The once popular sport of powerlifting in Mount Isa is back with a vengeance this Saturday, as more than 20 lifters are set to compete in the inaugural Push/Pull contest at Stack City Fitness.
Push/Pull organiser, powerlifter and Mount Isa paramedic, Scott Jones, is known for starting strongman events in Mount Isa. He says the sport of powerlifting is completely different.
“Powerlifting in itself is only three events; squat, dead lift and bench press,” Jones said
A Push/Pull contest includes just two of these; dead lift and bench press – hence the “push/pull”.
In contrast to powerlifters, strongman athletes (‘strongmen’) display countless and diverse feats of strength.
“In strongman you may be pulling a bus, flipping a car, carrying a car, lifting stones, carrying or pressing anything you can think of,” Jones said.
“When it comes to shoulder pressing things overhead, powerlifters don’t do that. They lay down and press things from their chest.”
Jones has been competing in strength athletics since 2009, but has lately stuck to organising.
“I am competing this time, which is unusual for me,” he said.
"I have been training for powerlifting since the last strongman event, and I have to say it is so much easier to train for. I only have to focus on three events.”
Saturday’s contest will also help Jones and his number one supporter, Stack City Fitness, gauge the community’s interest.
“From what I’ve been told, powerlifting was really big in Mount Isa 20 years ago, and its never got going since, ” Jones said.
He may also have a spot of help on the way from an Australian federation, he said.
“They basically said if we can get the interest, they will pay to fly some people out here to train us as judges. So that way, we can fall under their federation and start having sanctioned competitions.”
Jones is pleased with the 20 sign ups so far and, impressively, seven of those are women.
If anyone wants to compete last minute, late registrations are welcome from 8am on Saturday, and you can also choose to compete in one event only.