College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Engineering students take part in 2015 Raw Midwest Powerlifting Championship

Several members of the ISU weight club will travel to Dubuque, Iowa to join about 70 lifters from across the Midwest at the 2015 Raw Midwest Powerlifting Championship on Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.

 “Some of our lifters will potentially break some lifting records for this particular federation of powerlifting.  Others will simply be trying to set a personal record,”said Samuel Redd, graduate in civil, construction and environmental engineering and president of the ISU weight club. “Raw power lifting means the lifter is only using their body to lift the weight.”

In a typical power lifting competition, lifters may wear a belt around their abdomen or wraps around their knees for extra support.

This two-day event organized by the United Powerlifting Association will take place Jan. 31 for men 24 years and older and Feb. 1 for men 23 years and younger. Events will begin at 9 a.m. both days.

“UPA is one of several federations that organize powerlifting meets across the nation,” said Keegan Dwyer, junior in mechanical engineering and vice president of the ISU weight club.

According to Dwyer, the powerlifting meets consist of three lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. Each participant is granted three attempts to reach their maximal effort for each movement. In order to prepare for their one-rep max, participants undergo a lot of preparation.

“To sum the process up, a lifter will pick a weight they are confident with to start training,” Redd said. “Two particular lifters started their squat training with 365 pounds about 16 weeks ago. They have made good progress in their squat and I just saw them squat 465 pounds last week. If their training is right, they may be able to squat 500 pounds at the competition. They have made this progress by coming in each week and adding 10 pounds to their squat training. After each workout, they will go home, eat a ton of food and rest so, in the hopes of next week, they will come back and be stronger. Repeat this process over and over again and you have the basic powerlifting regime.”

However, not all of the ISU lifters participating in the meet started their training months in advance. Benjamin Yoko, senior in electrical engineering, admitted that he decided to participate in this meet roughly eight weeks out. Since his decision to participate was closer to the competition date, he had to be creative as far as preparation options are concerned.

“Basically, I just increased the frequency I go to the gym and the amount of lifting I do each time I go,” Yoko said.

Yoko plans to take a week off in the hopes to heal up and recover to reach peak strength at the meet.

“There are multiple weight classes for the lifters,” Redd said. “So, you can compare your strength with other people who have the same weight as you. Generally, the more you weigh the more you are able to lift. So, it makes for a fair competition.”

Even though there is no specific team of members who compete, Dwyer said there are several members of the ISU weight club who compete in various meets throughout the year. The ISU weight club helps with costs for travel, lodging and meet fees.

Redd encourages students to contact a membership representative from their website if they’re interested in joining the ISU weight club. Dues are $30 for a year or $20 for a semester, and that allows students to have access to the weight gym at Beyer Hall.

This article was written and originally published by Noelina Rissman at the Iowa State Daily.