Neenah Powerlifting Takes on the Cold Season with Powerful Lifts

The powerlifters began their season on Nov. 1 and will continue throughout the winter sport season.

Photo by: Mari Derouso

The powerlifters began their season on Nov. 1 and will continue throughout the winter sport season.

Mari Derouso, Staff Reporter

As the cold season starts to appear and fewer sports will be seen outside, Neenah Powerlifting takes advantage of the chilly weather with a large team and Neenah pride.

The first meeting of the season was on Nov. 1 and will continue throughout the winter sport season. Neenah also has a specific schedule, focusing on different lifts every day. Squats on Monday, benches on Tuesday and Thursday, and deadlifts on Wednesday. Friday is a challenge day but is specifically for middle schoolers new to the program only for the month of November.

Powerlifting is a sport with a variety of different lifts, such as squats, benches and deadlifts. Here are some basic explanations of each lift.

Squats consist of ducking down under the bar when it is idle on its rack, letting it sit on your shoulder area, and squatting down with it on your back.

Benches are quite simple: you sit on the bench at the platform and lay down so your eyes are directly beneath the bar. You then grab the bar, making sure your arm does not bend as you do so, then you lift the bar off of its rack and you descend the bar down onto your chest, doing so multiple times, depending on how many sets you do. For example, a 5×5 set is a set of 5 lifts in one sitting 5 different times.

Deadlifts can be done in a variety of ways: there is traditional, where your legs are close together and your feet point forwards and sumo, where your legs are wide apart and your feet point with your leg (diagonally). Not depending on which method you choose, you do the same thing lift-wise, but the bar is on the ground instead of on its rack. Once the bar is on the ground, you stand on one side of the bar with your feet underneath the bar, you use a “sitting down motion” to grab the bar, “breaking” your hips before you go down. Make sure to not look down at the bar when going down to grab it. Once you have the bar in your hands, lift the bar up and against your legs, hold it for about a second, then finally drop down and release the bar. It is safer to wear knee-high socks, to prevent major cuts or bruises on the lower part of your leg while lifting the bar.

Neenah Powerlifting has been standing strong for the last 34 years.  The coaches and a team hope to keep that going for years to come. Many lifters, old and new, may not be here the whole journey, but it is nice to have students interested in doing the sport for a little while instead of quitting after their first year. It is nice to have plenty of new and old lifters coming back to a wonderful sport that allows athletes to connect with teammates and the multiple coaches involved in the team.

Neenah Powerlifting has many different experienced lifters, from those who have many years of experience to those who are just starting. This year’s team consists of over 100 members.  Today, one of those 100 participants, agreed to an Q&A interview.

Photo by: Mari Derouso

Freshman Jacob White, a first-year powerlifter, offers his responses below.

Q:  What made you want to do powerlifting?

A:  I wanted to get on a team and do a sport during high school. I also wanted to get stronger and improve my physique.

Q:  What do you hope to get out of powerlifting? What do you wish to achieve by doing this?

A:  I definitely want to gain strength.  I want to make some friends and get a lot of connections on the team — a sense of community.

Q: Even though it’s early in the season, would you say you have competition with another powerlifter already?

A:  My friend Collin {Herrick} and I are competitive — even before powerlifting. We always try to match each other’s weight and one-up each other.

Q: What are some things Neenah Powerlifting is doing well so far?

A: The veterans on the team have been really nice to me.  They’ve provided advice and use their experience to help me.

Q: Do you plan to keep going until your senior year of high school?

A:  I don’t know if I’ll keep going. I might do another sport, but so far, if it stays this good, I probably will.

Q:  Would you continue doing powerlifting after you graduate high school?

A:  I don’t know if I’ll do powerlifting after high school, but I plan to work out a lot.  It’s a big part of who I am.