Strongman Gone Powerlifter


A powerlifting meet is always something I have been interested in doing (because try all the strength sports!) but never really committed to. When one popped up at the perfect time during my strongman off-season, I jumped on it. A few friends at my gym and I are competing together and getting ready for this meet has been interesting, really tough, and really, really fun.

For those unfamiliar with powerlifting, powerlifting competitions consists of three attempts at three lifts: squat, bench, and deadlift. There are lots of rules with regards to things like what you can wear, what qualifies as a “good lift”, etc. and these are largely dependent on the federation that is putting on the meet.

I signed up almost immediately when the meet was announced and now that I’m 16 days out, I find that this is an all too accurate depiction of my life, hence the rambling nature of this post:

[h/t to Maya Winters for this gem.] This is too real. TOO REAL. 

[h/t to Maya Winters for this gem.] This is too real. TOO REAL. 


Honestly, powerlifting is a bit of a weird choice of sport for me because:

  1. I’m terrified of heavy back squats. Like actually TERRIFIED despite the fact that this is probably my best lift. In fact, I had never even DONE a heavy single back squat, ever, before a few weeks ago because I was so damn scared.

  2. I am firmly on team #povertybench. My bench is reaaaaally lacking simply because I never really benched all that much and I’m inconsistent with my technique.

  3. I’m a terrible deadlifter. Give me 18inch pulls all day long but please don’t make me pull from the floor.


In the past, all of these excuses would definitely have made me run (or let’s be real...walk very quickly) away from competing in a powerlifting meet. But in the interest of doing hard things, I really wanted to try it anyways.

My past two training cycles have been really tough both physically and mentally and I realized that I forgot what it is like to be a little scared of training. And I mean that in the best way possible.

I’m not an ultra confident lifter and I sometimes (okay, okay, basically all the time) forget what I’m actually capable of. More than anything, prepping for this meet has taught me about the value of self-talk and self-belief and how important those things are to success.

It’s also taught me that singlets are weird.

It’s also taught me that singlets are weird.

Having competed in a different sport several times before, I have found myself still having new competitor nerves and worries simply because this is such a different endeavor. There are lots of rules to remember, logistics, etc. but at the end of the day, I'm looking forward to trying something new and difficult and fun. 

And honestly, this entire meet has really been planned around ridiculous deadlift socks and snacks because, you know, priorities.





Gabrielle BrostComment