Nov 12th, 2011
Tracy Zimmer of The University of Pennsylvania making mere mortals feel inadequate
YouTube causes me no small amount of consternation because I am only a few seconds away from finding something like the video above. I’d like to introduce you to Tracy Zimmer, Assistant Strength Coach at The University of Pennsylvania. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that Tracy is really, really strong. She is coached by James Steel, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Penn who can be heard providing encouragement off camera. Steel is very highly regarded strength coach who, not surprisingly, sees the squat as an important component in any well constructed program. He is a competitive powerlifter himself, who happens to hold three records in the American Powerlifting Association of New Jersey.
However, let’s return to Ms. Zimmer who weighs approximately 150 pounds. In the video above, she squats 325 pounds for 14 repetitions. For those of you who had the privilege of holding 325 pounds on your back, you can fully appreciate what is happening in the video. Zimmer squats 2.17 times her bodyweight for repetition after repetition wearing just a belt and some knee sleeves. A twice bodyweight squat is an impressive feat of strength for just about any athlete and that is just for one repetition. For a woman to accomplish that 14 times is, well, pretty damn amazing.
The news out of Pennsylvania this week has been bad. As a Penn State alumnus, it is rather depressing to read the headlines. However, Tracy Zimmer and her squats came to the rescue. For those that need some inspiration to approach training with renewed intensity, Tracy sets an excellent example.