In my previous blog, I revealed how I got ready for the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association (BDFPA) Welsh Open Championships including my training routine and diet. So after all that work, how did I get on?
The big day: BDFPA Welsh Open Championships
The BDFPA Welsh Open Championships were held on Saturday 18 January 2014. Competitors are split into age, weight and gender categories and perform three lifts in the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift disciplines, taking their best successful lift in each to get a total cumulative score.
I competed in the Men’s Open 100kg Class, weighing in on the day at 97.4kg and performed my lifts alongside the other heavyweights. (I was mixed in with the 110kg and 125kg+ competitors). As ‘the new guy’ this was a daunting prospect at first. Imagine being one of the smallest in a group of muscular men all focused on proving who’s the strongest! But the truth of the matter was every single one of them was a gent and all offered encouragement to each other, devoid of attitude or gamesmanship. I’ve not experienced anything like that in sport before, and it was an incredibly positive atmosphere to lift large amounts of weight in!
Here’s a summary of how I did overall:
- Squats: I hit all three squats, finishing on 175kg
- Bench Press: set a new Welsh Divisional Record in full power at 100kg with a lift of 152.5kg
- Deadlifts: hit all three with the third being 210kg, finishing on a total of 537.5kg
The total of 537.5kg put me at top of the table in the 100kg Class! I was over the moon (and I thank my friends Nathan and Paul who provided valuable strategy tips on what numbers to attempt!) I took home a trophy, a record, but also new friends in my fellow competitors. It was an ace day, a credit to the organisers.
That total score of 537.5kg exceeded what I thought I’d be able to achieve. There’s a lot to be said about chalk, the crowd, adrenaline, the occasion and the encouragement of your fellow competitors for lifting like you’ve never lifted before!
Here’s a short video of me in action at the competition:
Unfortunately, I missed out on qualifying for the National Full Power Contest by just 15kg! But my Bench Press did qualify me for the National Single Lift Championships this March. I’ll be competing there against some of the best in the UK! I’m hoping to progress further again and beat my personal best – currently 155kg. I really have to step up my training to do so – training that I will still do at home. Check out my previous blog for a list of all the gym equipment I use.
How I feel today
Being in shape certainly helps with managing a shop that sells sports supplements. But I also really enjoy looking back at old photos to see how far I’ve progressed and joking with the kids about how they used to call me ‘fat daddy’. I’m looking forward to competing in March – there’s nothing quite like a good competition to galvanise your efforts. If you’re interested in taking part in powerlifting competitively, I certainly recommend it.
Geraint Llewellyn is a full time Manager of an independent health food and supplement shop in Wales. He is also a member of the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association (BDFPA).