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  • Writer's picturecourtneyjsteele

FTF Powerlifter to take on the World!

After qualifying for the Nationals at the Eastern Powerlifting Competition in October 2017, I thought… why not go for it? They were to be held in Calgary where my son lives so that was an added bonus. Courtney encouraged me to attend and provided great training advice and motivation.

PEI was well represented by lifters and fans, some who had come out especially for the competition, and Islanders who now live in Calgary. The PEI flag was front and centre!

There were over 500 lifters in the competition and it was very busy but everything ran like clockwork! All events were live streamed so family and friends were able to watch from home. Courtney arranged an event at Full Throttle Fitness which was very well attended. When I finished my last lift in each lift category, I FaceTimed with Courtney so I was able to see everyone and hear the cheers and well wishes. It felt like my FTF family was at the competition with me! It was great to be able to debrief my performance with Courtney after each session and to get my head focused onto the next lift.

I started Powerlifting in June, 2017. I was a bit skeptical. I was soon to turn 60 and I was concerned that my body wouldn’t hold up to the training, but I just took it one day at a time. My worries turned out to be unfounded as I am now more physically fit and stronger than ever. With encouragement from Courtney, I competed at the PEI Provincial Powerlifting meet in August 2017. Along with Courtney and Glenda MacDonald, I competed at the Eastern Canadians in October. My final meet of the year was the Kings County Open. I started to prepare for the Nationals in January 2018.

My total the Nationals was higher than my results at previous competitions. I was disappointed in my results for the back squat and Bench as they were both lower than my personal records. My deadlift pulled me through, though, as I lifted 308.6 lbs and there was “more in the tank”!!! I was so happy to win a Bronze medal out of the 4 lifters in my class.

I was very fortunate at the Nationals to have my son, Garret, in the warm up room and at the platform for moral support. Erin Ashbacher, Personal Trainer and a power lifter familiar with competing at the national level, was also with me. She was amazing and it taught me the benefit of having someone familiar with powerlifting competitions with you who knows the ropes with regards to the “how to” of each lift. She told me, “You focus on lifting and I’ll deal with the rest,” and deal with it she did!

My training prepared me well for the Nationals but I just have to get a handle on my jitters! I had been doing a lot of research on-line for training programs and guidance for how to safely and efficiently complete the three lifts required for Powerlifting. It certainly helps that I am a certified Personal Training Specialist through CanFitPro because there is a lot of bad advice on the net! I also follow on Instagram a number of Canadian women powerlifters who are international champions. Courtney has been available to me through all of this to critique form, challenge my goals and offer advice on nutrition. She had invited Tom Nichols, a world champion powerlifter from PEI, to come to FTF to offer some advice to the FTF Powerlifting team. A few days later, I very boldly emailed Tom to see if he would take me under his wing to help with my coaching for the remaining 3 weeks before the Nationals. Because of his ever present desire to build the sport on PEI, Tom readily agreed. So with his program and in-person and on-line coaching and with Courtney’s presence at the gym, I was ready!

So what’s next? I am currently training to attend the World Classic Powerlifting Championship which will be held in Calgary in June, 2018. When I realized I achieve the total score that would qualify me for the Worlds, I again said, “Why not!” When I received the email to approve my application for the team, I was a happy gal. Once again, Tom is in my corner to help me prepare with a training program and technique advice. Courtney is on hand to keep an eye on my progress and to provide coaching support. The first four weeks of my program is to focus on form, form, form! I will be using progressively heavier weights and reps so that at the end of the 4 weeks I will be ready with “perfect” physical and mental form and a sound muscle base to build strength for the remaining weeks before the Worlds.

If you are thinking about getting into Powerlifting, think no more and take action! Contact Courtney at Full Throttle Fitness. Powerlifting is an amazing sport. I look at it as an individual sport as you really focus on your personal progression. If that leads you to the medal platform or qualifies you for a higher level competition, that’s a bonus. Each workout is an opportunity to strive to be the best that you can be. The wonderful feeling of personal accomplishment at the end of a competition is the very best. It is also a great team sport as you work with and celebrate with others from your team. I love watching someone from my team reach a new personal best and giving them a high five as they exit the platform. The FTF team is the best!!!

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