FIT6: Powerlifter Liza Ledford

FIT6: Powerlifter Liza Ledford

Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. Sponsored by Baptist Health Sports Medicine, this week’s guest is Liza Ledford. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to

image (1)Tell Us a Little About Yourself

I lecture exercise physiology and principles of strength and conditioning at the University of Louisville. Starting in January, my other responsibilities will be to advise graduate students and help develop the strength and conditioning track in our graduate program.

As an athlete, I am a competitive weightlifter and powerlifter. I just went to powerlifting raw nationals (“raw” meaning minimal equipment). Previously, I rowed my freshman year at Berry College in Rome, Georgia and have been competitively lifting in either weightlifting or powerlifting for two years.

Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health

1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?

I train 3-4 times a week. Often, there is a daily emphasis of one of the three main competition lifts (squat, bench, and deadlift) with accessory lifts following as well as some form of short conditioning segment of either hill sprints or sled work. I use the term “sprints” very loosely. I am NOT a fan of conditioning work.

2) How do you prepare for a workout?

Often before training, I have some area-specific warmups I do just to help activate the muscles I’m about to train. Then, I get into my regular warmup and training. I do not like traditional pre-workout supplements, but I will drink the heck out of some coffee.

3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?

I have Celiac’s disease and lactose intolerance, so many of the quick-energy options are not an option for me. Truly, if I need “quick” energy, I’m hitting up chocolate, but usually my meals are spaced pretty well to fuel my training sessions.

4) What is your daily nutritional meal plan when training?

Powerlifting is a weight-class sport, so I have to keep an eye on my weight when I’m getting close to a meet. Often what I do is I’ll start cutting out the extra frills I give myself because life is way more than a set of abs (of which I’ve never really had nor do I really care that much about). As I get closer to my meets, I will concentrate my carbohydrates around my training and attempt to cut out alcohol.

IMG_5960(2)5) What do you snack on between meals when training?

Usually I will snack on smaller meals in between big meals, if I snack at all. I tend to cut out snacking entirely when I am cutting weight and just stick to my meals. But when I do, I try to get a decent blend of carbs/fats/protein. An example might be half an apple, a tablespoon of peanut butter (extra crunchy, of course) and a small serving of chicken (2oz).

6) What are your fitness & health goals?

I’d like to make it to nationals each year I train and look forward to squatting 300# eventually. I like to think that I am just setting myself up for a better quality of life later on all while not taking training too seriously. There is life outside of training. I never want to look back and say, “Wow, I spent that entire year dieting or cutting weight and I had no fun,” or “I wasn’t able to enjoy things because everything revolved around my training schedule.” I’m almost 30. That time in my life has past. I get serious when I’m near a meet but, in general, I’m happy hitting new PRs and staying close to my weight class.