So I made the leap and decided to sign up for my first ever powerlifting competition: The 2018 Philippine Raw Bench Press Championships.
For those of you who don’t know, the traditional powerlifting competition consists of three main exercises: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift, in that order. You’re given three attempts to do each one, and your highest successful lift is what counts towards your aggregate total for all three lifts.
I’ve been kinda-sorta lifting ever since my first year in university, but it’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve gotten serious about upgrading the quality of my lifting. It’s only now that I’ve gotten confident enough to actually join a meet without embarrassing myself.
- Squat: 215kg maximum, but with not enough depth to pass in a competition
- Bench Press: 142.5kg maximum, but I’m not yet confident in my pause
- Deadlift: 205kg maximum, but it really varies on how I’m feeling that day.
Take note, this is just a bench press competition I signed up for, which is great for me since my squat form needs work and my deadlifts are still kind of average for my weight.
One thing people don’t realize is that joining a powerlifting meet is a bit of an investment. I’ve been canvassing for the cheapest options, and it still comes out to roughly P17,000 just to get started—a little over $300.
It’s not cheap, but I think it will be worth it—it’s the one hobby I’ve really found myself so passionate about over the past couple of years, and it will be good to give myself benchmarks to improve and make myself better. In the meantime, all anyone really needs to get started is the singlet, so that’s what I’m getting first. I’ll just collect the rest of the stuff along the way. I don’t think I need to get a P10,000 pair of actual squat or deadlift shoes anyway.
(P.S. The funniest thing about the equipment I need to get is the fact that I need to get actual Y-front cotton briefs, AKA tighty-whities. Apparently, competitions don’t allow lycra-polyester boxer briefs, which is what I wear on the daily.)
In the meantime, here’s where I’m getting all of my gear:
- Spruce Athletics: Titan Classic Singlet (P3,690) and Beast Genetics Single-Prong Belt (P5,090)
- Iron Ronin Strength: Oni Classic Wrist Wraps (P1,995) and Oni Classic Knee Sleeves (P2,795)
Granted, I signed up for this comp on a whim, so it’s not like I’m going into it with proper programming and peaking—I just wanna have fun and sort of dip my toes into the scene.
Wish me luck, guys! Can’t wait to see how I look in spandex.