News: Powerlifters “pump up the volume” while pushing limits during competition
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
IWAKUNI, Japan - Sounds of metal clanked, grunts echoed and cheers rang throughout the IronWorks Gym sports courts here as station and Iwakuni residents tested their might during the Far East Powerlifting Championship Competition Aug. 12, 2012.
The Far East Powerlifting Championship Competition provides station residents and local Japanese a chance to come together and show the strength both on and off base competitors have in common, said John Baltazar, Marine Corps Community Services assistant athletic director.
Sixteen athletes participated in three events during the competition. Each competitor had three chances to accomplish and improve on the events, which included squat, bench press and deadlift.
The competition was made up of several weight classes and a male and female division. The female division consisted of three weight classes and the males division had five weight classes with one competitor in the super heavyweight division.
Even though each weight class had its own first place winner, the overall competition could only have one male and one female winner.
Anita Clayton, Far East Powerlifting Competition overall female winner, lifted a total weight of 573 pounds. Abe Roman, Far East Powerlifting Competition overall male winner, lifted a total weight of 1,361 pounds.
“I like to challenge myself, to have this opportunity to be out here, stay young, be fit and challenge myself,” said Roman.
The competitors first tested their limits during the squatting event. The females squatted a range of 88 to 193 pounds. The males squatted a range of 287 to 529 pounds.
After a short break, the ladies benchpressed between 88 and 127 pound, while the men pressed between 198 and 430 pounds.
Then participants competed in their final event, the deadlift.
Throughout the deadlift event, females lifted a span of 149 to 254 pounds. Once all females had taken their turns, the males deadlifted between 193 and 535 pounds.
For all the competitors, extensive training allowed them to reach their maximum potential during the competition.
“We have a group and we all help each other,” said Roman. “Having the most experience maybe in the group, I pass on technical expertise to make sure people’s technique is the way it needs to be so that they can progress and hopefully keep from getting hurt.”
Powerlifters need to make sure they maintain proper form and a healthy lifestyle, Roman added.
While Roman has been lifting for approximately 30 years, others who competed may not have had as much time to train.
“I have been preparing for this competition for about seven weeks,” said Clayton. “Participating in this competition was awesome, I made my goal and it’s such an adrenaline rush.”
These competitions, held at least twice a year, help keep the enthusiasm of the powerlifters high. The next Far East Powerlifting Championship Competition is slated for autumn of 2013.