Thursday, January 21, 2010

All About Powerlifting! (Updated with correct Judging Commands)

Good Morning Lovelies!

Today I thought I'd share with you what exactly powerlifting is!

Alot of people hear powerlifting and immediately think of either Olympic weightlifting or Body Building.  It's very different!

Olympic lifting is made up of two movements, the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.

Body Building is the sport of building the best, most muscular and symmetrical physique possible.

Powerlifting, well, competitive powerlifting is comprised of 3 lifts.  The Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift.  So when we train, we not only train these three movements, but we also train movements that will help us get better and stronger in the 3 core lifts.  See, most Bodybuilders train with alot of reps at a lighter weight, in an effort to exhaust the muscle and stimulate it to grow to it's full potential (some train heavy, like Ronnie Coleman).  Powerlifters train with much heavier weight and few reps, in an effort to get as strong as possible.

For instance, to help with our Bench, we do close grip bench and skull crushers/nose breakers(they go by both), which strengthens the triceps and helps with the lockout.  The lockout, is the final part of the bench press.  Once you have lowered the weight and are pushing it back up, the triceps kick in to help you get your arm locked out straight.  We also do bent over rows to strengthen our lats, (the muscle that runs along the outside of your ribs, under your arm) as well as multiple shoulder exercises. 

To help with our Squat, we do things like leg presses, leg extensions, and leg curls.  We also do Box Squats, which involve lowering down, as your would in a normal squat, but then sitting on a bench or box, and pausing, then exploding up off the bench or box as quickly as possible.  This is helps avoid getting stuck in the lowest part of the squat with heavier weight. 

For Deadlift, we also do leg curls and stiff leg deadlifts to really work the hamstrings and glutes.  

Wanna see what the lifts look like?

I thought you might!

So last night, during our bench workout, I had Rob film a set for ya!  Then I did a quick set of squats and a set of deadlifts for you too. I didn't warm up prior to the squat and deadlift though, so excuse the light weight I am using.

First up, the Bench:

That was 155lbs, just so ya know :)

Next is Squat:

Sadly this was only 95lbs.
I hurt my hip a while back, and it still doesn't like me to squat.  Combine that with me just walking up to the bar and doing it on camera with no warm-up, and you get a sloppy looking squat, but there ya go!  

Lastly, the Deadlift:

And alittle HI to you guys!
This was 135lbs.
You can tell that I was worn out at this point, cause I shoulda started with my hips lower!

The goal is to compete.  And I plan to!  Dieting down to get to where I want to be, and the weight class I want to compete in, and the resulting lowered calories, hurt my strength.  It's just that my body gets worn out faster due to less fuel to work with.  So once I am to my goal, and I can get my calories back up to maintenance, we will pick out a competition.
Rob is a veteran competitor and holds Regional, State and US records in Powerlifting!  Can you tell I'm proud?

A competition is set up like this...
Competitors are split into groups, by weight class, experience and age.  Yes, there are senior citizens who compete!
The goal is to lift the heaviest weight possible, and you get 3 attempts for each lift.  You should set your first attempt at a weight that will be challenging, but yet, will be a lift you will get.  You can increase your weight with each attempt.
There are three judges who watch each attempt, and each judge awards you either a white light, meaning "good lift" or a red lift meaning "bad lift".  You have to get 2 white lights in order for the lift to be considered a good lift.  Even if you are able to lift the weight, and only get 1 light, then it is not a good lift. There are rules for each lift, and the judges are watching to make sure these rules are not broken.  There are alot, so I wont bore you with the details( bench press: the head, shoulders and butt must remain in contact with the bench, and feet must stay flat on the floor, etc etc.....) but 1 rule, for instance, is that once you start back up with the weigh in any lift, the bar must continue to move upward, it cannot travel back down.  So if you get stuck, you cant lower the bar a fraction of an inch and try to push again, that would result in a bad lift.  The goal is to succeed at every attempt AND get 3 white lights for each attempt.  This is actually pretty rare, since each judge can see or think they have seen anything really.  Depth on squat causes alot of red lights for people, as you have to lower the crease of your hip, past parallel to the top of your knee.  So if you drew a line from the top of your knee, to the crease of your hip, the hip end has to go below parallel of the knee end.
One judge sits in front of you, while the others sit on either side.  The head judge will tell you to begin, and you begin your lift. 
For the bench, you are allowed a lift-off from a helper.  Once the weigh is unracked, you must hold it, with arms locked and weight under control.  Then, some PL organizations give a verbal "start" command.  The weight is lowered and paused on the chest.  Some federations then give the "Press" command, others require you to pause sufficiently yourself.  Once arms are locked out, all federations give the "Rack" command.     
 For Deadlift once  the bar is loaded you are given the verbal "bar is loaded" command.  You then have a time frame to set up and begin your lift.  Once you are standing erect/locked out,  you get the verbal "down" command.  You must control the weight to the ground and cannot simply drop it like Olympic lifters.
For squat, once you are set up, you remove the weight from the rack and set-up with knees and hips locked.  You then get the verbal "Squat" command, and begin the lift.  You must break parallel and raise back up to a locked-out position.  You then get the "Rack" command.  You must attempt to rack your own weight, if you cannot do it, you will receive help, however you must attempt to rack it on your own. 

