Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Petite Power Personified!

Defining Edge client brings home bronze from IPF Masters Worlds

What does it take to become a World medalist in powerlifting as a 50 kg (110 lb) pound female?

Answer: a 110 kg squat (232 lb), 62.5 kg bench press (138 lbs) and a 120 kg deadlift (264 lbs), an iron will and a powerful team around you. That’s what it took for Defining Edge client and Haldimand County OPP officer, Paula Wright, to secure a bronze medal finish at last week’s IPF World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Palm Springs, California.

This is an amazing feat considering Wright's petite stature of just 110 lbs at 5’3”. But makes it even more impressive is that she reached the highest level of competitive powerlifting in just over two years of training and four competitions.

Wright was prepared by a robust training team. In addition to Krista as her strength, Paula's preparation team for IPF World Masters included personal trainer Carrie Misener of Precision Fitness in Caledonia, Hagersville-based physiotherapist Daniel Agostinelli and natural health therapist Amy Marr near Selkirk. Herc’s Nutrition on Upper James in Hamilton also contributed with sponsorships towards her nutritional requirements such as amino acids, whey protein and vitamin and mineral supplementation. Wright admits, “I could not have done this without the backing of this incredible team, including the support of my family”.

“Powerlifting is a game of relative strength but there are tactics going on that many are not aware of”, commented Schaus. As an accomplished competitive powerlifter herself Schaus stated that, “working with Paula towards a World medal has been more rewarding and emotional than any of my own competitive accomplishments”.

As her head strength coach and competition handler, Krista Schaus, recounted “Paula had to put it all together to bring home the bronze – all her mental and physical preparation came down to the final deadlifts.” Wright weighted into the under 52 kg weight class a very light 50.5 kg. Schaus was concerned that the extra weight loss, due in part to the very dry and hot Palm Springs weather, would affect her strength. But in the end, the unexpected weight loss, helped secure a 3rd place overall finish.

Paula had to face opponents who were more experienced and with higher qualifying totals than her. But she ended up tying a slighter heavier lifter in the deadlift with a 120 kg pull. Being the lighter lifter, pound for pound, Wright was the stronger of the two.

Schaus admitted that “many tactics and manipulations were going on behind Paula’s back. Her job was to just lift the weight and stay mentally focused on bringing home a medal”. Lifters are allowed to change their final deadlifts attempts many times allowing Schaus to watch every attempt Wright’s closest competition in bronze medal position, South African Gill Smith, put in. Wright had to lift 7.5 kg more than the South African to ensure a bronze finish (and a bronze in the deadlift).

Wright’s 292.5 kg total exceeded her previous personal best total by 35 kg and will move her into a very respectable Top 100 Female Canadian lifter position. You can look for Paula on a lifting platform again in Ottawa on December 6th at the Ontario Master Championships towards qualifying for the CPU Nationals in Moose Jaw in the Spring of 2009.

For full results and photos on the IPF World Masters visit

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