INTO USF Student Finds Hobby in Powerlifting

Mariya Topchy

Lifting 666 pounds for an ultra lift, a combination of squat, deadlift and bench press, isn't a typical goal for a 19-year-old girl.

Mariya Topchy, an INTO USF student leader, found a hobby in powerlifting and has recently been participating in various competitions. Topchy is in the INTO USF Undergraduate Pathway Program studying marketing.

When she arrived and started attending classes she felt herself getting lazy. She had already gone through a weight loss journey back home where she lost 15 kilos or 33 pounds. She said she didn't want to go through that again.

Topchy sought the advise of her trainer in Ukraine who told her what she needed to start doing. She started a new regiment but was still performing her strength workouts with machines.

"I started reading and learning and I created my own program," Topchy said. "With time I figured out I wanted to power lift."

From there her powerlifting hobby took off and turned into much more than a hobby. She started training with a friend and going to powerlifting competitions. Topchy attended a powerlifting competition on July 19 where she set a record for age, weight and class.

She power lifted at another event on August 2 and met her current coach. She now attends monthly competitions and was even recently featured in Power Lifting Watch.

"I have never been into sports," Topchy said. "I wanted to do something to show I can do sports. This feeling when you set your personal record is magic. The feeling is priceless."

Read the Power Lifting Watch article here.