I know I'm rambling and boring you!  So I'll stop there!

I hope I answered some questions for you all!
Let me know if I have not or if I have raised any!

Hope you all have a great day!




Brooke said...

Awesome! Love the vidoes and hearing the puppy letting us know he was there with some sporatic barks, lol!

Keep up the good work girl :)

Amberski said...

Wow, thanks for the info... I wonder though, how is powerlifting on your joints? I have bad knees and lower back issues- is this something I would need to stay away from? (spent too many years as a ballet dancer and ruined my body, lol)

~Elizabeth aka Lacquered Lizard said...

I think my boss used to do this...he's a senior :) and he's got a whole bunch of award plaques in his office.
Was fun to watch you do your thing, even if you weren't as "on" as you would have liked to be. I'm just amazed you can lift as much as you can. Yowza!

Shayla said...

Thanks for this Christy - it was nice and informative! I really wish I had a workout buddy for the gym, since I've kind of fallen off the wagon with my weight lifting (still do cardio).

Still love hearing about this stuff!

Deez Nailz - Canadas most fabulous hand model said...

wow- if this is your basement I'm doubly jealous. My DH & I hope to have a set up like this eventually.

It's so neat that you two are into this together. Thank you for adding all this info about the competitions and such.

ainos2 said...

This is such an awesome post!
Loved reading and watching your video.
Dedication to (any)discipline is a character trait that thrills me on so many levels.

Unknown said...

I love the videos and how cute are you in pigtails!!
I was on weight team in high school (another random fact about me)and your squat was not sloppy! I have leg strength but upper body is not my best.

You guys are so awesome!

nihrida said...

I'm not really interested in powerlifting, but I did watch the videos and annoy my BF with it. He could never do that! =) LOL

Stiletto said...

Thanks sweetie!

I really don't feel comfortable answering that, LOL! too much liability! I'd ask your doctor! I will say though that I have a bad elbow and hip issues and i do it all just fine! It's all about knowing your limit, not pushing past what is comfortable and having really good form! Good form can make a HUGE difference. Round your back during a squat or deadlift, and your asking for trouble!

Awesome! And thanks girl!

glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, having a workout partner makes a HUGE difference!

Yes ma'am, that's our basement! And yeah, I always wanted to do lifting, and once I met Rob, I actually had someone to do it with...I think it turned out nicely ;)

Awww Thanks hun! you're a sweetie!

Evil Angel,
LOL thanks hun! It keeps it out of my way! And thanks for the not sloppy comment! I have a big problem sitting back enough, my knees shouldn't be that far forward!

LOL glad you enjoyed buggin the BF!!!

L said...

Thank you so much for this post. I cannot wait to get started. I have been wanting to powerlift for a while and Im ready!

jo.frougal said...

No, not boring at all!!! Thank you for this enlightening and informative post, I was all set to research powerlifting because I was wondering what it is that you do. So now that I know, I must say this: you say in your "About Me" that you're complicated -- uhm, no, you're superwoman! Lol.

jo.frougal said...

No, not boring at all!!! Thank you for this enlightening and informative post, I was all set to research powerlifting because I was wondering what it is that you do. So now that I know, I must say this: you say in your "About Me" that you're complicated -- uhm, no, you're superwoman! Lol.

Lucy said...

Amazing video and information. When I'm flipping through the tv stations I always stop when I see any type of lifting. I always watch the Olympic weight lifting. I used to be very strong with my upper body. Now I have too many bad joints. Just watching your squat made me wince. My knees should both be replaced. My joints grind together. Super painful. My knees always used to make a grinding noise when I squated. When I had to squat to get a book on a low shelf in the library you could hear my knees. People would stare at me. I really hope you get all you wish for with your lifting. Wish I could've done it. Good luck with your diet also. Your husband looks amazing!