Powerlifting contest reveals strongest
by Airman 1st Class CORY GOSSETT, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Powerlifters and athletic enthusiasts participated in a powerlifting competition May 15 at the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center Warrior Training Facility.
“It’s fun to meet with other people who enjoy lifting and challenge each other,” said Joshua Pant, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron operations management apprentice. “It’s great to see what you can do, push yourself to the next level and watch others push it to their next level too.”
Men and women competed in separate gender and weight divisions. There were three events of the competition: squat, bench press and deadlift.
The event was open to active-duty Airmen, dependents, other military branch members, retirees, Defense Department civilians or anyone who had access to the base.
Competitors were judged on having a safe hand grip locked around the bar for the deadlift and squat. For the bench press the feet must remain on the floor and the head must rest on the bench. The competitor must perform a bench press with arms all the way out but not locked. Competitors perform three lifts for each section with the weight amount increasing for each lift as multiple judges looked on. Each judge carried a red flag and a white flag and would raise a flag depending on if the lift was considered good form. At least two judges raising white flags makes the lift good while two red flags meant the lift did not count.
“It takes good mental confidence,” said Violet Miller, a retired staff sergeant formerly with the 756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “You see everyone lifting a ton of weights and thoughts start to go into your head. You have to mentally prepare yourself.”
Miller brought her friends and family out to help cheer her on in the competition. Miller’s daughter was one of the reasons she decided to get into powerlifting.
“I wanted to get in shape and get stronger,” she said. “I did it so I could keep up with my 6-year-old. I started with CrossFit then was convinced to go into powerlifting.”
The other two female competitors, Tewanda Bowie and Barbara Fancey inspired each other to compete. They were both involved in CrossFit and decided to compete in the powerlifting competition. As one performed a lift, the other cheered on the sidelines.
“I’ve been lifting for eight months but only trained for the competition for two weeks,” Fancey said. “The keys to powerlifting is getting the form right, getting motivated and staying motivated, and not talking about it but actually doing it.”
Like most weight lifting activities, powerlifting requires dedication and mental preparedness.
“You have to be really disciplined with your diet and how your form is,” Pant said. “You have to be a little crazy because you’re taking your body to the next level. It’s scary for some people to fail, but sometimes failure can be good. Just don’t give up.”
Competitors in each gender and weight division group received certificates after the competition. The winners received medals and trophies at the powerlifting competition award ceremony May 30 at the Warrior Fitness Center.
Female heavy weight
Squat: 600 pounds
Deadlift: 760 pounds
Bench press: 345 pounds
Squat: 860 pounds
Deadlift: 720 pounds
Bench press: 240 pounds
Squat: Julius Gomez, 660 pounds
Deadlift: Julius Gomez, 1,130 pounds
Bench press: Vincent Morales, 755 pounds
Squat: 1,085 pounds
Deadlift: 1,065 pounds
Bench press: 975 pounds
Squat: 700 pounds
Deadlift: 1,405 pounds
Bench press: 650 pounds
Youth sports camps
• Sideline Sports Camp assists youth in gaining an appreciation of bocce ball, badminton, water polo, ultimate Frisbee, fencing and lacrosse as lifelong skills. The camp is 9 a.m. to noon for ages 9 to 12 and 1 to 4 p.m. for ages 13 to 18 today through June 13. Sign up by today.
• Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp is an educational and fun camp experience for youth ages 6 to 12 1 to 4 p.m. June 16 through 20. Sign up by June 13.
A nonrefundable fee of $20 for youth program members and $30 for nonmembers is due at sign-up. Nonmembers must meet eligibility requirements. Space is limited for both camps. Campers registering early will be eligible for door prizes including sports games, equipment and GameStop gift cards. For more information, call the 56th Force Support Squadron Youth Center at 623-856-7470.
A running clinic begins at 5:30 a.m. Monday for those interested in improving their fitness. Some emphasis will be put on sit-ups and pushups but the primary focus will be the 1.5-mile run and increasing cardiovascular endurance. The registration deadline is Wednesday. This class is not for beginners. Participants must be currently running and want to improve their time. For more information on requirements, call Staff Sgt. Lakindra Favors at 623-896-7063.