Noah Mahmoud: Powerlifting through the challenges


Courtesy of Noah Mahmoud

Senior Noah Mahmoud started weightlifting for his other sports, but found a passion within getting stronger.

Tarik Fermin, Arts and Entertainment Editor

At the ripe age of 18, senior Noah Mahmoud is an avid powerlifter. Mahmoud recently started powerlifting, getting serious about the sport.

“I got into powerlifting because the place we trained for baseball, [the Rusty Barbell gym], was also a powerlifting gym,” Noah said. “And the personal trainer [at the gym] for baseball was also a powerlifting coach.”

The coach gives personalized workouts for the lifters, which was helpful to get him started.

“Something unique about powerlifting is the intensity of every workout and the different moves and importance of training even the smaller muscles,” Noah said. “My favorite part about powerlifting is maxing out and deadlifting. Also, the community is very supportive, and everyone is encouraging.”

“Powerlifting culture is extremely supportive and pretty hardcore in my opinion,” Mahmoud’s sister Mariam said. “Everyone wants you to succeed, and everyone is cheering all of the other lifts on.” 

Mariam, who is also a powerlifter, shared the logistics of a powerlifting meet. A powerlifting meet is a competition where lifters perform squat, bench and deadlift. For each one of these lifts, the lifter has three attempts. In order for the lift attempt that was made to count, two white lights from the judge are needed. There are three judges, two of them need to say the lift was good and turn on their light.

  Powerlifters compete in weight classes, and people lift against other people in that weight class. The goal is to get the highest possible bench, squat, and deadlift, to win each entire weight class at the meet. 

Noah competes in the 220 lb weight class, and his personal records for each of the three forms of powerlifting (squatting, benching and deadlifting) are as follows: Noah squats 445 lbs, benches 265 lbs, and deadlifts 530 lbs. In total, this accumulates to just over 1,200 lbs, which are mind-bending numbers for an 18-year old to be lifting.

The benefits of powerlifting don’t just show in the weightroom though. Noah Mahmoud discussed the multitude of athletic benefits that came with being a powerlifter, and specifically the noticeable difference it made for his baseball career, which is his main sport.

“It made me stronger, faster and made me gain better rotational power,” he said.

Both Noah and Mariam Mahmoud also touched on some of the mental side of powerlifting: the personal motivation they need.

“The mental component of powerlifting is always believing you can pull the weight that you need to,” he said. “If you don’t think you can do it, then you won’t be able to lift. My main motivation for powerlifting is the max days and wanting to lift as much weight as I possibly can.”

Meanwhile, Mariam said:  “Your goal at a meet is to beat yourself first and foremost and hint at personal records on your lifts. Of course, you want to have the highest total lights at the meet, but your number one goal is to better yourself.”