Tag Archives: USPA

The Power of Powerlifting

This past weekend, Union Fitness hosted the 3rd annual Iron City Open powerlifting meet. With the help of our staff, Doug Nostrant and his team of referees, along with our member volunteer spotters and loaders, we were able to have an extremely safe and successful event. I will be completely honest, this is an event that I was very unsure about happening a couple of months ago, and even up until a few before the competition. As far as I am aware, this was the first event that was held in the western PA area since before the start of the pandemic in March. 

 

What made this event special was not only the competitors that attended and the weight which they were able to lift, but all of the people who came together to make sure that everyone was safe and meeting all of the guidelines and standards necessary in order to be able to hold the event. From the outdoor tent, to the USPA referees making sure that the equipment was properly cleaned after every single lifter completed an attempt. That’s right, the bars and benches were disinfected and cleaned after each competitor touched it. You can’t ask for much more care and safety than that. All while wearing masks and face shields for 7 hours in 90 degree weather. This truly goes to show how strong the Powerlifting community is, and how much love and respect goes into it.

 

I am entering my 8th year as a competitor. During that time, I have personally competed in 15 competitions, and I have either attended and/or helped individuals in another 15 or so events. The more meets that I attend, and the more mature that I become, the more I understand and appreciate everything that the sport of powerlifting has to offer, and all of the people whom I’ve had the opportunity of meeting in the process. On the surface, powerlifting may look like a bunch of meat heads with low IQs walking around sweating, grunting, and yelling absurd statements just so they can pick something up one time and then put it down. However, if you dig deeper and spend some quality time in the community, you will meet some of the most genuine people who you’ve ever encountered, and you will witness first hand how powerlifting can help you become better in every aspect of life.

 

In powerlifting, you have to develop a plan of action and then take one step each day in order to reach that goal. It’s inevitable that you will encounter crossroads, hardships, and even frustration along the way. Over time, when approached correctly, this will equate to many small victories and lessons learned. Lessons which can not only help you become a better athlete, but can carry over into being better in your career, in your relationships, and within your own self. The best part of this is having the ability to pass on these lessons to other individuals so they can benefit from the same things which you have. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Living, learning, and passing on.

Iron City Open 2020, Wrap Up

Well folks we hosted our first meet during a pandemic. We had to follow many new procedures and guidelines, yet I am confident that we pulled it off in a safe and strong manner. We want to thank everyone who was involved. Meet organizers, volunteers, competitors, judges, friend and family. Thank you all for coming out and supporting the lifters.

 

As most people know we had to have a meet with limitations on how many people were permitted to be here and while requiring masks. We are proud and happy about how so many people came together and supported one another while respecting all safety guidelines.

 

The meet itself had a very different feel as it was moved from a 2 day meet to a 1 day meet. There was no large crowd of cheering fans and anyone who wanted to watch had to bring their own chair and sit outside. At times it felt more like a picnic than a meet.

 

As for the lifting… let us have an ego here. UF did great! All the lifters who train here did great! Our own Cody Miller won best lifter. The best female lifter was Kelly Piccione. Josh, Bobby, Monica, Stew, Simone  (adopted UF lifter),  all had amazing days! I also want to thanks all of these people for helping make the day successful, Dave, Matt, Josh, Kerry, Liz, Cayt, Vicky, Bryce, Frank, Keenan, Curtis, CJ, Cody, Faruk, Jared, Nate, Derek, John,  Toria, Zain and all others hopefully I didn’t miss anyone.  Thanks to all vendors as well.

 

At the end it was a successful meet and we hope that we met everyone’s expectations. We also must thank you for being members and supporting us through these strange days we are living in.

 

Todd Hamer

 

 

Iron City 2020

As many of you know, the Iron City Open is being held tomorrow here at Union Fitness beginning at 9am. We have put in place as many safety precautions as we could think of so that it can be a sanitary environment while allowing people to return to an activity that was once a normal part of their lives. We understand the incredible responsibility involved, and we appreciate everyone who has contributed to making this event a success.

 

If you haven’t been a part of the powerlifting community, it’s as supportive a tribe as you will find. Winning is rarely the main focus for the competitor. The majority of powerlifters are concerned about doing more than they’ve ever done before. To take the hero’s journey. To have the courage to leave the known, travel into the unknown, slay the dragon, and bring back something useful from the journey. And you might think that a personal record is the useful thing that they bring back, but it’s not. The useful thing is a greater knowledge of the self. Getting a better understanding of what is possible and what may still be possible for every individual…this is the prize.

 

The powerlifters who understand this universal struggle are there to spot, wrap, encourage, and console anyone who is willing to step up to the platform. You better believe this will be going on tomorrow. And if you need a word of encouragement or someone to chalk your back, come find me.

Iron City Open Update

To all of our members and friends I hope you are as excited as we are about seeing lifting again. I wanted to make sure we get an update out as the meet is now one week away.

 

The meet will be held Saturday August 22, 2020. Weigh ins will be Friday and Saturday (for specifics check with USPA). The meet was originally scheduled as a two day meet, yet the USPA as well as UF have decided with the reduced numbers it no longer made sense to spread it out over two days.

 

We will be allowing spectators. This is an outdoor event and state rules limit it to 50 total people. We are hopeful that we have a nice crowd and we are also hopeful that it stays under this number and we do not need to turn anyone away. We will be strictly following mask guidelines so please be prepared with your mask at all times. Lifters will be permitted to remove their mask for their attempts.

 

We are also working on food trucks as well as a beer truck to make the day more enjoyable for everyone. We ask that everyone please show extra patience this year to help us and the lifters have a great day.

 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact me directly anytime. Lifters with more specific questions please see USPA Pittsburgh instagram or contact Doug directly.

 

Todd Hamer

todd@unionfitness.com