University hosts fifth annual powerlifting meet

On April 18 at 6 p.m., Azusa Pacific University’s Power Club will hold the fifth annual powerlifting meet in the weight room on West Campus.

Any APU student can join for some friendly competition. The competitors must show up at least an hour early in order to weigh in and enter. The event is free to all guests, competing or otherwise.

“In the meet I participated in last year, there was a huge group of people competing and an even bigger group of people watching. It was just an amazing experience. It’s a place to come out and watch a good show of people working their butt off and trying to do the best that they can,” said sophomore business management major Gordon Chang, the president of the Power Club.

The meet consists of three events: squat, bench press and dead lift. Competitors can win in two categories: overall weight lifted and pound for pound, meaning whoever lifts the most for his or her body-weight class wins.

The annual powerlifting meet evolved in several ways since APU alumnus Daniel Stockdale founded the Power Club as a freshman in 2010. In addition to the growing number of participants each year, the competition has also gained sponsors, including Bio-Energetix and Nutrishop.

“It has been a very exciting transformation to watch,” Stockdale said. “When I hosted the first meet in April five years ago, I had no idea how many people were actually going to show up. I pulled together as many friends as I could to help run things. My friend Matt did the record-keeping and a few other lifting buddies helped with judging. I think we had between 10 and 15 lifters compete.”

Today, the club contains 69 members, according to its Facebook page, which can be found under “APU Power Club.” These members represent a wide array of people who frequent the Azusa Pacific gym.

“We have actual powerlifters in the club, and we have just casual gym-goers as well. We also have a good community of people who really know what they’re doing. If you need any advice, being able to go to them is pretty great,” Chang said.

This network of lifters began as a result of Stockdale’s desire to stay fit in college.

“I started the club because it would be a tool to host powerlifting events on campus. These events would give other students like myself who are no longer playing school sports a way to compete with one another,” Stockdale said. “In high school I was a football player. I was very disciplined with my training for that sport. However, when I started at APU, I was no longer playing football, [but] I still had the desire to keep building off of what I worked so hard to achieve athletically.”

Anyone is welcome to join the club. The only official requirement is to request membership to the club on its Facebook page in order to remain updated on events and ask questions if necessary. The invitation to join is open to both males and females looking to work out and lift weights.

“Honestly, anybody who started to work out the previous weekend to people who have been working out for many years are welcome to join,” Chang said. “If you connect with the right people and really reach out, you will learn so much and realize there is a field so vast on just powerlifting.”