A female powerlifter from Los Angeles says that the sport saved her life after growing up with a history of eating disorders. 27-year-old Ru Komiyama, known online as the “Little Beast”, can squat 305lbs and deadlift 363lbs despite being just five feet tall.
Ru told our sibling YouTube channel Truly: “I love weightlifting, it’s one of the most empowering sports, especially for a woman. It’s just a challenge that never stops. If people see me train and their first thought is that I’m on steroids, I think that’s a compliment.”
In this episode of Truly’s Miami Muscle series, she will attempt to crush a watermelon between her thighs - but will she be able to do it? She said: “The only risk here is my pride. It’s definitely a lot harder than I expected.”
Watch Ru Komiyama's watermelon-crushing attempt here:
Ru's background in competitive figure skating led to eating disorders, such as bulimia. However, her friends introduced her to powerlifting, which she said saved her life. Part of the sport of lifting involves eating to fuel muscle growth – without a substantial amount of food, including lots of clean protein, muscles won't grow at the desired pace. This influenced Ru and helped her begin to overcome some of her issues with food.
Ru can be seen performing a bench press, hitting a PB of 190lbs, but in order to get strong enough in her lower body to crush a watermelon, she can be seen doing deadlifts up to 363lbs. Deadlifts, often called the "king of exercises", benefits your legs, glutes, back, core and arms at the same time. It strengthens your bones and ups the release of natural growth hormone and testosterone in the body, in both genders.
This is a good thing. According to Harvard University, testosterone levels in men and women can benefit muscle growth, bone health, libido, fertility and more. Lifting heavy weights can influence the production of these beneficial hormones and decrease the amount of cortisol in your body, a "fight or flight" stress hormone which encourages your body to gain weight.
When getting started with deadlifts, always try it with just the bar to warm up. For more comprehensive breakdowns, check out our guides on how to deadlift with dumbbells at home and how to deadlift properly with barbells.
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