In July 2021, I decided to broaden my fitness spectrum. I decided since I was still rebuilding muscle from breaking my pelvis, last August 2020, I might as well dip my toe in Powerlifting and focus on Bench Press.
Since I have a spinal cord injury, and obviously, restrictions to movements, Deadlifts, and Squats, are out. So I started working with a local coach and began from scratch, learning how to bench press, the official way. Which, I might add, isn’t easy.
I compare it to a bodybuilder training all year for a show, to only have to learn how to pose. If you cant put it all together, it looks horrible and you won’t be successful. Bodybuilders focus on, generally, one muscle group movement, for the most part. So, incorporating multiple muscle groups, to increase a bench press, drive, the proper way. Is actually, very hard.
For a legal bench press, while competing, you must. The lifter must lie on his/her back with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the flat bench. Both feet must be in contact with the floor and hands must grip the bar with thumbs around it. A specific distance apart, but you get the idea.
The lifter gets a lot of power from leg drive, but you must keep your bum on the bench while utilizing this drive. Not easy!
I felt as I did when I learned how to do pushups. Useless! It was so difficult.
I had a patient coach who began to teach me week by week.
October 23, 2021. I competed as an American in AAPL league, here in Utah, in the Law/Fire division in the 132# class. I weighed in at 127# and set 2 national records. Both in RAW classes, one in open and one in masters. I set a PR ar 121 #.
Considering just 3 months prior I had no clue what I was doing I was extremely happy.
Fast Forward to November 3, 2021. I flew to Phoenix to compete in WABDL worlds, to compete as a Canadian. I again competed at the 132# class, and weighed in, again, at 127#. I also competed in the RAW Law/Fire class. I set the world record there. I was so happy.
I was a trailblazer at both the National and World levels. No one in Law/Fire, my age, is as lean as me. I believe the Open, non Law/Fire class is set at 140# for my age and weight class. So I am not far off.
When I returned to Utah, the same Power Lifter who claimed I, as a bikini competitor, had no business to being a competitive Power Lifter, told me he wasn’t impressed and that I’d have to do better than one World record. So I took this negative energy and I put my head down and started training, harder. I wasn’t just out to push the limits on what people expect from a Bikini Competitor, but to destroy the idea, all together.
So, that’s what I did, I trained, a lot.