I made an amazing experience this weekend. I successfully took part in a powerlifting competition in Singapore
Result: I am currently the #1 national powerlifter in Singapore (under the GPA federation), in the age group 50-54, for body weights of less than 110kg. And national #3 over all ages, for body weights of less than 110kg.
My personal story behind this
I was a pretty good sportsman when I was much younger. I played in the Bavarian national handball youth team back in the 80ies of the last century, and I did all sorts of things, such as rooftop handwalks or bavarian wrestling. Need some evidence? I digged out the following photos which are about 30 years old:
(Bavarian outdoor wrestling when I was 18 years old)
(Munich rooftop handwalk when I was 23 years old. Please note the fancy cowboy boots!)
Life changes people
Getting older, I neglected sports more and more. Studying took my time, setting up and running an international IP law firm with offices in Europe and Asia, founding a family, learning the good things of life. And so on.
As a result, I simply lost my balance:
I turned 50 years old in 2015 and that year changed a lot in my life.
I realized that this is a time when I had better face the reality of ageing: pay now or pay later.
Weight lifting is the sport of choice for elderly people
I was so lucky to run into Shaun Pang in Singapore. Shaun is a professional personal trainer with a Bachelor’s degree in sports, his company web page is here: www.hygieia.com.sg
Shaun told me about scientific studies on the positive effects of strength training. The findings are amazing. Men in their 70s regained muscle structure of men in their 20s, see here:
This means that strength training is the activity of choice for elderly people, and NOT cardiovascular activities like running.
Shaun convinced me to do the basic barbell exercises – squat, overhead press, bench press, deadlift. Only 2 to 3 hours per week needed, so that I can build them easily into my busy business schedule. We started in May 2015.
Today, at age 51, I am doing squats with 330-lb. weights on my shoulders, and this is how a typical simple training set-up looks like:
Just a few months back, I went to see if i could compete in powerlifting for age category 50-54, so I signed up for a powerlifting competition.
General information about powerlifting is found here
The competition – organized by the local antenna of the GPA – took place yesterday.
There were 120 participants. I was the only white male. In my weight class of 110kg, there were only two more athletes. This would have been very different at any similar event outside of Asia.
The event itself was wonderful. I was the oldest athlete, surrounded by a large bunch of very friendly young people. The atmosphere was cheerful. The spectators were actively supporting each one of the athletes. Everyone is respected. This is heartlifting.
And this is how competing looks like, successful squats with 148.5kg:
Besides, atn my age, this is an example of a battle where one just needs to participate in order to win: I was the only one in my age group. This is why I came in as 1st of the nation of Singapore, with a Gold medal. And I am 3rd in total (over all ages) in Singapore for my weight class, with a Bronze medal.
Here is the evidence:
I had 5 tangible outcomes of this event:
– I met my personal goal for a total lifted weight of over 400kg, I did 407.5kg,
– I set my personal record for bench press with 105kg,
– I set my personal record for deadlift with 155kg,
– I won the national Gold medal for my age group and weight class,
– I won the national Bronze medal for my weight class, for all age groups.
And this is the winning Team
My trainer Shaun and myself:
I am now trying to persuade Shaun to produce a video series on weight lifting training for his webpage.
If you made to the end of this article, please watch this very encouraging video!