Athlete Profile – Kat Kasabuske

kasabuske_bioIn 1997 while lifting at a YMCA in Daytona Beach, Florida, I was approached by two guys who invited me to a powerlifting meet.  “You’re strong.” they said.  “You should come and lift”.  I went, and ended up winning the teenage and open divisions at 17 years of age.  The very next month I tore my ACL (first of several times) and did not compete again until nine years later.  Although only in the sport a brief time, it impacted me in a way that would change my future.

In 2005 I underwent several major abdominal surgeries, and due to a heart problem had lost 25 lbs.  I wanted to get strong again, so I typed “powerlifting meets Seattle” into my search engine and found a link to USAPL in Washington.  The 2006 state meet was coming up and I was determined to compete.  I trained, practiced my lifts, studied the rules and purchased my singlet.  I won the bench-only division in the 52 kilo class.  More importantly, I met several people who proved to be integral in my powerlifting career (Kevin Stewart, Faith Ireland, Paula Houston, Todd Christensen, Bull Stewart and Willie Austin).  I competed regularly in bench-only until late 2007 when I decided to try full-power.  My first equipped total was 777 lbs in the 56 kilo class.

In 2008 I was told I had large tumor in my T8 vertebra.  Eight days later I competed in the inaugural Raw National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.  I loved raw lifting and felt better when I was lifting than when I was not!  Later that year I found out I had been invited to the Arnold Sports Festival to compete in the Con-Cret Raw Challenge.  I asked my doctors if I could postpone treatment until after I competed and they were actually fine with the idea.  Treatment was radiation done inside the vertebra and would have taken me out for several months.  With renewed spirits I trained like I had never trained before.  And on competition day I set raw American Records in squat, deadlift and total.  One month later I found out the tumor in my spine had shrunk.  I jokingly say squats saved my life!   I ended up competing at the Arnold in 2009 and 2010 in the raw division and in 2011 in the equipped division.  I’ve placed second each year I’ve gone.

kasabuske_bio2In 2010, after qualifying for equipped nationals with a raw total, I won my first Open National Championship in the 56 kilo class and subsequently went to the IPF Open World Championships in Potchefstroom, South Africa.  I placed 7th in a very competitive grouping, but came back with much more than a medal.  While there, I met my future husband and fellow World Team member, Erik Kasabuske.  It was love at first sight and we were married ten months later.

In 2011 Erik and I both competed at the IPF Open World Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic.  This time as a married couple!  We both placed 9th in stacked fields.

I thoroughly enjoy competing, learning, and growing as a lifter.  I have developed a passion for coaching others and often have many guests in my fabulous home gym – The Sanctuary.  Recently I took my referee exam and sincerely look forward to contributing to the sport with fair and accurate judging and adherence to the rules.  I am also a proud member of the Wisconsin USA Powerlifting Advisory Group.  Competing in Wisconsin has truly been a pleasure.  I am thankful for the influences of so many and am looking forward to my next competition, the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival.

Best Competition Lifts at 56 kilos (123lbs):

  • Squat:  390 lbs
  • Bench: 214 lbs
  • Deadlift: 418 lbs
  • Total: 986 lbs

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