Lodi powerlifter competes around U.S.
Lodi resident Amanda Allen spent her youth chasing soccer balls around the field but now she’s raised the bar and is competing in powerlifting competitions around the country.
Powerlifting is a sport consisting of three lifts: the squat, bench press and deadlift. The goal of the sport is to lift as much weight as possible across the three lifts.
Allen said people often mistake powerlifting for bodybuilding and competitive weightlifting, which consists of two lifts — the snatch and the clean and jerk.
“Powerlifting is about lifting the maximum amount of weight your body can handle. It is a true test of strength, whereas bodybuilding and weightlifting are more about the aesthetic,” Allen said.
Allen recently came in fifth place at the 2019 USA Raw Powerlifting Championships in Lombard, Ill. According to the USA Lifting database, Allen lifted a total of 975 pounds, squatting 369 pounds, benching 209 pounds and deadlifting 397 pounds.
Since 2017, Allen has been competing in and placing at some of the most competitive powerlifting competitions in the nation.
Back in March, Allen came in second place at the USA Powerlifting Arnold Grand Prix. Only eight male competitors and eight female competitors are selected to participate, and all competitors are required to compete with little to no additional equipment, which is known as raw powerlifting.
In raw powerlifting athletes are only allowed to use approved lifting belts, approved wrist wraps, approved knee sleeves, and chalk.
“Winners are selected based on a scoring method known as the Wilks Scoring Formula,” Allen said. The formula takes into account the weight lifted as well as the lifter’s body weight, resulting in a fairer scoring result.
Allen said she has always been interested in fitness and sports, adding that competitive soccer helped her build up her endurance. In college she took a break from recreational sports but took an interest in Cross-Fit after graduating. In 2015 Allen began to dabble in powerlifting as a hobby and just two years later she entered her first competition — the USA Powerlifting Santa Cruz Strength Fall Classic — and took first place.
Allen has since entered in five competitions and is currently the 25th-ranked female powerlifter in the nation by USA Powerlifting.
“I had no idea that this is what it would evolve into,” Allen said. “This started as a hobby.”
Allen said she spends an average of eight weeks conditioning before a competition and adjusts her workouts to incorporate both weightlifting and stretching through yoga and hiking.
Allen, who is a sports medicine and cardiothoracic surgery dietitian at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, balances her diet and exercise regimen in preparation for competitions.
“My training is unique. Most people train with a team or a coach, but I learned how to train for competitions through trial and error. I use my home gym that I built in my garage,” Allen said.
Allen said her experience as a certified sports dietician has helped her adjust and stabilize her muscle mass, which helps ensure she can compete in her weight class.
“I’ll experiment with weight-cutting strategies that mixed martial arts fighters and wrestlers employ, like water manipulation or adopting a low-fiber diet to decrease my weight content,” she said.
Allen is expected to compete in the Pro American Powerlifting competition in San Diego next March.
She encourages people that are interested in powerlifting to visit www.usapowerlifting.com. Allen can be followed on Instagram at Amanda_allen_rd.
Amanda Allen competes in the deadlift portion of the 2019 Raw Nationals competition held in Lombard, Illinois.