I’ve always been a fitness person, always athletic, always trying to keep healthy. When I found powerlifting , it became a whole new passion. It was healthy with a kick, bang, and boom! I never knew just how much I would put into this new sport I had found. When I started, I remember I was in a normal, everyday gym called “American Bodyworks” in Hiram, Georgia in July or so of 2012. I had tried deadlifting to see what my max was, not just for aesthetic purposes. My first max was 205, at a body weight of 132. I was ECSTATIC!!!! I couldn’t believe it, and I wanted more every minute after that day.
Where do you start?
My husband and I started studying form, I began following female powerlifters and watching every lift I could find. We bought a belt from Sports Authority, just a cheap little bodybuilder belt because at the time we were still learning. At first all I really worked on was deadlift–it was my favorite. My bench was around 105, so bench wasn’t my preferred lift. And squat? I squatted, but I hadn’t gotten to really working on that one yet. Within a few months, I was deadlifting 255 and had finally gotten a plate (the infamous 45 plate, making 135 lbs) for my bench press and I almost cried…or maybe I did cry…a little.
Powerlifting = Life.
Have you ever tried to do something over and over and over and failed repeatedly? Did you keep trying or did you give up? Well, I have a hard time giving up, and I usually do not. Powerlifting is a metaphor for those instances in your life. You have this weight pushing down on you, and you desperately want to get it up and conquer it, sometimes you do it, and sometimes you fail repeatedly. But, when you finally get it, it’s like you just won at life.
So, deadlift and bench were now tied for my favorite lifts. And not long after making these gains, my husband and I moved and we started training at Iron Beast gym in Gainesville, Ga. This is where I started working on squat technique with the help of several powerlifters from the gym there. This was also when we were both talked into competing in our first meet. I can’t explain the feeling of a competition well enough to do it justice. I felt like everyone there was family, like everyone there was a hero and we were all fighting the same fight. Everyone was yelling and clapping in support of each person, and the moment on the platform was filled with joy and with anxiety. And after each successful pull, I was even more excited. It was like a dream; I’ve never felt so good in my life! You know those moments when everything is perfect and you feel so happy inside you could cry? That is a powerlifting meet.
Fast forward to this year, 2013.
I just finished a meet a few months ago…and I competed along with Orlando Barbell team at the Orlando Europa! This meet was a whole new level–it was HUGE! The meet took place at a huge fitness expo where there were so many other events going on: CrossFit, arm wrestling, bodybuilding, karate, cheerleading…the list is endless. Not to mention , I met Erin Stern and DLB was there but her line was an eternity long and because I was competing I didn’t get to meet her.
So when we moved to Florida I began training at Orlando Barbell, owned and operated by world record holder Brian Schwab, who is also my coach. I’ve been training using his method “The Minimalist Method.” At this meet , I had HUGE PR’s and my first time squatting in a meet because my first meet was only a push/pull (bench, deadlift). At this meet I benched 165, deadlifted 297, and squatted 237 (my 259 squat was called for depth, grrrrr). And at my next meet, which will possibly be in October, I hope to hit an ELITE total!!!!
So, what’s the purpose of this article you ask??
I want YOU to follow us up to our next meet. I want YOU to feel what it’s like to be in this sport. And, I want YOU to consider becoming a powerlifter. Why? Because I can’t possibly keep this much fun to myself. I was asked to share and so I’m sharing with you: currently Orlando Barbell is working on a documentary called “Behind the Iron,” about powerlifting and the many different types of people who do it, which I will be featured in as well as several other lifters from OBB. So, check it out and if you want you can also make contributions or just check out our kickstarter page and share it! We currently have a short version of the documentary and are trying to raise enough money for a full version. Your support is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to seeing you on the platform!
Check out the promo video for Behind the Iron!
And just in case you’re wondering? NO. Powerlifting does NOT make women big or “bulky.” It makes them HOT.