I met Lodrina Cherne after I had first moved back to the Boston area at Total Performance Sports (TPS) in Malden where she trains. Having been around lots of powerlifters, I was impressed that she sought to excel not only as a raw lifter but as an equipped competitor as well. In addition to being a tremendous athlete, Lodrina is an exemplary member of the USAPL. She coaches and mentors other athletes, constantly seeks way to volunteer and assist at local and national meets, and is eager to help grow the organization in Massachusetts. I would like to personally thank her for all that she does and introduce her as the October Mass-Lift Featured Lifter.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, how you ended up in MA, what you do for a living, etc.
I moved to Massachusetts from California when I attended Boston University for my undergraduate degree in Computer Science. I currently live in Somerville with my husband who also competes in powerlifting and is in school to become a massage therapist in his spare time. During the day I work as a digital forensics examiner in Chelsea where I work with electronic evidence like computers and cell phones. Besides lifting and working, I love exploring Boston to find great restaurants and go to concerts
How did you get into the sport of powerlifting?
The year before I was introduced to training with a barbell I was racing on my cyclocross bicycle most weekends through the Fall and early Winter. Normally after the season ends, cyclists start racking up long slow miles as a base for the coming year but there was a particularly nasty winter in Boston making it hard to get out on the road. Coming off the hectic pace of cyclocross I wanted a way to be active and started to headed to a local Crossfit gym.
Coming from cross racing I was used to competing frequently so I quickly jumped into my first powerlifting meet, deadlift only, where I pulled 200lbs. I was hooked on powerlifting and exactly a year later squatted 205lbs, benched 120lbs, and pulled 282lbs in my first full power meet.
What weight class or weight classes do you compete in?
I started competing in the former 52kg 56kg classes, and now compete in the 57kg class. If I’m training through a meet or not fully peaking, I’ll also compete as a light 63kg lifter
What are your best lifts?
I compete both raw and more recently in gear. My best competition lifts are:
Squat 286lb / 130kg
Bench 176lb / 80kg
Deadlift 380lb / 172.5kg
Squat 386lb / 175kg
Bench 209lb / 95kg
Deadlift 386lb / 175kg
All performed in the 57kg class.
What is your favorite lift?
I’ve always loved to deadlift. After years of pulling in a conventional stance I’m learning how to pull sumo for the first time. It’s been really challenging to figure out what the right stance is for me and focus on form instead of putting more weight on the bar.
What USAPL National or IPF meets have you lifted in and how did you place?
- 2014 Raw Nationals, 1st place, 57kg Open
- 2015 Arnold Pro Raw Challenge, 1st place, 57kg Open
- 2015 IPF Classic Worlds, 7th place, 57kg Open
- 2015 Raw Nationals, 6th place, 57kg Open
- 2015 American Open, 2nd place 63kg Open (Equipped)
- 2016 Arnold Pro Raw Challenge, 3rd place, 57kg Open
- 2016 Men’s and Women’s Nationals, 4th place 57kg Open (Equipped)
Where do you train?
Do you lift with a group/team or by yourself, if so who?
Besides the training cycle where I moved up a weight class, I have made the best gains training with other people. As I’ve started to compete equipped, training with a team is a requirement and training at Baystate had taught me a huge amount in an incredibly short time. I feel incredibly lucky to be learning from so many people training for podiums in national and international meets.
What current goals are you trying to accomplish?
I am currently training to improve on my equipped total.
What is your greatest moment in powerlifting?
My biggest achievement has been winning a deadlift bronze medal in the open class at IPF Classic Worlds. Being on a national team for the first time, the logistics of traveling to Finland, getting handled by unfamiliar team coaches, all seemed overwhelming at first so medaling in that meet was really unexpected and special for me.
Can you tell us a little about your training routine?
I train three or four days a week in the gym focusing on the competition lifts. On a three day split I’ll focus one day each on the squat, bench, or deadlift and a fourth day will usually be a secondary bench day.
I’ve made great progress using 5/3/1 and block periodization but today my training is really tailored to how the bar moves and how I recover from session to session. Normally this means alternating heavy and light deadlift and squat sessions while keeping bench intensity fairly consistent.
I am also very proactive about recovery work and while I usually lift on weekdays, Saturdays are reserved for bodywork. I’ll see a professional for acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic work and use Sunday to recover from the manual therapy so I’m ready to lift again on Monday.
Meal prep is inked into my schedule just like training and recovery. Sunday nights I’ll grocery shop and meal prep for the week, which goes a long way in setting me up for a successful training week.
Do you have any tips that could help other lifters?
Massachusetts is full of really good lifters and experienced coaches and you can learn a lot from watching them at meets. Not just watching their lifting highlight reel* but sitting in the crowd and really watching the progress of a whole meet, particularly the attempt changes in a competitive class that don’t make it on to the final score sheet.
If you have no idea what attempt changes are or who might be good to learn from – ask! Use your state chairs, athlete reps, and meet organizers (after the meet!) as resources.
*I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coaching highlight reel, even more reason to be a student of your sport and attend a meet!
Do you compete in any other sports?
In the past I’ve done bike racing on a local level and rock climbing on a national level. I still love riding and climbing as long as I’m not in meet prep; I’m used to going hard in both sports and a tough ride will leave me spent for squats, same thing with climbing for the bench and deadlift.
Coming into the sport as a raw lifter, transitioning recently to training in gear has been a tough but incredibly rewarding challenge. It’s allowed me to get comfortable handling heavy weight and a new way to set PRs. However you’re competing, find ways to train consistently, make progress, and have fun!
Official Team Lodrina Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/LodrinaCherne/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
Know a local USAPL lifter who is extraordinary? Let us know! Shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe they’ll be the next featured lifter!