UW Choral Music Director Becomes Record Setting Power Lifter

May 13, 2016

Credit Bob Beck

For many years, the University of Wyoming choir programs have been recognized as among the best in the country.

Since 2008 Doctor Nicole Lamartine has been the Director of Choral activities and she’s so highly thought of that she conducts and give seminars around the world and she’s a highly regarded singer in her own right. But she also has a hidden talent as a weight lifter.

A power lifter to be exact and a pretty good one, for instance, she currently holds the world back squat record after squatting 265 pounds.

Credit Bob Beck

She is slightly over 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 121 pounds, and she’s in her 40’s. What’s surprising is that being an athlete is also a relatively new thing for her.

“I was the chubby one who sang in choir. But you know I am blessed with great genes, I got this tree trunk legs from my Dad and these broad shoulders from my Mom and I guess I’ve got some good genes.”

Things changed in 2011 when her husband convinced her to try CrossFit.

“I loved the mental aspect of it, that you have to be so focused for a short time, and you know the pain’s gonna to be over and every workout is a challenge, and I discovered a lot about myself in terms of what I could do physically and what I had to do mentally, it was great.”

Lamartine eventually became a CrossFit trainer and then moved into power lifting. After her first meet, she qualified for the national competition.For her age group, she holds national records in the bench press and deadlift and as mentioned the world record in the back squat.

“To be able to accomplish a goal or to try a weight that I’ve never tried before in competition and do it. Oh my gosh, that’s the best feeling ever.”

Her Coach Don Robbins has been amazed by her progress.

“You wonder about things like her age. You know she’s 40-years-old and you know the fact that she’s able to do these things at that age is really surprising. To me, the age factor is more surprising than the size.” 

Robbins added that she is far from her peak. He predicts that when she competes in the national competition in July she’ll set even more records. 

University of Wyoming Music Department Chair Theresa Bogard is not surprised by any of this. 

“It’s this energy but coupled with the strive for excellence and I think that’s probably why she’s been so successful in her weightlifting as well. It’s this personality trait that makes her so wonderful in every part of her life.”

In both music and weight lifting, Lamartine said that she believes that breath is key.

“In choir, we make our sounds through our voices and it’s powered by our breath and here the gym if I’m not breathing well I don’t lift well.  So it just corroborated my thought that breath is this driving life force no matter what the context.”

Lamartine is affectionately known as Dr. La around the music department and her singers rave about the influence she’s had on them and the energy she brings to every rehearsal. Senior Michael Morgan said they know all about the weight lifting.

“I think it’s great, I love it, I love it. As soon as I learned that she was into the weight lifting thing we got together during our retreat and we made her bench press one of the smaller guys because we knew she could do it. It was great.”