Sunday, November 29, 2009


Pictured: Tammy Coles, Sarah Frankel, Krista Schaus, Susan Abbott receive 2009 Ontario Best Team Trophy from Ontario Powerlifting Association Representative Barry Antoniow

The Defining Strength team, coached by Krista Schaus and assisted by Jayne Boer, represented very well this past weekend in Ottawa at the Last Chance Open - appropriately named as it was lifter's last opportunity to qualify for Provincials on January 23rd in St. Catharine's and Nationals in Montreal (April 2010) beyond that.

All three lifters were novices to powerlifting which involves a combined best total of 3 single repetition (1RM) attempts in the squat, bench press and deadlift (in that order).

Supportive and assistance gear is allowed such as belts, knee and wrist wraps, tight fighting suits in the squat and deadlift (which look like wrestling singlets) and bench press shirts.

The Defining Strength team for this contest consisted of:

* Mary Lupton (Master 2 class)
* Sonja Bedic (Open class)
* Ashley Werner (Junior class)

All three lifters had personal bests (PB) out of the deadlift and Sonja also a PB in the squat. At a lifter's first contest, there can be quite a bit of discrepancies between gym or training lifts and contest lifts due to "novice nerves", possible weight loss to make a weight class, changes in nutrition and hydration levels, change of environment and the distractions associated to warming up with other lifters and the commotion of the crowd, equipmenet checks and the pressure of being judged. Many technicalities will emerge that the lifter may not have experienced or the coach may not have observed in training.

In powerlifting there are many reasons a lift can not pass regardless of whether the lifter actually lifted the weight or not. A few examples - insufficient depth in the squat, not fully locking out the knees or elbows at the start or completion of the lifts, not listening to lifting commands such as "start" or "rack", a foot moving during the squat or deadlift, or heels, butt or head coming off during the bench press.

The Defining Strength team handled the multiple physical and mental pressures of their first competition exceedingly well. Coach Schause stated she "was proud to have been a part of their accomplishments thus far and look forward to the progress they are certain to make in the coming months and years".


All 3 lifters lift with only belts and wraps in the squat, belt in the deadlift with the exception of Sonja who uses a squat suit.

Mary Lupton - 90+ kg - 77.5 kg squat, 40 kg bench, 107.5 kg deadlift for a total of nearly 500 lbs (225 kg)! Mary will very soon be an M3 Class* lifter (age 60 plus) which is an inspiring feat in itself, to be pushing the body to maximum strength while others may be experiencing physical decline.

Mary has plenty more strength in all three lifts however, a few minor technicalities in the squat and bench press saw her short of her goals in those lifts. But she made up for in the deadlift by easily pulling 15 lbs more than originally planned. Mary is certain to pull 250 to 300 lbs in her next open contest Spring 2010. Mary is looking long term towards Worlds 2011 that will be hosted by Niagara Powerlifting.

Sonja Bedic - 75 kg - 120 kg squat, 47.5 kg bench, 125 kg deadlift for a qualifying (Class III) total of 292.5 kg (she needed 282.5 kg to qualify for provincials). She went 3 for 3 in the squats (successful on all 3 of her attempts) got her off to a confident start. Shoulder dysfunction late in her contest training meant Sonja would not be bringing any PB's to the lifting platform in the bench press.

The goal was to get a decent bench press in to stay in the game. If a lifter fails one of the 3 lifts, they are disqualified from the competition. So getting a good opening attempt in is of vital important. Openers (1st attempts) should be relatively easy to avoid "bombing" (disqualification).

She easily pulled her 125 kg 3rd attempt deadlift - evidence that for provincials she will be planning on another deadlift personal best. I am setting a 140 kg goal for provincials in the deadlift (308 lbs).

Ashely Werner - 67.5 kg - 107.5 kg squat, 65 kg bench, 120 kg deadlift for a 292.5 kg total putting her well above her qualifying requirements of 262.5 kg. Ashely weighed in light in her weight class - 62.5 kg meaning she had to lift against heavier (and more geared and experienced lifters). It is fair to say that most of her lifts were easy from an untapped strength standpoint. She has much more strength to reveal due in part to her combined wrestling, rowing and fitness background. With further refining and training time, we could see her on the World platform as soon as 2010 in her last year as a Junior lifter. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we look forward to her continued success on the platform at Provincials and Nationals later this year.

The Defining Strength team will get right back into training as Provincials are just 7 weeks again - November 23rd in St. Catharine's.

Tammy Coles of Calendoia, and coach Krista Schaus also qualified for Nationals at Provincials earlier this year where Schaus took home Ontario's Best Female Lifter award, a bench press and deadlift record and the Defining Strength team won Best Team Trophy. This was the first time in Canadian Powerlifting hostiry that an all female team won the Team Trophy. For full results on that qualifying competition visit.

As the powerlifting 2009 season closes, Coach Krista Schaus also would like to extend honorable metions to team members Carol Brady of Caledonia (M2 lifter) and Jayne Boer (M1 lifter) who also lifted in their first powerlifting events in 2009. In addition to impressive lifting, both Carol and Jayne have also been an essential part of the team helping with organizing, coaching and logistics.

Additionally, Susan Abbott of Hagersville is co-coach of Defining Strength. The accomplishments of her athletes this year - Lisa Nigh, Anita Santos, Krista Miller and Natasha Farrell - has helped the team see its best competitive year to date.

Sarah Frankel of Toronto, one of Ontario's best female lifters, was also a Defining Strength team member in 2009 and has been organizing a Toronto Powerlifting team for launch 2010.

* There are both age divisions (Junior, Open, Master 1, 2, 3...) and there are classes for qualifying totals or caliber of lifting (Class IIII, III, II, I, Mater and Elite). Women's qualifying standard for Provincials and Nationals is a minimum of a Class III total (exception: Sub Junior and Master III = "previous experience only"). For details on age classes and qualifying standards click here.

1 comment:

Claudine said...

Congratulations to your team!