10 Questions with Kavwa Sichone
Updated: Mar 5
10 questions is a blog series hosted by North Shore Barbell aimed at giving exposure to some of New Zealand's top powerlifters & coaches.
Kavwa is one of New Zealand's top lifters, regardless of weight class. In 2019 he placed 4th in an incredibly stacked 66kg class at the IPF powerlifting world championships and ranked in the top 10 worldwide for 2019.
As well as being an awesome lifter, Kavwa is known for his ability to withstand some incredible weight cuts, for his advanced muscularity and his powerlifting coaching service Takt Performance Systems.
Make sure you're following Kavwa for 2020, as it will a big year for him!
Best lifts in competition:
225kg Squat / 162.5kg Bench / 255kg Deadlift | 642.5kg Total at 65.8kg
240kg Squat / 175kg Bench / 270kg Deadlift | 685kg Total at 72.9kg
Visit Kavwa's OpenPowerlifting profile for more information on his lifting history.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm a 30-year-old Zambian born kiwi living and working in Australia.
Glass manufacturing engineer by day.
How did you start lifting weights, at what age and why?
I started weight training at uni after my flatmates got me to join the gym. I've played a few sports from a young age but always got in trouble with my parents if they saw me touch weights - "it's gonna stunt your growth". They weren't there at uni so as long as I was handling my business there they didn't mind.
Footage of Kavwa's 4th place finish at the 2019 IPF World Championships
What drew you to Powerlifting specifically?
WBOP was hosting an icebreaker comp at the uni gym and walked past. I wanted to give it a go but i had just finished my session so I got their details and signed up for a bench only comp. After meeting a few powerlifters I was curious about the other 2 lifts, so I added them to the training. I noticed that most people could squat and deadlift more than they bench so I wanted in on that too. I liked the idea of getting stronger and the idea of weight classes and point systems seemed to make the strength comparable. Being full-time student and working part-time made it tricky to play other sports so lifting weights was convenient.
Kavwa standing with his final deadlift at the 2019 New Zealand national powerlifting champs
Who or what are your biggest influences when it comes to lifting and anything related to it?
Who - I'd say a lot of crazy strong lifters around atm so let's say current IPF "elites" - I want in lol. I'm not so big on the old school guys coz I'm still getting to know who's who... On the whole, I feel like there's a good community vibe about the local NZ scene, seeing how much effort everyone puts into this is cool. Having the opportunity to work with guys like John Strachan (Good balance of hard work and training smart) and also meeting guys like Yusuke Suzuki has taught me heaps(the detail that goes into his benchpress training is something else). My time at GetStrength was also cool; learnt a lot just training around other powerlifters, going to international comps, and seeing things happen right in front of me...etc. Ultimately though, I'd say me. I enjoy weight training and having powerlifting around is a good outlet to set goals. I've relocated a lot and lifting is now a constant.
What - Probably my curiosity around pushing my limits and finding solutions to roadblocks in training. Being able to apply different training protocols to work through current hurdles and make it sustainable excites me. The results to any improvement are tangible so I really like that aspect and when they aren't obvious then there's just another level to dig into.
What’s your best lifting memory or moment?
Nothing like the first time, first 3 lift in 2015, first time squatting more than my bench.
Kavwa deadlifting at the IPF World Championships in Sweden, 2019
What has been your biggest lifting fail?
NZ Nationals 2019 - bombed on bench.
What’s the best gym you’ve ever been to and/or trained at?
What are your top 3 songs to lift to?
Always changing but this week:
Get mine - Kid Ink
That far - 6lack
Do the most - Tory Lanez
What is your “guilty pleasure” exercise?
Leg press - Big numbers.
Kiss, marry, kill - Squat, Bench & Deadlift and why?
Squat - Great warmup for bench
Bench - It just feels right.
Deadlift - It's complicated.
Interested in teaming up with Kavwa for some powerlifting coaching? You can reach him at Takt Performance Systems
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