by Joel Sward
On Sunday, March 24, House Of Muscle employee Nick Hickey competed in his first powerlifting competition. The setting was a gym called Next Level Fitness in Johnston, RI. The 2013 New England Revolution Powerlifting Competition was an exciting event and Nick had an excellent meet.
We realize that not all of you may know what a powerlifting competition is, so here is a brief synopsis. In a powerlifting competition the competitors execute three different lifts: the squat, the bench press and the deadlift, in that order. Each competitor gets three attempts in each lift for nine total lifts. To determine a winner a total is established using the best attempt in each lift. For example, if your best squat was 600lbs, your best bench press was 400lbs and your best deadlift was 600lbs, you would have a total of 1600lbs.
On each attempt, three judges establish whether the lift was successful or not by closely watching the competitors. If at least two of the three judges are satisfied that the lift was successful, then the lift is determined to be a good lift.
In a powerlifting competition form is very important and the judging is very strict. In the squat a big issue is the depth at which the competitors get in the bottom of the lift. In the bench press competitors must rest the bar on their chest until a judge says "PRESS" and then hold with straight arms at the end of the lift. In the dead lift the bar must continue to rise in a consistent manner and not stop or "hitch" on the way up.
Nick competed in the drug-free, amateur, raw (Raw is powerlifting lingo for not wearing a powerlifting suit or bench press shirt.), junior (Nick was 23 years old at the time of competition.), super heavy weight division (Nick weighed in at 311lbs.).
Nick was a little nervous going into the competition and who can blame him. His girlfriend Caitlin told me he woke at 4:30AM on the day of the competition and he couldn't go back to sleep. Nick also told me when he got to the competition he felt like he was going to throw up. I think it is good to be nervous before a competition. If you aren't nervous, then you don't care.
Nick had one of the biggest cheering sections at the meet. Family and friends, myself included, were all geared up to cheer Nick on in his first powerlifting competition. I have to admit I was a little nervous for Nick myself. But I knew once he got the first lift under his belt, it would be smooth sailing from there.
In the squat Nick opened at 480lbs and got it easily. His next lift of 540lbs was also successful, but he got a little bit off balance and it wasn't as easy as it should have been. This made Nick a little hesitant to jump up too much in weight for his last attempt in the squat. His final attempt in the squat was 550lbs and he got it quite easily. I think he could have done at least 40 more pounds, but at any rate he was off and running and 550lbs was a new personal record for him.
Nick's opener in the bench press of 325lbs was successful and easy. His second attempt was 360lbs and was also successful. His final attempt in the bench press was 370lbs and it was an awesome lift. It took everything he had, but he locked it out for a successful lift. I didn't think he was going to get it, but he kept pushing and finished the lift and his cheering section, myself included, let out a huge roar of applause as he completed another personal record.
The final lift was the dead lift. Nick opened with 570lbs and was successful. His second attempt was 620lbs and it was another successful pull. Then Nick decided to jump up to 680lbs for his final lift of the meet. His decision to jump all the way up to 680lbs was contingent on the fact that if this lift were successful, he would have a total of 1600lbs. He was very close, but he couldn't quite finish the pull. If it would have been 670lbs or even 675lbs, I think he would have gotten it. His 620lb pull was still another personal record.
His finishing total was 1540lbs, which earned him 1st place in his division! Nick set personal records in all 3 lifts. Considering that this was Nick's first powerlifting competition he did an amazing job.
I am very proud of Nick. He has adopted the correct approach to his training in that he realizes it is a slow, long process. You don't get to where Nick is right now without "paying your dues" and putting in a lot of hard work.
We hope Nick's success inspires you to continue to strive to reach your individual goals. If it were easy, everybody would have everything they want. That is just not the way the real world works. You need to establish a goal and work hard to achieve.
So, it is really all up to you. The time to act is now! Train Hard!
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