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  • Writer's pictureTIKIMA THOMPSON


There's something extraordinary about the powerlifting community. The camaraderie, the adrenaline rush, and the incredible feats of strength achieved on the platform create an environment unlike any other. Recently, I embarked on a five-month journey to compete in a powerlifting competition. Armed with determination, discipline, and an unwavering passion, I poured my heart and soul into my training regimen, which ultimately culminated in a remarkable victory in my age group. Join me as I share the highs, lows, and invaluable lessons I learned along the way.

Setting the Stage :

In February 2022, I attended a powerlifting meet to support my friend Laila in her first meet. When I walked into Chisled Life Gym, the atmosphere engulfed me. The smell of sweat, Looking for a seat to sit in the packed gym, my daughter and I spotted Tamara Walcott (pictured right) and Marissa Wilson. Two women I admire from the powerlifting community. After taking a photo and sparking up a conversation with Tamara, she encouraged me to start powerlifting. Right then and there, I made the decision to challenge myself and participate in a powerlifting meet. It was a daunting prospect, considering I had never competed before. Determined to give it my all, I committed to a rigorous training schedule, dedicating four days a week to intense workouts.

The Training Regimen:

To prepare myself physically and mentally for the competition, I meticulously planned my training regimen. With guidance from my experienced coach Shoubry (pictured left), he devised a program that encompassed all three core powerlifting movements: squat, bench press, and deadlift. Each session was carefully structured to improve my technique, build strength, and enhance my overall performance.

Throughout the five-month period, I followed a progressive overload approach, gradually increasing the weight, repetitions, and intensity. By doing so, I ensured constant adaptation and growth. However, it's important to note that while the training was intense, adequate rest and recovery periods were equally crucial. I listened to my body, prioritizing rest days and incorporating mobility exercises to prevent injuries and maintain flexibility.

Challenges and Triumphs:

Embarking on this powerlifting journey was not without its challenges. As the weeks went by, the physical demands of the training took a toll on my body. There were moments of doubt and fatigue, when the weight felt overwhelming, and progress seemed slow. Yet, with unwavering determination (and an amazing support system), I persevered, reminding myself that every small improvement was a step closer to my goal.

One of the most significant triumphs came in the form of winning my age group. Standing on the platform, surrounded by a supportive crowd, I felt an overwhelming surge of adrenaline and excitement. The months of disciplined training had paid off. I missed a few lifts from nerves but the barbell felt lighter in my hands, and my movements felt fluid and controlled. With each successful lift, my confidence grew, and I realized that the true victory lay in the journey itself.

Key Lessons Learned:

Competing in a powerlifting meet has taught me invaluable lessons that extend beyond the realms of physical strength:

  1. The Power of Consistency: Showing up, day after day, and putting in the work consistently is the foundation of success. Even on days when motivation waned, I persevered, understanding that consistent effort leads to progress.

  2. Mindset Matters: Developing a strong mindset is crucial. Believing in oneself, visualizing success, and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth were instrumental in overcoming obstacles.

  3. Surround Yourself with Support: The powerlifting community is a testament to the spirit of camaraderie. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who offer encouragement, advice, and support can make a world of difference in your journey.

  4. Celebrate Small Wins: Progress isn't always linear. I was so hard on myself whenever I was unable to complete a lift or did not see progress as fast as I expected. But, acknowledging and celebrating every small win along the way helps to maintain motivation and keeps the fire burning within.

Competing in a powerlifting competition and emerging victorious in my age group was an incredible milestone in my fitness journey. The dedication, discipline, and unwavering passion I poured into my training regimen for five months ultimately paid off. Through the challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned, I gained a deeper understanding of my physical and mental capabilities.

Whether you're an aspiring powerlifter or pursuing any other goal in life, remember that it's the journey that truly matters. Embrace the process, stay committed, and never underestimate the power of your own potential. On the platform, anything is possible, and the feeling of accomplishment is unparalleled. So, lace up your lifting shoes, harness your inner strength, and step onto the platform to unleash your full potential. The powerlifting community awaits with open arms.

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