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Powerlifting competition springs into action, igniting a passion for strength and fitness

The first Powerlifting Competition held on February 17 at Norwich had an impressive turnout this Spring.  

A part of the culture we’ve promoted within Regimental MFT staff is the appreciation for powerlifting and its benefits,” said German Rivas, 21, a senior corps of cadets construction management major from Massachusetts.  

“Powerlifting for the Regimental staff is a hobby that’s helped us grow to achieve our physical goals as well as help us maintain the physical standard.” 

The idea came from the collaboration between Sam Lebruska and German Rivas, Corps of Cadets students, who approached Ben Caulfield, director of Strength and Conditioning, for ideas to promote physical fitness among Norwich cadets while also lifting morale. 

One of the biggest benefits is “…the confidence and increase in mental health,” said Anna D’Amore, 19, a sophomore civilian civil engineering and mathematics double major from New York. “It motivated me to look into powerlifting more and possibly get USA powerlifting competition certified.”  

Norwich Powerlifting Competition was less formally regulated than it would typically be in a standard Powerlifting competition. Participants were expected to challenge themselves in squats, benches, and deadlifts; however, they could utilize what they needed for success.  

“No equipment and assistance was allowed in the challenge; however, if they needed pre-workout per se to get the adrenaline running, they could use what they needed,” Coach Caulfield said.   

The competition started with the women’s division, and then the men’s, and both received the same set of instructions and requirements.  

A total of seven female participants and twenty-one male participants challenged the competition.  

“Achieving a personal record on a lift is surreal,” Rivas said when asked about the uniqueness of powerlifting. “Powerlifting is about learning to maintain that self-motivation needed for consistency and having that desire to improve after every session.”  

The scoring in powerlifting is done by using the Wilks scoring method. It is a method to measure the strength of one powerlifting against other powerlifters of a different weight category on an equal level.  

Gender and body weight are considered and calculated by the amount benched, pressed, squared, and deadlifted. 

“I went in with lower expectations,” said D’Amore. “However, I ended up hitting two PR (personal record) in squat and deadlift.” 

With Andrews’s gym serving as the primary venue for this event, expectations for participation rates were initially low. However, the event saw a surprising turnout, not limited to the intended corps of cadets students but also a mix of civilians and student-athletes. 

“All of the competitors are eager to compete again,” Rivas said. “We have many individuals who did not participate already asking when the next will be conducted.”   

With a plan in working, there were ideas to make the Powerlifting Event an annual competition for not only Norwich students but possibly also the Norwich Community.  

“Through powerlifting, I wish to reach out to the female community and allow more girls to be okay with lifting, said D’Amore. “I think it is especially difficult in Norwich where the gym is corps-dominated, and ego lifting is more occurrent.”  

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Lilian Lu
Lilian Lu, Staff Reporter
Lilian Lu is the Guidon's Student Community Reporter and Social Media reporter. She is also working as a work-study with the Guidon. Lilian is a sophmore in the Corps of Cadets, graduating with the class of 2026, majoring in Computer Security Information Assurance with a minor in Chinese, Information Warfare, and History in Naval Science. She is active in Varsity Women's Rugby.
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