T Nation

Mariam Power

I think that chick is lying! A female who can bench 250lb without taking juice? I don’t buy it for a minute. I’d be willing to bet that she’s on low doses of gear, or she’s taking andro. You ain’t gonna bench 250 with natural female androgen levels. Now, if I’m real, real lucky, she’ll come and kick my ass for saying that !

It’s very possible. In the 1800’s, early 1900’s, carnivals and side shows frequently had women strength entertainers who were very strong, and of course there was no gear back then.

Mr Baran, maybe you should have tuned into the women’s gymnastic trials last weekend. now lets do a little test. please follow these steps:

  1. clear extra engine blocks, smelly dogs, beer cans out of 30 ft section on front lawn.

  2. sprint at full speed and go into a cartwheel front flip double somersault handspring with reversal.

    -if you complete this sucessfully: Congratulations! maybe now you can move out of your trailer home and make money as the Penzoil Penguin mascot on for the NASCAR circuit.

    -if you are now nursing a sprained neck and dislocated scrotal sack…oh, i’m sorry, you already had that. what i mean is that if you have failed in your attempt, proceed to step 3.

  3. sit in lawnchair drinking moonshine and watching bugzapper. bitch about all those juiced up 15 year old athletes.

Matt…Dude…easy on the juice. Funny stuff though.

Kirk, you are indeed correct about the sideshow freaks. Perhaps Ms. Power is herself a genetic freak. However, one thing I know: no NORMAL woman is going to bench 250 without some sort of androgen “therapy.”

Mr. Matt, If you are going to insult me, that’s cool - let’s liven this board up a bit. All I ask is that you make sense when you do so. In other words, what the hell are you taking about, dude?!

Can somebody please explain what matt is trying to say??

I believe Matt is saying, in his own special way, that just because you can’t do something doesn’t mean the person doing it is using performance enhancing drugs.

Mariam notes, however, that those female PL’s who are juicing are popping up over 300 in the bench, so maybe her 250 is “normal” after all, at least for a genetically blessed elite athlete.

TEK, my observation has nothing to do with your Freudian theory of the inferiority complex. Freud was a fraud anyway, his theories were crap. However, I do find it amusing that his theories are invoked whenever someone such as myself points out the true inferiority of certain population groups, such as pointing out the physical inferiority of the genetically normal female. The genetically, and hormonally normal female would have to be genetically “blessed” to ever bench 150, never mind 250! But as I said, I suppose it is possible that Ms. Power is a genetic freak rather than a juicer. I’d also like to point out that I’m not anti-juice by any means. However, it frustrates me to no end when people “cheat” and lie about it. Especially when that person is a female “proving” that women are “equal” to men for the sole purpose of advancing the ideological perversion known as (gagging) feminism.

I really don’t think its fair that you guys pass judgement on a woman who isnt actually doing anything all that out of the ordinary. She isnt exactly benching ridiculous amounts here people. I think the weights she is working right now are very pausible for a genetically gifted woman who is dedicated to intelligent training. The fact of the matter is I don’t know for sure if she is using steroids or not. But judging from the weights she lifts and her look I would not jump to conclusions and accuse her of something she is obviously very strongly against. From the interview I think she is a pretty amazing woman and I give her a lot of credit for doing what she is doing.

Okay, t-levels have stabilized. Can now write coherently…

What i’m saying is that female gymnasts are able to perform incredible feats of athleticism because they start so young (when the nervous system is easy to mold). Miriam started lifting very early, and her strength is also primarily neural (she weighs just 148). when I competed in track I noticed that the best female throwers had been started early by a father or older brother who knew the sport. While endocrinology plays a role in the gender strength discrepency, I think that societal expectations (and the qualities children are steered towards developing) are just as much a culprit.

This little debate is quite lively. Because of this, I thought Id add my 2cents. First, 250 is an impressive bench for a 145 lb female. BUT…Ive known more than a few natural women who can accomplish pretty amazing feats. They are few and far between, yet they do exist. For example, a girl I used to date could bench 200 for a single and squat 315 for 5 at a height of 5’2" and a body weight of 115 lbs. She was clean and although fit, not anything more than what I would call “lightly muscled”. She could have done fitness shows or something. Ok, another pair of girls I knew were so damn strong, naturally, that they could power clean between 190-200 lbs and squat 405 for 5 at under 140 lbs. All three women were built to be strong as they were all fast-twitch type track and field athletes. However, these girls worked their asses off in the gym. The T-mag readers who think they are “hardcore” might just have been put to shame by these chicks in intensity. So, for someone to doubt the merits of their efforts kind-of rubs me the wrong way. Further, debates about feminism, women and androgens, etc. seem to undermine the fact that either way, these girls bust their asses in a way that only a few % of the population could ever even be able to. And that is deserving of some degree of respect, despite your preconceived psychological or ethical biases. And BTW, on an altogether different note, although some Freud’s theories may have been off base, treatment statistics have shown that his psychoanalytic theories and treatments were equally as effective as any other treatment modality of his day and for years to come. And they were pretty damn interesting too. Just cause we know better today, dont take on the smug, nose-in-the-air arrogance of “the enlightened”; for today’s “facts” are tomorrow’s phallusies, uh, I mean fallacies. And leave the chicks alone!

