January Featured Lifter: Liane Blyn

Liane Blyn took first at the World Open Championships, her second World Title. In Massachusetts she has served as a co-State Chair for the last few years and without her the current High School program would probably not exist. She is a great lifter, coach (Franklin High School), and mentor, and will be sorely missed as she moves on to newer and better things. It is my great pleasure to announce that the January Mass-lift lifter of the year is Liane Blyn. Everyone at Mass-lift wishes Liane  good luck at her new job and home in North Carolina.

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 am 44 years old and grew up in Southwick MA. I played field hockey and softball in high school and at Endicott College.  I graduated from Endicott College and Miami University & went to grad school at Northern Arizona University.  I have been a strength and conditioning coach for the past 20 years. I currently reside in Milford, MA and am the Strength and conditioning coach and a Health and PE Teacher at Franklin High School.  I have been competing in strength sports (weightlifting, powerlifting and strongman) since 1995.

How did you get into the sport of powerlifting?

I started lifting in high school to get stronger for sports. In between my undergrad & gad school years, I started working at a gym in Asheville, NC. Through the gym I competed in a Bench press competition. After a year in NC I went to Northern Arizona University as a Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach. In graduate school I started competing in weightlifting, as our head strength coach was big into USA weightlifting.  After about 6 months of training our other GA Trevor said I would be good at powerlifting. He and his wife took me to my first powerlifting meet in Yuma AZ.

What weight class or weight classes to you compete in? Or want to compete in?

I have competed in the 75 & 82.5 kg weight classes up until the IPF change in classes. I now compete in the 84kg class. I am comfortable in this class and don’t foresee changing classes. Maybe in the future as I get closer to an M2 maybe I will drop to a 72kg class.

What are your best lifts?

Squat 247.5 kg (American Record)

Bench 190.5 kg (Open World Record, Masters World Record, Masters bench only world record)

Deadlift 225 kg (Masters world record)/227.5 kg (American record)

Total 652.5 kg (Masters world record)/657.5 kg (American record)

What is your favorite lift?

I like them all! But right now I would say my best is definitely my bench.

You’ve done more USAPL National meets and World meets than I can count. Which one sticks out as your favorite and why?

Wow, that’s 22 years of meets to choose from. They all have a significant meaning in different way, whether it is how I placed or the people I have met. I think recently tho, I am very happy with winning the Open world championship this year. Last year I lost by 2 kilos and this year I was determined to turn it around. I also have to say winning nationals this year was bitter sweet, coming off elbow surgery, I had no idea what to expect. I had a great day going 9 for 9!

Where do you train?

I train mostly at Golds gym in Milford, MA. Depending on my schedule I sometimes have the opportunity to make it over to Baystate in Scituate to train. When I am home in Reno I train at the one and only American Iron gym with my former training partners bob & Tammy Lopes.

Do you lift with a group/team or by yourself, if so who?

I typically lift by myself but when I get in gear my other half helps me a ton. I do like going to Baystate and training with Jill, Joe, and Monet, if it works in my schedule.

You’re an Open World Champ, what current goals are you trying to accomplish? Focus on World Games?

Next up is the Arnold, I’d like to attempt the Open/Masters world record bench and Masters deadlift at the Pro American. On Sunday I will compete in the Titan pro Bench bash. The current open world record for bench only is 200kgs. I would really like to beat that. After the Arnold, I have open Nationals & then it’s the big time…World games! This will be my 3rd time going to the world games, in the first two I placed 4th & 5th, this year my focus is a podium finish.

What is your greatest moment in powerlifting?

Winning the 2006 open worlds & 10 years later winning it again. The years in between I have always placed in the top 3/ had a podium finish.

Can you tell us a little about your training routine?

I train year round, but I significantly change up my training both in and out of gear. I typically train 4-6 days a week and break up my training Mon-Squat & accessory deadlift, Tuesday Bench & triceps, Wednesday-back, shoulders & biceps, Thursday-off, Friday-deadlift & accessory squat, Saturday-Speed bench & Sunday off. I am a bit old school when it comes to training, but I believe that accessories & volume matter. I do not believe in the old/new concept of doing all 3 lifts (or a variation of) each time one trains.

Who are your mentors?

Bob & Tammy Lopes

Do you have any tips that could help other lifters?

Find a reputable coach to work with you. There are so many “internet” coaches out there that have no idea what they are doing. Great coaches practice what they preach & they know how to make adjustments for individuals. Also know your body and listen to it.

What inspires you to keep training?

I honestly love competing and training. It is an awesome hobby.

Do you compete in any other sports?

I used to compete in both weightlifting and strongman. I would like to possibly compete in another strongman competition if my powerlifting schedule would allow. Flipping tires and pulling trucks is a whole lot of fun.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It is awesome to see so many people now training and competing in powerlifting.  Once a person becomes technically sound and has a good strength base, try gear. It is so much fun, adds a whole new dimension to ones lifting and can bring your overall strength levels to a whole knew level.