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What is Powerlifting Anyway?

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Discovering powerlifting was a turning point in my fitness journey and through the process I uncovered the crucial link between physical, mental, and emotional health.

Drawing of 4 female figures with arms around each other

This was originally published in 2015 as a part of my Adventures of a Powerlifter blog.

For me powerlifting has been a physical and mental journey ...

...over the past two years. I started in the depths of personal despair and physical “blegh-ness.” The first goal I set for myself was to get strong. I didn’t put any pressure on myself to feel better or look better and there was no scale number or ideal weight even discussed in my brain. Baby steps. Do you guys know how easy the goal to “get strong” is? The first time I tried deadlifting it was much more complex than I imagined and I could barely get 95 pounds off the ground. By week two the mechanics of it all clicked and 135 came up like nothing. Boom! I was already stronger. I already broke a physical personal record and my brain was following. It felt so good.

In high school, I was nothing more than a mediocre athlete in my International school setting as I moved around the world with my family. Fitness wasn’t really something I kept up with after entering the real world here in the States. I figured my general athletic ability and body would keep themselves up, HA! What a joke, right? Unfortunately, that's just not how the body works.

I found myself entering my 30’s with no real fitness routine that was consistent in my life. Sure, I kept fairly active, did yoga, and trained for the occasional Spartan Race. I would wonder, “why am I doing this to myself?” I wasn’t good at Spartan races and making yoga classes fit into my busy schedule was often challenging. I needed something that didn’t pressure me to incorporate so much cardio and something I could do by myself, for myself. Enter, powerlifting.

One girlfriend of mine was starting to get into powerlifting. She was more of a yoga chick. You know what I mean; tall, legs for days, and skinny. I'd known this girl for ten years and always admired her. When she started powerlifting and her body and confidence were soaring to new heights, I knew I had to get on the powerlifting train. The best part was that she bragged constantly about how she NEVER did cardio.

Sign. Me. Up!

That’s all I needed to hear. I started asking questions and reading about powerlifting and making myself my own personal expert. I signed up and survived my first meet just a year into training and the journey has been fulfilling ever since.

The feeling that I mentioned, when my brain started following my body in its strength progression- that is what powerlifting is to me and that is why I’m here.

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