By Caitlyn Trout
Article published on http://www.jtsstrength.com/
When I first began powerlifting, I started out with little or no experience in weightlifting, period. I knew nothing about the sport itself except for what my friends in the gym had taught me. Later, once I got further into training and completed my first competition I began to ask myself, “Why didn’t I start powerlifting sooner?”. The truth is, I really didn’t know what I was missing out on. That’s when it dawned on me; there are probably many more women out there that would love powerlifting but are just too intimidated or have no clue how exciting and uplifting a powerlifting meet really is. In this article I’ll explain some of reasons why I love powerlifting and why more women should take the initiative to powerlift.
- Women can lift heavy too AND still be feminine. Take me for instance. I weigh 128 lbs. on most days and I’m able to squat over double my bodyweight. Has it hurt or injured me? No. Do I look or speak like a man? No. Instead, it’s made me more confident both mentally and physically, I’m leaner and in better physical condition than I was previously, and I get many more compliments from both men and women about my appearance than ever before (which says something considering I used to weigh 17lbs. less before I started powerlifting AND I still wear the same clothes size!).
- It will help you reach your fitness goals. Whatever they may be, having a competition to work towards often doubles as a great training motivator and intensifier. I know that I want to perform my very best in a meet. It makes me mentally and physically kick things up a notch. Plus, I have the extra motivation to make sure that I stay on track with my diet. End result? I become stronger at a faster rate while simultaneously seeing results in my body composition from the added help from my diet.
- It gives you a chance to challenge yourself/showcase all of your hard work. Don’t get me wrong; I challenge myself every single day in the gym. However, pushing yourself in a competition is a completely different feeling. You get an adrenaline rush that quickly turns into a powerlifting addiction. A meet is where you shoot for personal records that you have never reached before. This is the opportunity to show yourself as well as everyone else there just how much your hard work has paid off. Who wouldn’t want to showcase a 20lb bench personal record to the public? That’s something to be proud of. Especially if it’s taken you a couple of months to get over that number you’ve been stuck at for what seemed to be an eternity.
- The powerlifting community is a supportive network full of informative individuals. There’s no need to be intimidated because everyone is very supportive of each other’s goals and extremely friendly. If you need help there is always someone there willing to give you a hand. Never have I stepped inside a powerlifting meet and left without meeting and learning something from at least five new people. If you have questions, these individuals are more than happy to answer them while giving you several different ideas to troubleshoot your problems. We were all beginners once and are continuously learning new things about the sport. Plus, we all share a common goal: to make progress.
- Finally, competition with other females is friendly and motivating. It’s not fun competing with men all of the time. It’s nice to have some camaraderie while still having a little friendly competition on the platform. At the end of the day everyone walks out as friends. Unlike many other sports, the female competitors are not cutthroat. Instead we are very supportive of one another. The group of females that powerlift is a small one, so we are all just trying to spread awareness to help the sport grow. It helps to have other women there to ask questions that men may not understand or relate to.
I can try to describe all of the benefits and reasons why women should powerlift to you all day but the best way to figure it out is to experience it for yourself. If this article doesn’t make you want to take the powerlifting plunge just yet, try going to a powerlifting meet and observing. If just watching the other female competitors fires you up to lift some heavy weight, imagine what competing actually feels like!Caitlyn Trout is fierce competitor in the raw powerlifting world. She is a graduate student at Eastern Kentucky University and is home based at Berea Barbell where she achieved Elite status in less than year of competing. Her best competition lifts are 352/160/365 at 122 body weight. Caitlyn’s squat of 352 is the World Record in the 123 weight class. This young athlete has a promising career in front of her, as she looks to inspire females to pursue strength.