Lodi powerlifte­r com­petes around U.S.

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Oula Miq­bel NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

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.

COUR­TESY OF AMANDA ALLEN

Amanda Allen com­petes in the dead­lift por­tion of the 2019 Raw Na­tion­als com­pe­ti­tion held in Lom­bard, Illi­nois.

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