Kristine Polizzano discovered her love for powerlifting through trips to the gym with her father.
Now a senior psychology major, Polizzano has competed in various competitions across the globe. She has attended world championships in Sweden and Canada and hopes to possibly attend one locally, in Scranton, Pennsylvania this January.
Recently, Polizzano has taken on her fourth fitness certification at Campus Recreation – Beach Body Turbo Kick, which Polizzano said is kind of like Zumba, but more intense.
“It’s fun and when you keep coming to a class you learn more routines,” Polizzano said. “You don’t think that it’s a hard workout at first, but after 50 minutes you’ll be sweating at the end.”
Not only is Polizzano certified in personal training, primary aerobics and kickboxing, she is also the vice president of Temple’s Powerlifting Club.
Powerlifting, Polizzano said, is what pushed her to get a job working at the Independence Blue Cross Recreation Center at Temple.
Her father, a dedicated powerlifter, inspired her to pursue the sport in high school.
“I did sports like field hockey in high school, but once my dad started taking me to the gym with him, I saw that powerlifting was awesome,” Polizzano said. “I learn a lot about myself through it, and I love it because you have control over your own body.”
Polizzano said people are often surprised by the fact that she is a female powerlifter.
“I like that I’m a girl,” Polizzano said. “It’s funny when I tell someone that I do powerlifting, and they’re like, ‘What?’”
Polizzano said that although powerlifting is usually considered a male-dominated sport, it has recently become more popular among women.
Anthony Alongi, a Campus Recreation fitness coordinator and Polizzano’s supervisor, said the IBC is grateful to have her.
“I really can’t say enough about [Polizzano],” Alongi said. “Her energy is an awesome standard of what a student working here should be doing. She’s the rock star of the fitness program. She brings so much camaraderie among the staff.”
Polizzano currently instructs Tabata, where she teaches bosu boot camp and full-body toning group fitness sessions. She is also a personal trainer for Campus Recreation’s personal training program – a service that aims to help exercisers accomplish a new fitness goal or discover a suitable fitness routine.
“I like seeing my clients with personal training take more control over their bodies, but with group fitness sessions I love that I can help like 50 people,” Polizzano said. “I may not have the best day ever, but at the end of the session I feel like, ‘Wow, I really helped a lot of people.’”
Dominique McDuffie, a junior legal studies major, is currently shadowing Polizzano’s bosu boot camp fitness session and hopes to one day teach it in the future.
“Whether you can do the hardest circuit or the easiest circuit, [Polizzano] is always making sure you are doing something,” McDuffie said. “With Bosu Boot Camp, she shows many different modifications for each skill level so that we all can be doing something.”
McDuffie said Polizzano is her personal role model. Polizzano has even inspired McDuffie to pursue a certification in Primary Fitness to eventually lead group sessions at the IBC, she said.
“I think in the classroom, gym and socially [Polizzano] is always willing to find the best in any situation or in any person no matter what,” McDuffie said. “She never gives up and is always looking for a tougher challenge. She will never settle and that’s something that I wish everyone would take away from her.”
Sienna Vance can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org