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My First Powerlifting Competition

My First Powerlifting Competition
By: Bailee Holt
Saturday June 14, 2014, I competed in my first powerlifting competition. In a way, this was a spur of a moment type of thing. Competing in a powerlifting competition was something that I’ve wanted to do for a couple years, but I always told myself I’d sign up for one when I was stronger. Months went by, I watched three other women at the gym compete and yet I never got myself to sign up. That all changed on March 31 when I decided it was time.  

I was seeking a purpose for training and knew a competition with a definitive date was just what I needed. I got the program together and started training with Marie Lemkul and Lisa Evanovich, two women who had competed in the past. Marie was using this competition as a gauge for nationals in July and Lisa was competing with the hopes of qualifying for nationals.  

During the past two months, these two wonderful women served as great training partners, mentors, coaches and friends. I learned so much from their experiences and we relied on each other to make our training sessions successful.
The week of the competition, I cut back my training load with the purpose to focus on form and muscle memory. I did 15-20 reps of nice and light weight, got an adjustment from Dr. CJ, and received a massage from Marilou. It is basically a whole week to rest and get the body ready to go big.Lisa and I left San Diego at 7am on Friday, headed for Long Beach, CA.  We arrived at the Metroflex Gym for weigh-ins, gear check, rack heights, and opening lift numbers. The whole thing took about 2 hours. We were both starving and dehydrated for the weigh in, which didn’t make the long wait time any better. After we finished there, we headed to a famous diner called Schooner or Later for brunch, then headed to the hotel to check in, rest up, and wait for Marie. When Marie arrived, we went to Rosco’s Chicken and Waffles. Yum!The day of the event we got up early, foam rolled, stretched, ate breakfast and headed to the gym. However, wouldn’t you know it that when leaving the hotel we got in the middle of a standoff with the police? It was crazy to see the cops with their guns aimed and ready at whatever “bad guy” they were chasing down but we managed to escape in one piece.

We arrived at the gym around 8:15, started warming up and lifting. The way it works is: each person gets 3 opportunities to lift their desired weight. Most lifters perform a deadlift, squat, and bench press. There is a lot of strategy involved in choosing the amount of weight you want to lift. You want it to be heavy, yet attainable, and you want to leave it all on the platform!

Since it was my first meet, I played it safe. I could’ve lifted a lot more on my deadliest and squat but because I chose my opening weight too light, I didn’t fully realize that until it was too late. Next time I will break some records and demolish my previous PR (personal record). I pride myself on having perfect form, and I didn’t get “red-lighted” (missed form, position, or mark) on any of my lifts. That means that I definitely could’ve pushed more weight, but I looked good. Here were my strongest lifts:

•    Squat: 187.5 lbs/92 kg
•    Bench Press: 126.5 lbs/62 kg
•    Deadlift: 253.5 lbs/115 kg

Total: 567.5 lbs

I have decided I’d like to continue competing. It’s a sport where you truly only compete against yourself. It’s not regulated by one governing body, therefore there’s not PED (performance enhancing drug) testing and I know I’ll never be able to compete with women who chose to go that route. But for me, I find it excited to try to beat my old numbers and continue getting stronger. As long as my body remains injury-free, I’ll keep competing. It has given me a purpose to train and changed my physique the quickest of any fitness I’ve done.

My plan is to make it to Nationals next year in July. I need to lift a total of 725 pounds to qualify and I will hit that mark and then some. Stay tuned!

I had so much support from friends, family, co-workers, and clients and I want to give a huge shout out to all of you who cheered me on in any capacity. It means more than you know to have such amazing people backing me and I know you all were there in spirit. But I want to send a super huge shout out to Lisa and Marie for guiding me every step of the way onto that platform. You “masters” women are an inspiration to us “young” women getting into the sport. I am amazed by your strength in every form of the word. I hope I get to be your training partners for a long time and we can continue to crush state and American records together.

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