Powerlifting. Before I dive in let me start by saying that Powerlifting is often and should not be confused with Bodybuilding, Olympic Lifting or CrossFit! Now don’t get me wrong, none of the aforementioned sports/fitness regimes are “bad” and can incorporate similar training or actions as powerlifting, they are just not powerlifting.
Powerlifting consists of 3 strength events: the squat, the bench press and the deadlift. The generalized goal behind it all is to lift as much as you can in each event to score a better total (of all 3 events) than your competitors in the same weight class. Powerlifters can lift in raw or equipped categories. Here is a quick and basic summary of a competition: weigh in and get placed in a weight category, compete in 3 lifts, 3 attempts for each lift (4 if you are attempting to break a record and haven’t missed a lift), and then wait to see if you’ve placed based on your totals. Voila! Now you know the basics of powerlifting.
So what have I been doing all summer? Well… Powerlifting!! I have a meet coming up on August 17th, 2013, and I have specifically been training for it since the beginning of May. Why powerlifting? Well have you ever heard of the guy’s saying that goes along the lines of ” if you get into an argument with a women just screw the tops of all the jars on really tight and they will have to come to you in order to get them open”?
Well it’s not that I don’t want to resolve arguments or be difficult, its that I don’t want to have to rely on the strength of others when I can become strong myself. I think it’s actually awesome to be a strong female. Additionally, training with weights and resistance is incredibly helpful in the prevention of osteoporosis and can help maintain activities of daily living as I age. It may sound silly to talk about the health benefits of weight training in respect to problems older adults may face when I’m young, but really that’s the point. If I start training now and continue training, I won’t have to worry as much about sarcopenia, the muscle wasting that occurs with age. I have also found that powerlifting is incredibly humbling. There are always people stronger than you, those who train smarter, improve faster, or can make weight easier. There are days that you just can’t seem to lift as much as you normally do. Or even worse, days you miss (or get pinned down by) a weight. You have to learn to swallow your ego, try to not get discouraged, truly admire anyone doing a similar thing and achieving results, and just keep training. It’s been a struggle to commit to 3-5 days a week of hard work on top of other responsibilities, and now, a few weeks before competition, I have to start dieting to make weight. I HATE DIETING. But, I feel that by doing all of this I am learning. I am learning more and more each day about this sport. I have pushed through what I thought were limitations. I am working everyday to keep my ego in check. I have gained immense respect for my training partners for all of their knowledge, dedication and ability. I also have extreme gratitude towards them for all of their encouragement and support. So why Powerlifting? To challenge myself.
I”ll let you know how my first meet goes!