Group Post Part 1 of 2: The Meet, The Lifts, The Onesie
Many of you that follow us know that we are in the gym weight training year-round, but also that we specifically train for powerlifting meets. We are currently just a few days shy of competing in our next meet, and we often still answer questions about what exactly it is that we do during the competition.
At the meet, each individual is competing against others in her particular weight class and age class in three different lifts: bench press, deadlift and squat. All lifts for us are in a “raw” division, meaning we do not use the assistance of equipment such as a bench shirt or squat suit. We are allowed to use knee and wrist wraps for joint support. We also compete as “natural” lifters who are not currently, nor have ever taken, performance-enhancing drugs.
With each lift, we are attempting 3 (or 4 if it’s for a record) single repetitions, with the weight on the bar increasing with every attempt. Jim, our trainer, is a very smart guy. Each lifter is only aware of her opening weight (the weight for the 1st attempt). He picks a weight that he’s seen us do confidently and with good form multiple times in the gym. The successive weights are chosen without our knowledge based on performance and, we’re guessing, his magical trainer calculations. In our first meet, all of the competing Miss Fits set a record.
The lifts are performed on stage in front of multiple judges, as well as an audience of spectators. Pretty intimidating, right? But there is an additional factor that had us a little flustered. The required clothing for the competition consists of a T-shirt that covers the shoulders completely, socks that cover the shins completely, and a wrestling singlet, which frankly doesn’t cover much of anything.
We all understand that the T-shirts and socks are for the protection of the lifters, but the singlet? Help us out here. NO ONE wants to wear that thing. The argument against this piece of clothing, which we have lovingly named the “onesie,” is simple (and we’re guessing it does not only pertain to women): It’s uncomfortable and distracting.
There’s a little concern that the front two rows of spectators are getting a free anatomy lesson rather than watching us actually lift. And with it being a male-dominated sport, we want the attention to be for the right reasons. We’re not asking for glamour. We’re asking for the same level of comfort we get from normal workout clothes. So far, those requests have been denied, so we will comply because women who lift heavy are tough cookies … and we’re in it for the satisfaction of grinding out those big numbers on our last attempts, even if we have to look a little silly doing it.
Keep a lookout later this week for Part 2, where we’ll discuss more details about our last 10 weeks of training and what we personally do to prepare for the meet, including a little about our diet and recovery.