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Women's Powerlifting

Women in Powerlifting competitions.
What is competitive Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is a competition involving the Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift attempted 3 tries at each lift for 9 lifts total.  Men have to increase by 10lbs minimum per lift, women increase by 5lbs.
This is typically thought of as a male sport. Why women?
There has recently been a big cross over to females competing in the lifts.  Being strong is the new thin for women.  The idea of bone density, strength and having muscle has become cool for women.
Women typically don’t have an ego when it comes to strength training.  With no preconceived notion of strength expectation, we don’t have to break bad habits like a lot of the men have coming in.  We can lay the foundation with light weights and build up from there. Women also have better mobility and flexibility, and therefore get more range of motion out of a squat and can progress very quickly. Women should be able to Deadlift their body weight in 1 to 3 months time.  3 months to squat own body weight. Women who can bench press their bodyweight are in the 1%. 
Should you have a certain body type?
It depends on the category.  There is the highest weight you can lift or strength relative to your bodyweight.  Heavier or thicker body types will be able to lift more weight, but not in relation to the body weight.  There are different weight classes to compete in to reflect strength-to-weight rations.
We’ve trained women in weight classes from 114lbs to 198+.  Some will lose weight to be stronger in a lower weight class or move into a higher weight class to lift more as they get stronger.
How to break the image of being thin?
Whereas most fitness programs are built around losing weight, Powerlifting training is focused is on form and achievement.  This will build muscle and a higher percentage of lean muscle mass means increased calorie burn and less body fat.   
What are the benefits of powerlifting?
Physically stronger bones, joints, connective tissues, and muscles; mental toughness and goal achievements. Training will make you stronger and that’s motivational. There is a psychological and self-esteem boost one gets from improving their body and obtaining a new level of fitness.  To quote Mark Ripto “Strong people are more useful.”
Also, Powerlifting trains you for life.  Whether it’s a bar with weights or a bag of groceries out of the back of your car Powerlifting trains you how to lift things correctly. Strength training lays the foundation that paves the way for later in life.  You won’t lose strength when a solid foundation of muscle mass has been created.  Unlike cardio, once you stop running, the gains are lost pretty quickly. 
How is the training different from traditional fitness training?
Whether Powerlifting or going for General Physical Preparedness (GPP), being able to lift a bar, squat and lift is essential in life. These lifts should be the staple of any strength training program.  The same lifts are trained whether preparing for competition or routine fitness.  Technique, stability, and mobility are fine tuned into a 1 rep max.
It’s unsafe to max out an isolated lift like a bicep curl, but it is safe to max out a compound lift, such as Squats, Benchpress, Deadlifts, and even overhead presses.  Every good strength training program should be built around a barbell. 
Strength to weight ratio is the pinnacle of your fitness so we also train to move your own body weight.  This includes pull ups and push up, with your own body weight which are essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
We don’t use cardio to hit a weight goal. Cardio can take away from your recovery. Too much cardio will take your strength away, too.  Body weight is controlled through nutrition.  The nutrition is not as finicky as a bodybuilder that focuses on micronutrients and timing.  Healthy balanced eating patterns are essential to maintain a strong muscular body.
Our trainers have been involved in every part of the sport from competing and coaching to hosting in house competitions and sanctioned meets. We know how to train for specific goals and are flexible in training and incorporate from all styles of powerlifting. 
How many Competitive Powerlifters have you coached? And what success have they achieved?
Close to 100, men and women.  We’ve had lots of personal records and even some world records.   But for the majority, just going through the training and making it to competition is life altering.
The youngest age we brought to a competition was 9.  The oldest male was 78 and the oldest women was in her mid sixties. We’ve had someone from each decade representing us from every generation in competitions from single digits to their 70’s. 
One client came in recovering from a hip injury and was unable to perform an air squat that, overtime, progressed to squat 185lbs at 123lbs in her mid 50’s.
What is an example of some gains your clients have made?
One client that had been working out for years came in with a 225lbs Deadlift and last competed with a 580lbs Deadlift. His Benchpress was 245lbs and is now 340lbs. His squat was 275lbs and is now 510lbs.
How often do your clients compete?
Beginners can compete 3 times per season or 6 times a year, while Intermediates can compete 4 times a year.  More advanced lifters compete once a year due to the long prep phase for elite lifters.
Competition gives the person a goal to achieve and ups the level of commitment.  There is also a great support network in the competitions.  Beginners get a lot of encouragement and support when competing the first time.

Weight classes: 114 123 132 148 165 181 198+Women's Powerlifting

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