Pietig making a mark in the world of powerlifting

Ben Stoterau

The progression to becoming one of the top powerlifters in the state of Minnesota has been an interesting one for Lynn Pietig.

In the past four years the 125 pound dynamo has gone from just picking up the sport to holding two American record and 23 Minnesota records.

Lynn Pietig has become one of the top powerlifters in the State of Minnesota. The Morgan native recently set a pair of American records in her division.

That’s quite an accomplishment for the 55-year old Morgan native who owns Pietig Book-Works and lives on farm with husband Todd right outside of Morgan where she grew up.

Her journey began at Functional Fitness in Redwood Falls where she was introduced to powerlifting (squat, deadlift and bench press).  As she explained, she was given barbell work in one of her early programs and loved it.  It took off from there.

“I really enjoyed it and asked for more,” Pietig said, “I found out pretty early that I was good at it.”

In 2018 she began working with Adam Kleinfehn at Functional Fitness and then followed him to Sauk Centre in 2018 when he opened up a new gym.

“I kept him as my coach and we started distance training at that point which is very common in the sport of powerlifting,” she said.

Lynn Pietig prepares to squad during powerlifting competition.

In January of this year she switched over to national powerlifting coach Collin Whitney out of Philadelphia and has been distance training with Whitney since then while training out of Extreme Fitness in Springfield.

Her first competition was an unsanctioned meet in 2017 in Alexandria and after that she began competing in sanctioned meets with the USAPL (United State Association of Power Lifting).

Powerlifting meets are divided into flights according to age and weight classes for both men and women.  Age classes range from youth, teen, junior, open and masters with Pietig competing  in the 57 kg weight class (under 125.6 lbs prior to competition) in the Masters 2 (50-59 years of age) division.   She also competes in the Raw category which allows you to wear knee sleeves, wrist wraps and a belt - all which just come up to specs with the USAPL. 

Lynn Pietig completes a deadlift.

During competition, each lifter attempts three lifts (bench, squad, deadlift), needing to have at least one good lift to make a total.  A good lift is given by the judges (white light/red light).

“Essentially you are training months at a time for nine lifts total in front of the judges,” Pietig said.

In 2018, in her first sanctioned meet, she set a Minnesota record in the squat. A year later she qualified to compete at her first Raw Nationals event in Chicago where she would finish in fifth place and receive her first medal (Covid cancelled the 2020 Nationals). Recently, in June of 2021, she competed at the Raw Nationals in Daytona Beach and and set the American record for deadlift in her class and was just 12 lbs. away from getting a medal. She currently ranks sixth overall in the U.S.

“As of today I have set two American records and 23 Minnesota records,” she said, “eleven of the Minnesota records are current, prior records were just me beating my own numbers.”

Since switching coaches in January, Pietig's training regime consists of a four day a week schedule with one day focusing on squats, one of bench, one on deadlift and another as a secondary bench/squat day (with accessory lifts thrown in each day). She uses a four-week program from Whitney and sends him videos her workouts from him to critique and respond with comments accordingly.

Nutrition also is key for powerlifters and Pietig uses the Renaissance Periodization app that helps keep her nutrition in check.

“I definitely eat for fuel,” she said, “lots of protein, moderate fat and pretty high carbs.”

Before nationals in June she was eating around 4,000 calories a day and has now tapered that back to keep her weight around 128-129 pounds.

Pietig — mother to sons Jalen (28) and Tristan (25) and grandmother to Alaina (3 1/2) and Hudson (1 1/2) — is now gearing up for the Raw Nationals in 2022.

“I’m just waiting to find out where and when the 2022 Nationals will be,” she said. “I’ll hopefully be able to do a local type meet or two if possible before then.”

Until then, she’ll keep on training and continuing to fuel her passion for a growing sport.

“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “It’s been fun to see my growth over the past few years and I’m looking forward to the future and what it might hold.”