If you were born before the year 2010….odds are you didn’t grow up dreaming of the day you would compete in your first Powerlifting meet. I could be wrong, (and it would be great if I was!) but for most women Powerlifting wasn’t on their radar as a little girl…and most likely was something they had never heard of. Although muscly men in sweatbox gyms have been doing barbell squats and deadlifts for decades, the sport of Powerlifting is relatively new and newer still for female competitors. Now, thanks to the internet for spreading gym fails and how-to videos, this sport is growing in popularity ALL the time and attracting those ready to try something new and different.
SO WHAT IS A POWERLIFTING MEET ANYWAY?
Powerlifting involves what we call the 3 main lifts: Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Although these are common enough movements, a Powerlifting competition judges you on certain standards. At a Powerlifting meet, men and women attempt to set new personal records on each of these three lifts. Each competitor gets three attempts on each of the three movements with the goal being to increase each time for a larger total.The total is each of the best attempts added together.
Each competitor is placed into a division based on their weight and age and is judged against those in their class. However, what is special about Powerlifting is that everyone cheers you on regardless of whether or not they are competing against you! Yes, many come and attempt to be the strongest in their weight class — however for most people it is a chance not to compete against others, but to do their own best work. Powerlifting meets are made up of a WIDE range of men and women. Some hold state, national, or world records and others are competing for the very first time just for fun.
Last month, a USPA (United States Powerlifting Association) Powerlifting event was held at Big Mountain Barbell in Midvale Utah. Our Fitbliss Fitness Power team had the pleasure of coaching 13 female competitors who took home several medals and awards between them. The experience was an overwhelmingly positive one for our ladies.
If you’re looking to try something new, to feel stronger, to improve your physique without hours of cardio, or to feel empowered- you should consider adding Powerlifting to your fitness routine. Whether you are 16 years old or 65, athletic or just getting started, it will be a great experience that you won’t regret. But don’t take my word for it… hear what our competitors have to say about it!
#1 Powerlifting makes you feel part of something more than a sport
“Everyone is supportive and no one cares about the amount of weight you are lifting. They just want you to succeed. This sport pushes you to become a better “you” without feeling the need to be perfect. Plus, you will always have the desire to get stronger. Powerlifting is unlike any sport and you will instantly fall in love when you see your first 3 white lights.”
-Fitbliss Athlete & Coach Taylor Vigil
# 2 It is a way to break down stereotypes placed upon women in terms of the training they “should do”
“We all have our own personal journeys and have been through many different things. I think that as women, we set limits on ourselves due to circumstances, age, and false truths from our past. Being able to participate in the BMB powerlifting meet was not just about a test of physical strength, it helped me break through some of those limits and false truths.”
-Fitbliss Athlete Ann Williams
#3 It is the perfect sport for both those who are ready for a little competition…or those who just want to have fun
“Powerlifting gets a bad rap for being a “meathead” sport and it’s anything but! Powerlifting is for anyone and everyone who wants to try it! It’s exhilarating to put your body to the ultimate test and to push yourself to lift as much as you possibly can. Like any sport, it doesn’t always go as planned, but it’s still amazing to attempt to do something you’ve never done before. It’s competitive but fun at the same time.”
– Fitbliss Athlete & Coach Sarah Paxton
# 4 It’s a great way to stay motivated and focused with your training
“If you are bored in the gym, want to feel more confident, want a healthy relationship with your body, want to grow as a person both mentally and physically, or maybe just want to be able to eat more food, GIVE IT A TRY! You get to be free from all the junk standards and expectations that society places on female athletes and get to focus instead on your performance as an athlete by getting stronger and improving technique.”
– Fitbliss Athlete Natasha Ann
#5 It is emPOWERing
See what I did there 😉 But really, lifting weights that are heavier than what most typical guys lift is fun and incredibly empowering. From the minute you step up to that platform you will feel a rush of energy like no other. Not only is it a great way to get stronger, but there’s no better way to build a feminine physique than lifting heavy!
“Honestly it was the best experience ever. I never imagined I would ever be able to do a powerlifting competition but I did and I nailed it and I’m SO PROUD! Of myself and grateful for the experience and opportunity. I feel like this is one of many I plan to do in the future!”
-Fitbliss Athlete Chastity Saber