A top vegan powerlifter has won the gold medal in her age and weight class at the recent Australian Masters Games.
Glenda Presutti, who ditched animal products in 2016, revealed that she wasn’t planning to compete at the event – and only prepared for six weeks.
Despite this, she walked away from the competition with the top medal and a handful of records.
‘Spur of the moment’
“I wasn’t planning to compete again this year after Nationals in June but it was a spur of the moment decision about seven weeks ago,” she told Great Vegan Athletes.
“I had a friend from Adelaide staying, and she was planning to try Powerlifting. I’d been getting Masters Games emails, so we decided to compete in this year’s Australian Masters Games.”
Presutti responded to the challenge with six weeks of preparation with progression to heavy lifts.
“I had a left shoulder acromion impingement issue develop. It was very painful, especially at night, so I didn’t get much sleep for two weeks. I got straight into my expert physio Dr. Andrew Lock in Melbourne and began an extensive lot of rehabilitation exercises for this.”
Guided by her coach who flew in to coach her, Presutti – who weighed in at 61kg – said she was ‘gunning for all my current records in my age class (60-64) in the 64kg class’.
Starting with squat, she was given all three lifts, maxing out at 117kg to set a new national record. She also got all three bench lifts, finishing at 58kg, another record.
Deadlift was also successful with all lifts, with the 150kg final lift setting a third record. The 325kg total was also a new Australian record, and she won the gold medal in her age and weight class.
Fuel for the lifts
“I had my friend Mary look at my nutrition and she upped my protein, calories and carbs to protein 171.8gr, carbs 185.2gr, fats 45.4gr and calories to 1,994,” said the retired nurse, who has been vegan since 2016. “I did well on that.”
Following the competition, Presutti met a trainer who developed a personalized program to ease her joints and stay strong.
“I can’t wait to get it started. 2020 will be a huge year. I’m planning a smaller comp in March then Nationals around June then the World Powerlifting World Championships in Las Vegas in October. My goals are a 120 squat, 60 bench, and a 155 deadlift at around 60kgs.”
Presutti dropped animal products in response to learning about the cruelty of the animal agriculture industries.
“I discovered PETA, and I began to read about all aspects of animal agriculture and all the cruelty related to the use of animals in entertainment, products, testing etc.,” she said.
“I was horrified and began sharing these things. I was privately contacted by a vegan powerlifting friend who reached out to me and gave me some information, so I thought I want to do this. I’m just being a hypocrite to continue being an omnivore now that I know the facts.”