The DeadtiH

There's an old powerlifting adage that says, "The meet doesn't start till the bar hits the floor." This sage piece of lifting wisdom means that meets are often won and lost with the deadlift—the final lift of the day.

Deidre won many meets where she trailed after the squat and bench press, only to pull it out at the end. In fact, her lifting partner and friend, four-time national champion Jacqueline Davis, once won a national meet by outlifting her competitor by 75 pounds in the dead lift!

Here's what to expect during the dead lift:

>- First your hands will be covered in chalk to help you grip the bar. Your shins and thighs will be similarly covered in baby powder to help the bar slide up your legs more easily. (Mix up the two and expect the bar to slip out of your hands or stick to your thighs.)

> Grip the bar as described in Chapter 16, "Flip Side" or in a variation known as the sumo position.

> Take a deep breath and pull like an ox plowing a hard field. The lifter is required to stand fully erect before receiving the "down" call from the head official.

The sumo deadlift, which Deidre used in competition, is when the lifter takes a wide stance and places her hands inside her legs.

Bar Talk

The sumo deadlift, which Deidre used in competition, is when the lifter takes a wide stance and places her hands inside her legs.

So there you have it: familiar lifts done with unfamiliar technique. With all their hooting and hollering, chalk-smattered and often bulky bodies, powerlifting meets can be an intimidating place. (Although the raw meets are generally a bit more laid-back, we hesitate to call them civilized.) In either case, many meets have a novice division, which is a great way to check out this little-known sport.

USA Powerlifting is the largest sanctioning organization in the sport, though many others exist. Powerlifting USA magazine is the bible of powerlifting and a good resource for information on upcoming meets and coverage of the sport.

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