My First Powerlifting Competition

Three months ago, I went to watch some friends at a local powerlifting competition. I didn’t have a clue about powerlifting and didn’t know what to expect. When I saw lots of strong women lifting big weights, I said, “It can’t be so different than CrossFit, right?!”

After lots of, “Go on Selma, you can squat,” type of encouragement I found myself signing up for one, and the training began. I’m used to training regularly, but focusing on three lifts was completely different. I followed my regime religiously and experienced the ups and downs physically and emotionally that come with pushing your limits.

There was also the inevitable self-doubt and questioning of why I was doing this and how it will affect me (both aesthetically and in my CrossFit journey). During my 12 weeks of preparation I had so much support from the coaches and members at CFC along with the friend I went to watch compete in the first place.

A powerlifting competition consists of 3 attempts of 1rm squat, bench press and deadlift. I had discovered that I could squat and deadlift through CrossFit so my brain was telling me, “we got this, you just need to learn bench press!”

Although it was a completely different experience to the CrossFit competitions I have participated in, one striking similarity was the community. Everybody knew each other and welcomed me as one of their own even though it was my first competition. Most competitors had their individual coaches with them and when one of the spotters (people who volunteer to help out at the competition) realised I didn’t have a coach on the day, he gave me his full support and helped me with my warm up and started giving tips. It was a fantastic experience and I ended up bringing home a little trophy that said ‘First’ on it. My squat was the strongest in my weight division.


Squat 112.5
Deadlift 122.5
Bench 50 (with a no rep at 60)

I can happily say that the application of CrossFit suits itself to trying new adventures and challenges that most importantly are great fun.

by Selma Hannan

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