Thursday, July 2, 2015

Emerald Cup 2015 - Tasha Whelan

Bikini and bodybuilding muscle may have grabbed the spotlight at the Emerald Cup, but on the second level of the Meydenbauer Center, powerlifting reigned supreme. From early morning and well into the evening, lifters competed for cash and trophies in the Emerald Cup Double Viking powerlifting meet. We had the good fortune to work with Tasha Whelan, one of the standout competitors at this event.  

Let's start with your stats.

I'm 30, 5'7 and 138 pounds.

What are your best competition lifts?

Squat 285 lbs; bench 180 lbs; deadlift 380 lbs.

What's your athletic background?

Growing up I played all sorts of sports, but mostly track (sprinter), and softball throughout my youth. I started boxing and hip hop dance in high school and continued that through college. I also played on a couple of recreational softball teams. From there on and off with running and then into lifting heavier weights. I started with bodybuilding type training. I've put on 30 pounds of lean mass in the past few years. From there, I started powerlifting.

How did you get started in powerlifting?

I got into powerlifting because it felt so darn good to be a strong woman in the gym. I've never really enjoyed being "average." I like to be a little different. I work in a really large health club and I'm one of just a few that do powerlifting. I definitely turn heads, and not because I'm super sexy, but because I've developed a lot of muscle, a whole lot of strength, and tend to out lift a lot of men in the gym. Can't really complain about that. I kind of enjoy it - a LOT!

I was competing in a women's crossfit meet and one of the coaches asked if I was a powerlifter. I said no, but I like to lift heavy. They showed me a flyer about a small local powerlifting meet and suggested I do it. I convinced my training partner to sign up with me, and from there, I completely fell in love and craved more strength. It feels AWESOME to be strong.

What are your goals as a competitor?

Currently I have no competitions in mind for bodybuilding, although it's definitely on my list in the next couple of years. I do plan on competing in the Washington strongman competition next year. Figured I'd see how it goes.

Right now, I'm training to compete in a powerlifting meet in August 2015 that is an Arnold Classic qualifier. As long as I hit my openers, I should qualify and compete next March at the Arnold. I'm super stoked about that.

Do you like showing off your muscles in public or do you prefer covering up?

As for showing off my muscles in public, I don't mind. I figure I've worked so hard on developing them, I deserve to show them off. Depending on my mood, I either enjoy it or get annoyed by it. People always glance or stare, which is fine for the most part. Plus most shirts don't fit my arms, so sleeveless works best.

What's your profession?

Personal trainer and performance coach at Pro Sports Club.

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

My phobia. It's a bit weird, but very real. Have you heard of koumpounophobia? Most likely not. It's the fear of buttons. Yup - BUTTONS. Gross. I can't wear them or touch them. I do not own one piece of clothing with those things on them. EEWWW. Weird much? I know. Makes me unique, so I'd like to think. HA.

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

Aside from lifting weights, I really enjoy the outdoors. I love to hike and be in nature. In fact, for my 30th birthday, I took off to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Talk about a real dirty thirty celebration.

Where can we see more of you?

Facebook athlete page

Facebook personal page

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