I started a 4-week intro to powerlifting class in January with a friend of mine, and we liked it so much that we continued on with our trainer after the class ended and have been lifting about twice a week ever since. It’s been such a fun addition to my fitness pursuits!
Before I started the class, I thought “powerlifting” was a general term that encompassed just… all manner of lifting heavy. That is not the case, as it turns out! It’s actually focused on three lifts: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. So we work on getting better at those three along with a variety of other accessory strength exercises that will help us toward those goals.
Today was our second session of the week, which is usually deadlift day. So…we did a lot of deadlifts. (Squats and benches were Monday.) We also did planks, overhead/military presses, bent-over rows, lat pull-downs, half-kneeling torso rotations, dead bugs, and probably a few other things I’m forgetting. Or trainer mixes it up in a really engaging way and is super knowledgeable, so it’s always a good workout.
If you look at what I’m lifting, the numbers might not be super impressive, but I’m going to own it and call myself a powerlifter anyway. Here’s why: yesterday at the track, I was listening to a panel discussion on why it’s an exciting time in women’s running, and one of the themes of the discussion was the need to open up running and make it accessible to not only women in general, but to all underrepresented populations. The panelists were great. They spoke about how important it is for us runners to call ourselves runners and not to demur because we “only” ran a short distance or because we’re “just” mid- or back-of-the-packers. If we don’t own our identities as runners, how will the people watching us feel like it’s something they, too, can participate in? Oh, just listen to the podcast! At any rate, I’m going to do the same for powerlifting: I am a powerlifter.