Lifter in the Spotlight

Lillii Armstrong

Lillii is one of our young and upcoming teen lifters.  Lillii is a Michgan and National champion.  She was recently invited to represent the USA at the world bench press championship in Japan.

Are you a Michigander?

Yes, and I plan to always live here. Michigan pride!

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Rochester, but I grew up in East Jordan, Michigan. I’ve been here since I was 2 years old and I’ve loved this place ever since.

How did you get into powerlifting and how old were you?

I started in 9th grade when I was 13. I got into powerlifting because I was always pretty strong, but I didn’t have any confidence. I was bullied quite a bit in middle school and high school. I started powerlifting and it all stopped. Now I stand up for the underdogs and shut bullies down.

How long have you been an active powerlifter?

This is my 3rd year powerlifting; however, I’ve been into lifting since I was little. I was that kid that liked to try to pick up everyone around me.

What is your personal best squat, bench and deadlift?

My best lifts are 270lbs for squat, 170lbs for bench, and 370lbs for deadlift.

Do you hold records?

I do own the MHSPLA State deadlift and totals for the JVW. I also own three records in USAPL Michigan in my class. Those consist of Single Bench Press, Bench Press, and Total weight lifted.

What is your favorite lift and why?

My favorite lift is bench. I love the power I feel when I can push up a lot of weight. I have the most room for improvement there, and I see potential for my bench to go up.

How many hours a week do you train?

Through balancing school, 4H, and time with friends I manage to train about 12-14 hours a week.

Do you train with a partner?

I lift with my best friend Cody King. We’ve been lifting together for a year and a half now. we inspire each other to do better and train harder.

Where do you train?

I train at Jordan Valley Fitness in East Jordan. My coach, Tom Outman, owns the gym. He trains with Cody and I there.

Do you follow a specific training method/regime?

I have a program I follow for each lift. I always start with 4 warm up sets, 6 sets of working weight, and 3 sets of supporting muscle groups.

Do you do other sports besides powerlifting?

I throw shot put and run a 4×100 in track for my school. I love playing soccer but I haven’t played since last year. My nickname was Footstrong cause I could kick the ball all the way across the field.

Do you follow a specific diet?

My diet is called the 50/50. 50% carbs 50% protein. All the carbs I take in come from vegetables.

What is your opinion on cardio?

Honestly, I’m not big on cardio. I’m not supposed to run because it makes your muscles and tendons looser; you want your muscles and tendons tight for powerlifting so you don’t dislocate. I do jump rope occasionally to keep my stamina up.

Have you been to nationals?

Last year, I had the pleasure to go to nationals in Wisconsin. I was hoping I would at least make the top 10, but to my surprise, I won 1st. It was an amazing experience and I represented Michigan well. I will be going to nationals again this year.

What is your greatest powerlifting achievement so far, in your opinion?

My greatest achievement was when I finally broke 800lbs for my totals. My last meet I lifted a total of 810lbs. I was so excited when I found out that I jumped into my coaches’ arms.

What do you find the most challenging/difficult in your training?

What I find the most difficult about my training is lifting on those days were you’re tired and sore. But during those times, I think about how far I’ve came and that keeps me going.

How soon before a meet, do you begin preparing?

I start preparing 2-3 days before the meet by slightly changing my diet and lifting program. I do this by adding more protein to my diet, and lifting a little lighter so I won’t be sore. The day before a meet I stop lifting. I also stop eating at 12pm and drinking at 6pm that night.

How do you choose an opening attempt weight?

I choose by picking a weight I know I can do without a doubt. It also has to be close to my max so I don’t have to make a large jump in weight.

What are your powerlifting goals?

My powerlifting goals are to break 1000lbs for total weight lifted, deadlift 500lbs, bench my bodyweight (I’m 5lbs away), and set world records someday

Who is your favorite powerlifter?

I don’t have a favorite. All of the girls I lift with are my favorites. They encourage me to do my best, and I do the same with them. I have found many good friends and amazing lifters. These amazing individuals have made me the lifter I am today.

How do you think we can grow powerlifting in Michigan?

I think that we can make powerlifting grow by making it more available to high schools. If more high schools adopted the sport, it would allow more kids to get into it.

What tips do you have for first time lifters?

My tips to first time lifters are to stay committed, keep calm, and have fun. Keep pushing yourself and never give up.