Blue for Wolfson Powerlifter

Dennis Mubaiwa at the Varsity Powerlifting Competition, March 2016

Congratulations to Wolfson Student Dennis Mubaiwa, who earned a Blue and fourth place overall in the Varsity powerlifting Competion last weekend.

Each team fields 16 lifters, with the discipline involving three lifts: the squat, the benchpress and the deadlift. The aim is to lift the heaviest total across the three lifts, which is then calculated against the lifter's bodyweight via a coefficient known as the Wilks, the result known as the Wilks Score. The lifter with the highest Wilks score wins. For Varsity, the combined score of the top six lifters is then added up, with the highest total deciding the winning team. the winning team. At Cambridge, the Full Blue standard is a Wilks score of 375, and Half Blue 325. 

Score card summaryThis was Dennis's first powerlifting competition, having switched from bodybuilding to powerlifting on joining the club in mid-January. He managed to squat 212.5kg, benchpress 147.5kg and deadlift 222.5kg for a total of 582.5kg. At a bodyweight of 78.2kg his Wilks score was 403.5, which placed him fourth overall.

Dennis said, "We want to increase participation in the sport - it is growing in popularity nationwide. Alongside the Varsity event was the BUCS Powerlifting event, organised by the GBPF (Great Britain Powerlifting Federation). There was an unprecedented number of entrants from all over the country - over 130 lifters. The event ran late into the evening after starting at 8am. Participants were able to qualify for the World Championships and represent their university and country. Present and in action were international lifters from not only Cambridge (Salman Khan) but several other universities, who already represent Great Britain.

"People in other sports, or those generally interested in fitness are welcome to consult members of the club for strength training. The benefits range from the physical to the psychological. I am having a blast at Cambridge and it wouldn't be so if I didn't lift weights!"

"This has turned into a powerlifting panegyric, but we are really keen to raise participation - particularly female participation which has been lower than that of males. It's vital for the growth of the sport, and we think that a sport such as this, in the pressurised environment that is Cambridge, may be the difference between barely surviving and thriving! Members of other sports would benefit from learning how to correctly execute the lifts - all of which are integral to most training programmes - with correct technique. Others looking to integrate weights into their fitness programs would benefit from participating too! Though we encourage it, there is no pressure to compete: anyone is welcome to join and lift alongside knowledgeable sports-people and also benefit from the electric atmosphere in the gym. We are working hard to dispel some of the myths around the discipline, most of which are gendered, and unfortunately discourage participation."

Contact Dennis if you wish to know more about powerlifting or would like to get involved.