay focused on what needs to be done to reach my goal.
Training plan. Do your own programming or have a coach?
I am certified through NASM to personal train. I do not have a coach now and have not before. I do progressive overload and change my routine to adjust when I stop growing.
Social media. Positives and negatives
I can inspire people and have had feedback from people being grateful for my videos. It does become expected of me to post and interact. I get negative feedback for being a woman and lifting the way I do. I have people who are negative and rude to me for what I do because I am a woman.
Diet you follow? Supplements?
I do not have a specific diet plan right now. I eat lean meat, rice, greens, and drink mostly Gatorade zero and water. I take hydrolyzed whey protein, highly branched cyclic dextrin, and pre workout. I take a lot of vitamins in the morning and at night. Some of the most important are vitamin B, vitamin C, tamaflex, taurine, and multivitamins.
Biggest accomplishment in your powerlifting career?
This last meet, breaking national records for the first time. This was only my third full power raw meets. The only one I have done before this was the one at Parks and Recreation. I broke Kentucky state records in my second full power raw meet.
What's one of your non-powerlifting goals?
To finish my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling this November.
Finally is there anyone you would like to acknowledge or give a shout
out to (team, coach, spouse, sponsors)?
I would like to give a shoutout to Harvey’s gym in Franklin KY. I would like to thank all my family and friends who have supported me along the way. I would like to thank those who have given advice and guidance through this journey. I did not have a coach, but I have had friends at the gym give advice and help me throughout the years.
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