Competing at the SDFPF Powerlifting Championship 2021

Last weekend, I competed at the Swiss Drug Free Powerlifting Championship 2021, held in Basel on 25 September. This was my first national powerlifting competition since competing in the last SDFPF Championship in February 2019. The 2020 Championship was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic I managed to lose around 10 kg bodyweight and competed this year in the 82.5 – 90 kg category at a body weight of 87.3 kg, almost 10 kg lighter than my weight of 96.5 kg in 2019. Despite my efforts to improve my squat and ensure that I squatted below parallel, I discovered by filming my squats in the week leading up to competition that I was only getting clearly below parallel around 50% of the time.

I opened my squat attempts conservatively at 90 kg, and succeeded in getting a below-parallel valid lift. However, I was disappointed to fail the next two attempts at 100 kg with inadequate depth.

For the other two lifts, I exceeded my anticipated results with a 100 kg bench press and 190 kg deadlift. These were both new Swiss records for the under 90 kg Master M6 age category (65-69 years), as was my powerlifting total of 380 kg. Below are short videos of the deadlift and bench press.

The powerlifting rules allow a fourth attempt to improve a record set at the third attempt, and I attempted a fourth deadlift at 197.5 kg. This did not get more than a few inches off the ground. But overall a 15 kg improvement on my 2019 deadlift, when I was 2 years younger and 9 kg heavier.

Powerlifting results can be compared across different bodyweight classes using Wilks or Schwartz/Malone weights and age can also be adjusted using McCulloch weights. I used Wilks and McCulloch to calculate the weights that would represent equivalent lifts to mine for a man in the age range 23-40 years with bodyweight 90 kg.  These are  144 kg for the squat, 160 kg benchpress and 304 kg deadlift, for a powerlifting total of 608 kg. This represents elite level for benchpress and deadlift, but far from it for the squat. The following graph shows trends over time for my powerlifting competition results, adjusted using Wilks/McCulloch weights to age 23-40 and bodyweight 90 kg. The bench press and deadlift show substantial improvement over time, the squat shows some modest improvement. If I continue to train for competition, squat depth will be a priority.

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