You’ve been busting some lifts in the gym and someone
says to you:
– “you’re doing pretty well there”
– “have you ever thought of giving a Powerlifting Competition a go?”
Next thing you know you’ve signed up for your first ever Powerlifting Competition and the all consuming process begins. In this article you will find 2 personal accounts of ladies who found a new passion and decided to give Powerlifting Competitions a go.
Karen Stannard – member at 180 Strength, Bournemouth
“If someone had told me, 7 months previously, that I would be competing in a powerlifting competition I would have laughed in their face. Here I was at the South-West Open in Cheltenham. What on earth I was doing?
Note to self…. I should have gone and watched a competition first!”
WEIGH IN, OPENERS AND RACK HEIGHTS
To start with I was on my own surrounded by fit looking ladies all eager to weigh in and start eating. I knew no-one but had been told to get weighed in and get my rack heights sorted. I found the weigh in room with a sign attached to the door and waited. Here we picked up our lifting slips and wrote down our opening lifts. Lastly, after a kit check by the officials I went off to pick my rack heights.
I was so nervous I nearly went home at this point, and felt ridiculously out of place. Finally, my coach arrived and I felt like I had been thrown a lifeline – at least to the point that I could string a sentence together. With waves of nausea, I watched as people arrived to watch and compete. However, once I started warming up, my training started to kick in and I was able to focus.
One of the things people said before the competition is how welcoming the power lifting environment is, and how supportive people are. Suspiciously, I thought this was a ploy to put me at ease but they were right. Visibly nervous, competitors chatted to me and offered words of support. I smiled through the fear and the nerves.
WALKING ON TO THE PLATFORM
Walking out on to the platform has to be the most terrifying thing I have ever done. Leaping out of a plane was nothing compared to this and as I stood under the bar for my first squat my knees were knocking. Feeling slightly terrified, I could hear the plates rattling as I shook. Next, I heard the comforting cues from my coach and focused on the refs, waiting for the command. Bizarrely, I didn’t hear any yelling from the crowd and the next thing I knew I was walking off the platform in a daze. Fortunately, the months of coaching and hard word resulted in me producing my lifts on autopilot. Job done. Apparently now the nerves would disappear.
I made it through squats with all white lights. Feeling huge relief going into the bench I achieved two lifts but failed my third. I knew I could do the lift, annoyed at myself this drove me into the final three lifts. Luckily, adrenaline kicked in and I set a new PB! Finally, I left the platform FEELING INCREDIBLE. All of it had been done in a haze but the many hours of coaching and training, setbacks and failure, had all been worth it.
After 7 months of Powerlifting and two weeks before my 50th birthday I went home with a trophy and a whole lot of pride. The ‘people’ were right, there was a brilliant atmosphere and lots of support from others competing and all of the people watching. My tip: listen to your coach, know the rules,follow the program!
JACQUIE OWEN – Previous member at 180 Strength
ZERO to HERO!
I started training with James and Owen at 180 in March 2014. I was overweight, tired, had no strength and zero fitness, and felt quite old! Now I feel strong, healthy and I’m reasonably fit. I certainly feel younger than my 55 years!
I remember saying to Owen one day – I wish I had written down what weights I could lift to begin with so I could measure my progress…. in the kindest voice he said:
“Oh Jacquie we didn’t need to write it down because when you started you couldn’t lift any weight at all!!!”
This makes the fact that I now have a GPC British record even more unbelievable.
MOVING AWAY BUT STILL LOVING IT
When I moved to Salisbury in June 2016 I continued training with Adam at Alpha Omega. At that stage my training was twice a week and still for general strength and fitness. Not long after Adam decided to hold a Powerlifting competition! He encouraged me to start training like a power lifter, we trained twice a week until the end of the year and then in January we increased it to three days a week. We mainly concentrate on one discipline in each session. Training is never the same and never easy but I always have a sense of achievement when it’s done. Quite simply – I love it!
I am so glad I got off the sofa, Powerlifting really is for everyone. It doesn’t make you massive, it DOES MAKE YOU STRONG AND HEALTHY.
What next, well the first Powerlifting competition was a learning experience, I’m hoping to be more successful next time and have already entered another competition.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE A GO?
Would you like to have a go at a Powerlfting Competition? You can go directly to websites like the GBPF (Great Britain Powerlifting Federation) or the EPA (English Powerlifting Association) to find out more book in to one of our coaching sessions – call 01202 619 112