LEAH MAMANE: Stepping Stones of a Powerlifter

LEAH MAMANE: Stepping Stones of a Powerlifter

Powerlifter Leah Mamane works out in SKINS Compression tights in preparation for her competition.

How powerlifter and SKINS Compression ambassador, Leah Mamane, pushed for the national record.

By: Leah Mamane

Breaking a national record and what lead to it.

The biggest reward, and what mattered to me most that day, was experiencing a feeling. Winning a competition or reaching a personal best should be, and is, so much more than having a title. For me, it’s the feeling of personal fulfillment when you truly experience the carry-over of all the efforts and sacrifices to then accomplish a result that you’ve envisioned and hoped for.

Leah Mamane models SKINS long sleeve compression top in the gym.

I knew that I was living in the moment before the competition even came to an end. This was my greatest accomplishment thus far. It was a barrier that I wanted to break, and that barrier was 90% mental. Winning first place in my weight category and breaking the Canadian National Record for bench press in the 63kg category was simply a stepping stone to the beginning of my true growth. From that point on, I knew things would be different.

What many fail to see or realize is the countless hours that an athlete spends dedicated to their craft. You see the result, the win, or the loss. You never truly know what an athlete does in their day-to-day. You don’t see the battles they overcome in training, you don’t see the hours they spend on recovery, you don’t see their deep level of focus, and you don’t see their determination as they relentlessly work towards perfecting their own performance. There are many sacrifices that an athlete makes as they strive towards their dreams, but what you see is the result.

Leah Mamane wears SKINS long compression tights while deadlifting.

There have been many competitions where my performance in the gym did not mirror my performance on the platform, and this took work to improve. Not only did it build my character over the years, but it also challenged my commitment and willingness to fight for my dream. I began to peel back the layers and really dissect what the missing link could be. Little did I know, it was the power of visualization. This was a game changer to my training. The mind is an extremely powerful tool when used effectively. To be able to curate scenarios and images but more importantly to experience real feelings in these visualizations, had just an incredible effect on my training and mental capacity as an athlete.

This past competition was the first time that I felt my training reflected in my performance, and that all my hard work came out on the day that mattered most. Daily visualization prescribed by my coach was a huge factor in my success. Before it even happened, I saw it, I believed it, and I achieved it. When I broke that record and realized that the other two records were within reach, it lit a fire in me more than ever before. I went from being a girl proud of her strength and progress over the years to a girl who was now fully aiming to be the best 63kg lifter in all of Canada.

It felt amazing to nail that bench press record but also gave me such hunger, knowing I have more in me and that I was just scratching the surface of my potential.

I’ll share with you a moment from my experience.

Leah Mamane lifts at the competition.

There was one standout experience. Let me describe to you what it felt like for me. During the competition, before stepping out onto the platform, you wait “on deck.” The simplest way to visualize this is that you are standing behind a wall, waiting for your name to be called. At this point, your confidence needs to be solidified as the anticipation can either make or break you mentally in that specific moment. I remember standing there, waiting, watching the crowd grow louder, surrounding my platform. It felt as if the entire room came to a halt to watch what I was about to do.

Leah models the SKINS Compression SERIES-5 long sleeve top while lifting in the gym.

As the loaders were putting weights on the bar and the announcers were announcing the record I was about to break, I went blank. I entered such a deep level of focus that everything in that moment became a blur. The one thing I remember was seeing a cameraman walk past my platform, on his way to film someone else. He stopped dead in his tracks, looked at the screen, then looked at me with a shocked expression on his face, and stayed to film my moment. That’s when I said to myself, “it’s time to show them what I can do.” I sat at the edge of the bench, took a deep breath, cleared my mind, lied down to set up, and nailed the lift.

Honestly, I didn’t realize the true impact of what I had just achieved until lifters, coaches, and officials came up to me to congratulate me on my national record. If they only knew what was going on in my head. As humble as I stood there, I remember thinking to myself, “wow, I guess this is a big deal.” I was proud to live in that moment, but deep down, I viewed it as a level that I needed to unlock to get closer to my dream. So yes, it was amazing, but what was going through my head was, “okay, what more can I do because I have more in me.”

What’s next?

Next up, I will be competing at the Canadian Powerlifting Nationals in September 2024. This will not only be a “redemption” competition but also one that I view as a starting point for the qualifying process to compete internationally in 2025. Therefore, from now until then, I will be working hard to deliver my best performance yet.

How has SKINS Compression impacted my training and recovery?

After my last competition in December, I immediately began preparing for the one I just completed and mentioned above. The preparation for a competition typically spans a period of 8-12 weeks of intense training.

Leah Mamane wears SKINS Compression long tights while lifting weights.

In the lead-up to this competition, my coach decided to increase the training volume. This meant more frequent lifting sessions and higher physical demands per session. Fortunately, I tend to recover very well from my training sessions due to my emphasis on the quality of sleep and nutrition throughout my preparation. I make sure to check all the boxes, so I know that I can challenge and push my body. During this prep, I squatted relatively heavy twice a week, deadlifted twice a week, and performed bench presses with different variations daily. Overall, my body felt amazing!

On days when I possibly didn’t feel 100%, I would put on my SKINS SERIES-5 Compression Leggings or especially the SERIES-5 Compression Long Sleeve (this was of huge help)! It provided the slight boost that I needed to complete my lifting with ease. Aside from the increased blood flow benefits, wearing SKINS Compression garments had a 100% influence on my confidence to aim for higher numbers. So, the added mental benefit along with the physical comfort; it was the perfect combination to push me to succeed.

In summary, what I can say after reflecting on my experience is that there will come a time when you think you’ve reached your peak performance or that you’ve given it your all. However, from my experience, there is always the possibility for more growth, and the key requirements are consistent effort and deep-rooted self-belief.

Follow SKINS Compression on Instagram: @skinsna | Follow Leah Mamane on Instagram: @leahhmamane

Questions about compression? Learn more at www.skinscompression.com/us/

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