The term “world record” is not a term to be taken lightly. No one understands this more than Ana Malagon, a fifth-year accounting major at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP). Malagon was invited to the Los Angeles Fitness Expo on Sunday, Jan. 24 to compete in the American Cup. The invitation-only competition was judged by both national and international judges.
In this competition, Malagon squatted 163 kilos (358 pounds), benched 95 kilos (198 pounds), and deadlifted 197.5 kilos (435 pounds). Her total was 450.5 kilos (993 pounds). Malagon broke the world record for squatting, deadlifting and total overall in her weight class. Between all the lifting and record-breaking, we had a chance to talk to Malagon one-on-one.
What is your job here at ASI?
I am the fitness supervisor. I focus on group fitness and all the fitness programs. We have power lifting workshops and I give tips and technique; that’s always fun. When we have special events, I help out. Our next one is Into the Weight Room where we will teach people how to use dumbbells and other stuff. And I’ll be helping out.
What got you interested in weight lifting?
I was a runner, and then I was told if you start lifting, it’ll help you be faster. So that’s how I got into squatting and deadlifting. I was actually powerlifting before I even knew what it was. I used to lift with a guy, and he was a lot bigger and stronger than me. But I had this complex where apparently I didn’t notice that I was 5 feet 2 inches tall and 115 pounds, but I wanted to be just as strong as this guy. Then I Googled other women my weight and realized I was this strong. He got me my first weight lifting belt, and I signed up for a competition. Once I got on stage and got the adrenaline, I wanted to do another one.
Did you go to the competition knowing you would break a world record?
That’s a funny story. The night before, I was super nervous because they have you on this stage where it is just one platform. I went there Saturday to see the expo but I competed Sunday. Then I remembered to look at other records [set in the same competition] just to see if I stood a chance. So at two in the morning on Sunday, I looked up records and realized that those records are attainable. I stayed up for another hour and a half thinking, “You will have a world record,” and I couldn’t sleep; I was thinking, “You need to rest. You need to rest.”
What other hobbies do you have?
I work, I go to school and I lift. I’m doing those three things. For my free time, I don’t want to do anything because training is very taxing on my body. After I lift, I have to rest to get ready to do it again. I go to bed at 10 p.m.; I need 8 hours of sleep. If binge-watching shows on Netflix is a hobby, then that is my hobby. If Netflix paid for reviews, I would have a job!
What’s the show on Netflix you’ve watched more than once?
Parks & Recreation! That’s a no brainer! And I’ll make other people watch it! And then you try to find yourself in there. At work I can be a Leslie Knope, but at the same time, I can be April! Can I be Leslie and April at the same time?
Dogs or cats?
So I have a cat, but she’s not your normal cat. I’m kind of like a dog person. So my cat is so used to being carried that she just stays there and she’s fat and awesome. I have a cat but I wish I had a dog! I wish I was a dog person.
So what kind of movies do you like?
Depends what kind of mood I’m in. I really like comedy or action movies. And if you combine them, like the movie with Will Ferrell and hmm… oh THE OTHER GUYS! [Laughs non-stop] That’s action and comedy!
What is your favorite food?
You’re like asking me who my favorite child is right now! You’re asking me to kill someone. So, pizza or burgers. A bacon cheeseburger. Can it be a course meal? Like start with cheese sticks and then a bacon cheeseburger with fries, and then have a cookies and cream milkshake.
What is your favorite burger place?
There is Red Robin and there is Five Guys. Oh, and their Cajun fries are on point! If I have to do a sit down I would go to Slaters 50/50. I’m a burgers person so I know all the burger places.
Do you have any advice for someone who is starting out with weight lifting?
Do it! I always try to get people to compete. I tell people,”Do it once; you’ll get hooked.” As far as advice: You have to keep training. Don’t focus on anyone else, just remember you have to be better than yourself.
What is your ultimate goal as an athlete?
Part of me says don’t get injured. Well, it’s hard to put a cap on yourself. So right now my total is 993 pounds, but I want [to lift] 1000 pounds. But maybe I will say, “I want [to lift] 1100,” and that’s the issue with this sport; it’s testing your maximum abilities. You don’t want there to be a cap; you want to keep going. Honestly, I want to keep going to see how far I can get.
You heard it here first, Broncos—our one-on-one interview with a world record holder. And in all of this, when asked about the world records, Malagon said she got 3/4 of the records possible. Her comment on that? “I’ll get them all next time.”
If you’d like to meet Malagon, she will be helping with Into the Weight Room, which will be on the third floor of the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC, Bldg. 42) on Saturday, March 5 from 3-5 p.m. Right before Rec Fest.