Jason, I agree that for a man, 250 is not a ridiculous amount by any means. But for a woman, it is quite ridiculous. Now, as I said in my original post, if she is using gear, she’s using low doses. She has no overly overt signs of virilization, but if you look closely, it’s there. A normal 27 year old woman has skin as smooth as a baby’s behind. When you look at Ms. Power’s skin, you can clearly see that some virilization has occured. Of course, she could just have abnormally high androgen levels naturally - but I doubt that somehow. In response to Matt, a 250lb bench is an aweful lot of “neural” strength for a female! If you go to her site and look at the various photos of her, she is not just “toned,” she is slightly hypertrophied. We all know that females do not have enough natural androgen levels to accomplish muscular hypertrophy. Unless a female has abnormally high androgen levels, or is using Androgenic/Anabolic Steroids, she cannot accomplish muscular hypertrophy. Now if she is natural as she claims, this is the deal: First of all we have to take into account that powerlifters know “cheat techniques.” Second of all, she may have an abnormally high output of adrenal androgens such as androstenedione. This phenomenon is linked to the “tomboy syndrome” which causes females to be interested in “guy stuff.” Third of all, she may have been exposed to excessive androgens during fetal development, causing her brain to develop in a more masculine pattern - hence the neural strength. You should read the book “Brain Sex” by Anne Moir and David Jessel. This book explains why men are masculine and why women are feminine from a bio-chemical hormonal point of view.

Mr. Baran, do the math. This 148 lbs woman is benching all of 102 lbs over her body weight, that is not a lot. I would hope any powerlifter worth a crap could bench 102 lbs over their body weight. Perhaps you have done the math and have realized that you can not bench 102 lbs over your body weight and that is your problem with Ms. Power.

That’s really not that astronomical of a feat if you think about it. You take even a non-gifted athlete training for over 10 years and with good training and instruction she’ll be able to put up some pretty impressive numbers. The reason we don’t see that often is, as the purpose of that interview stated, most women don’t train as hard as they should or could as far as strength is concerned. I once saw a 150 lb. girl who’d never trained in her life walk in the gym and bench 180. At 16 yrs of age my younger sister, 4’11 117 lbs, was a gymnast…i took her in the gym and wanted to teach her squats…she proceeded to work up to 225 lbs and knocked out 10 reps like it was nothing. You see a lot of freaky stuff in the weight room among elite level female athletes…that is if you are lucky enough to get a chance to.

You know, I think the best way (but not the safest) way is to see how someone reacts when you “accuse” them of being on the juice. A juicer will get pissed, a natural will take it as a compliment. I remember when I was 14 I was lifting regularly, had a good build (for a 14 year old) and had pubescent chest acne. Moreover, I was the only one in the 8th grade who could bench the “full stack” on the universal weight training machine in the school weight room. I was the biggest and baddest dude at my middle school (until I got to high school the next year, then I wasn’t jack shit compared to the seniors walking around who could bench 250 with free weights.) Anyway, when I was in the eighth grade my gym teacher accused me of being on the juice. So did my uncle. Man, when they accused me of being on the juice my ego went through the roof! When you’re natural, that’s the best compliment anyone can give you! The only juice I was on was the juice coming from my nuts. The point is, I’m a male, I couldn’t bench 250, and I was still accused of being on the juice. So, a female is definitely going to be suspect. Ms. Power even admitted that most of the people she trains with thinks she is on roids.

Amy Weisberger. 300+ bench. 'Nuf said.

How can you say she has to be using steroids? Have you ever read any of Louie Simmons training info? Have you ever heard of genetics? She may come from a long line of strong people. Not only that but we are talking about 250 pounds here, its not like she is putting up 4 bills. I think the real reason you cry steroids is because you can only put up 250!

I don’t believe you guys. Almost all of the forum’s topics are good and interesting, but where did your heads go here. There is nothing wrong with a clean woman benching 250. It just goes to show how caught up the North American society is in benching. You guys don’t even mention her deadlifting or squatting. My girlfriend after 4 weeks of working out benched 155 lbs for 5 reps. Not some butch, she does swim suit modelling. For you guys who do the same chest workout everyday, bench up to a max you can’t do, get it pulled off your chest, DB incline with 1/2 range movement and cable crossovers for a pump! No wonder you can’t bench 250, 100 lbs over your body weight or your body weight. Miss Power trains like a powerlifter!!! She arches well on the bench, excellent technique. She has Fred Hatfield, Charles Stanly writing out her programs and doing her diet & supps. Plus she wears a bench shirt, which adds about 30 lbs to her total. At 140lbs she benchs 220, with all that help doesn’t it seem possible ??

My problem is with anyone claiming to be natural.
The fact is only the person in question knows if he/she
is “natural”.Saying it will only piss people off!