By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Jocelyn Padilla is hard at work preparing for this week’s Women’s State Powerlifting Meet in Corpus Christi. The Press caught up to her at Port Isabel High School earlier this week to find out how things were going.
For one thing she’s added something to her pre-lifting preparations. “For the first time I tried wrapping my knees,” Padilla said Monday. “I’ve never done it. Lately I’ve been having difficulty getting up and my coaches told me it would actually allow me to get a better boost getting up.”
Padilla was referring to the squat lift, the first of three different lifts each competitor does at each competition. In the squat the lifter, in a standing position, gets under a bar loaded to a certain weight. The lifter positions the bar on her shoulders and lifts it off the rack. The lifter must then go down into a squatting position so that the thighs are parallel to the floor, then come back up and replace the bar on the rack. Each competitor is allowed three attempts at each lift. The squat lift is always followed by the benchpress, then the dead lift.
Is wrapping also done to help prevent injury? “Actually, it helps a lot,” Padilla said. “It helps prevent pulling any ligaments and tendons. And they (coaches) don’t want me getting hurt before a meet.” Especially if it’s the State Meet.
So how is it done, Jocelyn? “Everybody uses them but I never was comfortable with it. I would see girls cry when they put them on and I didn’t want that. It can’t be too loose or too tight. It has to be just right.”
Jocelyn was working on the squat lift before her interview. “I tried 405 (pounds), which is my PR (personal record), and I scratched. Tomorrow I’m just going to try out my bench (press), because I’ve been having trouble with that as well.” Padilla’s personal best in that lift is 170 pounds.
The lift that Padilla’s feels most secure about may be the dead lift. “I’m really comfortable with it because I’ve never really had a major problem with it. I can always depend on it to boost my total lift. The only time I scratch is when I forget to lock my knees.”
In the dead lift the athlete gets over a loaded bar, grasps it firmly with one hand facing forward and one backward, then rises to a full standing position with knees locked. At a judge’s signal the bar is lowered, not dropped, to the floor.
A lifter’s total lift is the combined amount of weight he or she lifts on all three lifts. Each lifter gets three attempts in each category and three judges watch closely. A lifter must get two white lights of the three for a lift to be judged successful.
John Ray Martinez finished seventh in the 198-pound division at the Men’s Regional Powerlifting Meet in Kingsville last week. His total lift was 1,300 pounds, which was a new personal record.
Your powerlifting reporter is retired from competitive lifting. O.K., I never actually competed. I had done a few lifts in the weight room at the high school but never tried all three lifts at a time. So two weeks ago I recorded my first total lift.
With Coach Joe Gonzales and Jocelyn loading the bar I did 45 pounds on the squat lift, 55 on the benchpress, and 70 on the dead lift. That’s a total lift of 170 pounds. Jocelyn’s personal best squat lift, as mentioned earlier, is 405 pounds and her PR bench is 170. Her best dead lift is 345 pounds and her best total lift (not including all three of the above) is 885 pounds.
Padilla and Coach Gonzales will depart from the high school for Corpus Christi around noon this Thursday. Weigh-ins are scheduled for 5 p.m. that day. Her only meal of the day will be taken after she weighs in. “I’m not allowed to eat before I weigh in because I want to be as light (as possible). The first lifts are scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday and the group should return to the school early Friday evening.
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