Bench press contest held at the rec

Erika Puch

Bench pressing more than 400 pounds of weight is easy for senior recreation management major Alan Colley.

Colley, along with other students and Student Recreation and Wellness Center members, showed off their muscles last night during the third annual bench press competition at the multi-purpose gym in the rec center.

The competition offered four different divisions: student males and females and rec center member males and females. In order to make the competition fairer, it was judged relative to the participant’s weight. Before the competition every person was weighed.

“You could lift 200 pounds, but if you weighed 100 pounds, you could win even though someone may have lifted two times as much,” said Ben Cope, fitness coordinator at the rec center.

Every competitor received three tries to reach his or her maximum weight. In the first round, competitors had to lift the amount of weight they chose, Cope said. If they were unable to, they were out of the competition.

Colley opened lifting 455 pounds, the weight he originally chose. He said he had hoped to reach 485 pounds by the end of the tournament.

“In a bench meet, you always start with something you know you can lift,” Colley said.

Each participant had his or her own technique to prepare before the competition. But Colley, who has been lifting weights for six years, didn’t do anything special. He said he is self-motivated to perform.

“You are always competing against your body – you have to increase the weight,” Colley said. “As soon as I get on the bench, I am ready.”

Other competitors, such as graduate student Kristen Walter, got pumped for the competition in a different way.

“I had heavy metal on my iPod coming in,” Walter said.

This was Walter’s first bench press competition, but she has been lifting weights for a while. Walter said she began lifting because she was a varsity athlete as an undergraduate.

“I’m 110 pounds, so I am starting out at 70 pounds,” Walter said.

In the past she has been able to lift up to 80 pounds, she said.

While only four women participated in the competition, Walter said she was not intimidated by the male competitors.

“I am more intimidated by the other girl competition than the guys,” Walter said.

All participants received a T-shirt for registering in the competition and were entered in a drawing.

Winners were awarded in each category. An overall winner also was declared and received a larger trophy.

Contact recreation and wellness reporter Erika Puch at [email protected].