So as some of you may know I’ve had a slight change in career path, moving from playing wheelchair basketball to training for para-powerlifting. As strange as it is being a rookie again I’m absolutely loving the challenges of a new sport and the incredibly steep learning curve.
Since posting a few powerlifting related posts on social media I’ve been receiving a lot more likes from other powerlifters & weightlifting and I find it fascinating to watch other people’s videos. This is partly to learn more about the sport and partly because I’m just nosey 🙂
So let’s address a very important question, what’s the difference between powerlifting and weightlifting? Powerlifting, in the general sense, encompasses bench press, squat and dead lift whereas weightlifting is either snatch or clean & jerk. A technical difference is the speed in which the actions are performed, for example, weightlifting lifts are much faster movements whereas powerlifting involves much slower moves. In the world of Para-Powerlifting the only discipline is Bench Press. Para-Weightlifting isn’t a thing although I think clean & jerk from a wheelchair could be quite entertaining to watch, although maybe for the wrong reasons!
It was June when I had my first trial session with the Powerlifting coaches in Loughborough and as I said previously the learning curve has been incredible. I was unaware of the extent of the technical elements of the press and what is required for a legitimate lift in competition. The most difficult (in my opinion) being that the bar must completely stop on your chest before being pressed. You also have to press level and lock out your elbow for it to be a legitimate lift.
It also seems as if there are also different types of powerlifting, raw & equipped. As suggested by the names, raw powerlifting uses no or limited additional equipment, whereas equipped uses equipment which can assist with the lifts. Now I’ve never personally tried equipped lifting but from my limited research, it seems that it can be quite painful since, for example, the lifting suits used are insanely tight so that they assist the user. Statistically, in equipped powerlifting, it is though that lifters can lift approximately 115% of their max which is pretty damn impressive!!!
Those of you who know me, know I’m a bit of a stickler for correct technique. Personally I will always try to do things well technically and I’m finding that now I have more knowledge in the technical elements of the bench press, I watch people at the gym and critique them (more than I used to)! There are times when I’ve been at my local gym and I’ve had to stop myself from giving people feedback on their pressing technique because lets face it, they don’t need me meddling. But let me share with you my biggest annoyance (you never know, it might help someone out), make sure you take the bar all the way to your chest, if you don’t you’re missing out the hardest bit of the exercise!
So in summary, I’m the know-it-all rookie and everyone loves one of them 😉
A rookie who gets her first taste of world class competition on just under two weeks (eeeek)!!! Check out the details here