Interview with Taylar Stallings

Here’s another interview from my old blog as I continue to merge the content. This interview is with Taylar Stallings, world record holder for… in a nut shell…  ALL THE WEIGHT CLASSES, 198, 181, 165, and 148. Since destroying the world of powerlifting, Taylar Stallings has since moved on to destroying the world of CrossFit. You can check out her stats for 2013 CrossFit games on her athlete page
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Taylar Stallings was recommended to be my next interviewee by Jen Proulx and seriously, I couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to ask Taylar about her training — She is absolutely amazing! I have been following her journey for a while and feel she is a truly inspiring female lifter. HER. NUMBERS. ARE. CRAZYYYYY!!!!!! So, so so fucking strong! I am obviously honored to have interviewed her for my blog!

As a current events update: Taylar and Jen are both competing in the Raw Unity Powerlifting Championships tomorrow, Sunday Feb 24th, in Tampa Florida. From what I hear, they have both successfully made weight and are excited to kick some ass!

Stats

Sport: Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit

Competing Weight Classes: 195/181/165/148lb

Max Squat: 460lb
Max Bench: 275lb
Max Deadlift: 534lb
Max Total: 1260lb
Max Snatch: 170lb
Max Clean & Jerk: 225lb

Records:

  • Taylar holds 7 world records across 3 different weight classes and is shooting for 3 more world records in one more weight class (148lb). (update: she made these)
When and how did you first get involved with lifting?

I got involved in powerlifting 4 ½  years ago. I was only suppose to do a demo but ended up competing and won best lifter for the competition. From there, I got picked up by my current trainer James Jacobs and the legendary Tony Conyers to come train with them and I haven’t looked back!

How did you transition from ‘random chick in the gym’ to competitive lifter?

Well, I’ve always lifted but it was always in conjunction with the sport I was playing. I was a collegiate thrower, so lifting heavy things came natural to me! Once my collegiate career was over I still wanted to compete. I found out about a local competition through a friend and competed with sheer adrenaline and won my first competition. I’ve been growing and learning ever since then.

What was the biggest struggle you’ve faced while pushing toward becoming a better lifter?

The biggest struggle that I have faced while becoming a better lifter has been defending myself as a drug free, female, raw lifter. Society has deemed it “impossible” for females to achieve the numbers I have “steroid” free. Especially with me dropping weight classes and becoming stronger. I just try to take it as a positive that I am doing something right and continue to train harder.

What is your happiest/proudest lifting related moment? 

My proudest moment would have to be when I deadlifted 480lb for the 1st time. It was my second competition and I was lacking confidence. That pull started my powerlifting career and helped fuel my drive to become better

Later in life, here she is deadlifting 505 for 3!

How is lifting going for you now? What are your current challenges?

Lifting is going alright. I am training to compete in the Reebok Crossfit Games this year and juggling both powerlifting and crossfit is proving to be a lot to take on not only physically but mentally as well. Along with all this, I am dropping weight down to my 4th weight class and that takes a lot out of you as well. This is by far my hardest weight drop…but it’s going alright. hahaha

TaylarStallings

Taylar, after making weight at 148#

Do you do this primarily on your own or do you have a network of people who help you along the way?

I have been training with my trainer James Jacobs for the past 4 ½  years and I have been surrounded with an extremely supportive group of both geared/raw powerlifters that keep me humbled, encourage me, and keep me lifted. Also being able to train with legendary lifters like Tony Conyers doesn’t hurt either!

What does your normal programming look like? Does it change much as you approach a competition?

Well in the past, when I was just focusing on just powerlifting, we would do a combination of moderate to high reps for conditioning. Then as it gets closer to competition time we only train 3-4 weeks out to make sure we are peaking at the right time and not overtraining. But now that crossfit is involved now, my training has been split up. I focus on powerlifting twice a week and I have my crossfit training 5 days. But trying to find a balance and making sure I am not overtraining has been my main focus.

What does your diet look like normally? Does it change as you approach a competition?

For the most part I am very strict on my diet. I load up on my protein and healthy fats and try to limit my carb intake on my days in which I know I have my most demanding days. I have my cheat meals and everything is pretty structured out to make sure I am having enough energy to support all my workouts and gets me through the day. As competition comes I will definitely become even more strict in order to reach whatever weight class I am shooting for but try to stay as close as possible to the weight class so I don’t have to make a drastic drop.

What do you do to help manage your stress and emotions during periods of heavy training?

Hahaha. To manage stress and emotions…I don’t think I have quite mastered that yet. Haha Sometimes it gets mentally draining so if that is the case I try to get away or do things that will take my mind off things such as go to the movies, hang out with close friends (who I know won’t talk about working out lol), watch some of my guilty pleasure tv shows (American Idol, the Voice, Family Guy, or any kind of murder-mystery shows), or treat myself to my favorite cheat meal!

What advice do you have for women who are just getting started in competitive lifting?

The advice I would give to women who are just getting started in competitive lifting would be to stick with it! Focus on your numbers and YOUR goals. Don’t worry about what the other girls who are competing against you are doing and set small goals for yourself. The sport may seem a little intimidating at times but you will meet some of the nicest and most dedicated group of women ever! Embrace the journey, train like an animal and look like a fox! :0)

Check out Taylar’s website to learn more about her — http://taylarmadefitness.com

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