One of our members, Hellen Shorb, recently participated in her first powerlifting meet. These contests are comprised of three tests of strength: Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Participants get three attempts at each lift to do as much weight as they can. After all three lifts have been completed the most weight lifted in each event is totaled and awards are given out based on accumulated weight. Hellen won 2nd place in her weight class of 52kg (114.4lb). I had a chance to sit down and ask Hellen about her experience preparing and participating in a powerlifting meet.
Above: Hellen Shorb, with coach and AHC Personal Training Director, John Kecman
Why did you want to compete in a powerlifting meet?
After having a baby in November (8 months ago) I needed a fitness goal to focus on that would get me back into an exercise routine. After talking with John (Kecman) about powerlifting he said he would coach me through my first meet. After that short conversation I decided that my post-baby fitness goal was to be a powerlifter
What did your training routine look like?
I had to start from scratch. I have experience lifting weights but John had to reteach me how to squat, deadlift and bench press like a powerlifter (aka the right way). It was tough to juggle full-time work, a new baby and training sessions but John diligently worked with me. My husband, Dana, encouraged me through all the ups and downs. It all worked out and I really enjoyed this lifting style, I plan on incorporating it into my exercise routine from here on out.
What was it like the day of the meet?
I was extremely nervous. I worried about failing attempts but after seeing that there were many other lifters who also failed their attempts I felt more confident. Failing attempts was a normal part of the meet. I knew ahead of time how much weight I would be lifting so after each attempt I was able to regroup and focus on lifting just a little bit more than before. Everyone at the meet was encouraging and helpful and that helped a lot too.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about competing?
I would highly recommend doing it at least once, even if only for the experience. The overall experience was amazing. I wasn't trying to win the competition; I only wanted to try the powerlifting sport. I ended up setting a personal record and taking home a silver medal. I will definitely be doing this again.
How much weight did you lift?
Everything is measured in kilograms so Squat I did 85kg (187lb), Bench Press 42.5kg (93lbs)and Deadlift 105kg (231lb).