Last Saturday, I attended the APA Apollon Winter Iron Bash powerlifting competition out in Edison, NJ. I've never been to anything like that and I have to say that it was just awesome. Not only was the lifting inspiring, so was the diversity of competitors; men, women, young and old were there all there, paying their dues, squatting, benching, and deadlifting.
Among the 51 powerlifters were a number of my friends from the gym:
Troy Valberg - Equinox personal trainer, amateur strongman, and musical artist.
Mario Valero - Equinox employee and owner of the UNCIVILIZED Brand clothing line.
Ken Lee - Equinox personal trainer and owner of Revolution Fitness Systems.
NOTE: Though not a competitor in the meet, Victoria Viola (photo) is also an Equniox personal trainer.
While the powerlifting meet consisted of three lifts - squat, bench press, and deadlift - my friends participated in the "Push-Pull" division which only competed in the latter two events: bench press and deadlift. Each event allowed the athlete three lift attempts. On each of these attempts, the athlete could only go up in weight or stay at the same weight. Once an athlete had picked a weight, he or she could not lower the weight on subsequent lifts within the same event.
Here are some videos that I was able to take throughout the day. I believe most of them are available in High Definition (HD) format.
If you're asking yourself, "What's with those tight singlets?" they're required to make sure that the lifters execute the movements with proper form. Each attempt is examined by three independent judges that each pay attention to different criterion. You only get credit for the lift if all of the three judges gives your form the OK. The singlets allow the judges to easily see where your body is and what it's doing.
All in all, the meet was both fun and truly inspirational. I still can't get over the variety of people there. What was especially awesome was the number of people that were in their 60s! And, what's even more impressive was that these people were kicking ass! You should have heard the crowd erupt with cheers when one woman in her late 60s deadlifted like 200 lbs! Quite an unbelievable moment.
Maybe one day I can man-up, dawn the singlet, and get my lift on. Certainly time to put some serious effort back into Project HUGE!