ORRVILLE – The past two months have been an intense workout for area powerlifting athletes.
For the first time in Wayne County, Tillison Fitness Warehouse will host the drug-tested USPA State Championship in Orrville. The event will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and finish at 4 p.m., with a $10 entry fee for the public and $5 for children.
Roughly 100 athletes signed up for the competition between the ages of 15 and 70. Many local athletes will show up as well as athletes from other states like Kansas and Iowa.
“This means the world to me to be able to host such a big state event like this in my hometown of Orrville,” said facility owner Thad Tillison.
Working out and training hard for powerlifting competition
Tillison will compete with 10 other members of his seven-man, seven-woman team. He has created an intense training to get team members to their maximum strength.
“We’ve been training hard on a 12-week training cycle,” Tillison said.
Anthony Rini, 43, was a football player before joining Tillison’s powerlifting team. His first meet was about two years ago in Marietta.
“I’ve always enjoyed lifting weight, it gives me something more to work for as a goal,” Rini said.
He trains almost every day for two to three hours, doing a lifting workout that includes bench presses, squats and deadlifts. For non-lifting trainings like cardio, he works out for about an hour and a half.
The last week before the event, Tillison’s team focuses on recovery by stretching and doing cardio exercise to warm up for the event.
“We’ve also been to the chiropractor and massage therapist to get the body ready, just to get the blood moving and the muscles warmed up,” he said.
Starting by lifting 363 pounds on a bench, 435 pounds for squats and 440 pounds for deadlifts, he aims to set the state record for the bench press for his age group and qualify for the International Powerlifting League North America (IPL) meet in Missouri in November.
Women trade hard for powerlifting competition
As women also are sharing the platform, Lindsey Yungen of Wooster is putting in a lot of hard work to increase her state bench record to 220 pounds.
She has been training at Tillison for several years, and the friendships she grew with the team encouraged her to go for powerlifting.
The USPA championship counts as her fifth competition as she has been competing in different championships in Ohio for the past three years.
“The last competition I had was held at Tillison Warehouse last September and I won my weight class for my age division as well as the open division,” Yungen said.
Hit the gym: Area fitness centers get a workout during pandemic
This week, Tillison rearranged the gym into the competition setting. It will have two platforms with three judges on each. The judges are assigned from the U.S. Powerlifting Association and consist of a head judge and two side judges to make sure competitors are using proper lifting form.
The event opens with a meet-and-greet. The public can meet Julius Maddox, world record-holder on the bench press, who will conduct a seminar.
Then competitors will get a drug test and divide according to class and weight.
Each competitor gets three attempts for bench press, squat and deadlift and then the judges calculate their total points. At the end of the competition, awards, including belts, medals and weightlifting bars, will be presented.
Friends and families of competitors will be able to watch them as they test their strength and receive their awards.
“This is awesome for the community, bringing all kinds of people into Orrville and even bigger for me having this kind of event and exposure at Tillison Fitness Warehouse,” Tillison said.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Tillison Fitness in Orrville hosts USPA powerlifting championship