|Naomi Kutin lifts 215 pounds Â- more than twice her weight.|
She might look like a 92-pound weakling, but do not be fooled: Ten-year-old Naomi Kutin of Fair Lawn is armed with Herculean strength.
The Yeshivat Noam fifth-grader recently broke the world record for raw squatting by lifting 215 pounds – more than twice her own weight. The previous record for her weight division was 209 pounds, which was set by a 44-year-old European woman last summer. “It was quite an accomplishment,” said her mother, Neshama Kutin, in a modest understatement.
Kutin said she enjoys every moment. “I like the whole feel of getting up there and being strong.”
Kutin competes drug-free and without assistive clothing or equipment. She did, however, have the benefit of two years of coaching by an expert of sorts: her father, Ed Kutin, who has been weight training for the past 30 years himself and who has set several national records in the ADAU, 100 Percent Raw, and WNPF power-lifting federations.
For Kutin, her victory meant more than fame or gold medals. She was making a social statement on behalf of children everywhere. “Sometimes adults think kids can’t do things because we’re kids. I showed that we really can do it.”
Because the Kutin family is Shabbat-observant, special accommodations were made for Naomi so she did not have to compete on Saturday.
Kutin’s career began two years ago, when she came down to the family basement, which is filled with weight-lifting equipment. “She had a real aptitude for it – she advanced quickly,” said Ed Kutin. “We were surprised by how much she liked it.”
Kutin went to her first contest at age 8 and won, breaking a record then for the women’s class by lifting 143 pounds. Then she broke the all-time world record in 2011 by lifting 205 pounds. That record was broken by the European woman last summer.
Last weekend, however, Kutin won back her title at the Raw Unity Meet (RUM) competition in Corpus Christi, Texas. For the curious, her status as record holder is confirmed on powerliftingwatch.com. Although she is a big shot power-lifter, Kutin remains a “giggly, silly, friend-loving girl and good student,” said Neshama. She manages to find time for myriad other sports, including basketball, karate, and soccer. “It’s hard to find a sport she doesn’t love,” said her father.
“We’re acutely aware of physical fitness,” said Neshama, who used to be overweight. “The message to our children is find something you love to be active in and do it. Don’t wait for disease to find you. Go enjoy your life.”