Sports FeatureChloe Yu: Strength, perseverance in powerlifting
Chloe Yu: Strength, perseverance in powerlifting
January 15, 2019
January 15, 2019

Powerlifting has been around since the 1950s. It consists of three competitive lifts, namely the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. It has two types of events, the “raw” and “equipped.” Raw powerlifting uses a normal type of suit for the competitors while the equipped style allows the lifters to wear a compressed suit that puts lifting to ease. The sport mainly showcases athletes who compete to lift the heaviest depending on the event, as well as the category.

To strongly kick off the year, The LaSallian caught up with Chloe Yu, who has been a powerlifter for nearly four years, to share her experiences, inspiration, and goals in her designated sport.


Starting strong

Yu started powerlifting for the sole purpose of wanting to become stronger. In 2016, she was able to participate in more than five local competitions under the Powerlifting Association of the Philippines and won several awards. The powerlifter claims that she prefers to join in the raw category more as it requires a different training regimen compared to the equipped event. To compete internationally, one has to be at their tip-top shape in their weight and age class.

When asked about her training, she mentions that she normally trains at the gym near her house but it does not really matter where she does it as long as there is a squat rack, barbells, and plates. Yu further explains that training as a powerlifter is different compared to a weightlifter’s training, noting that routines are more specific, “I really focus on squat, bench press, and deadlift. Unlike weightlifting, it [has] different lifts so the technique is also different.” She enjoys getting stronger, as it is one of the great perks of the sport. Additionally, being a powerlifter allows her to eat a lot.

Powerlifting is not quite a known sport in the Philippines yet, but Yu notices its growth in popularity as years go by. She claims that the sport is different from the rest because you don’t really compete with others, but, rather, you compete with yourself. “There are a lot of athletes that have years ahead of you so they’re a lot stronger than you,” she says. Despite having stronger competitors, she shares that the community is supportive of everyone since they cheer for you as much as they will for your opponents.



Finishing stronger

Every athlete has their own struggles. For Yu, it’s accepting the fact that progress isn’t always linear and that there will always be days where you will seem off. “There are times when you wanna get stronger, but you won’t always see progress. As long as you’re consistent, it will pay off din,” she says. But even though she knows this, she takes to heart training her mind to be strong, because she notes that it is more of strengthening the mind rather than the body itself. “I just trust the process lang. Some days you just feel off but what matters is your consistency, and it will pay off,” Yu explains.

Yu has many athletes that she looks up to, even in other sports such as weightlifting, because they also practice powerlifting lifts while others do crossfit. But if there is someone who she is truly inspired by, it’s Stephanie Gohen because of her admirable strength. According to Yu, Gohen weighs 52kg, 10kg lighter than she is, but is able to lift 500lbs. Usually in powerlifting, the lighter you are, the less weight you’re able carry. “Imagine. She’s 52[kg] and can carry 500 pounds! I can only carry 250 pounds and I’m heavier than her. So she’s pretty strong,” she says on an admiring note.

Of course, like any other athlete, Yu has to learn how to balance her sport with her social and academic life as well, and that is why she usually trains in the morning where her energy is high, rather than in the afternoon or evening where she feels drained from all the schoolwork and whatnot. “It’s taxing at times, but you just have to prioritize and arrange your schedule in a way you know you’re going to be most efficient,” she ends.