Why the WABDL is Such a Great Idea
The World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters runs competitions for bench press or deadlift exercise only. But, there are several other powerlifting organizations like the USAPL. So why do we need another association?
The reason is that other powerlifting organizations include squats in their competitions. But, the WABDL does not.
Squats are an excellent exercise, and many call it the king of all activities. The greatest athletes, like NY Giants running back Saquon Barkley, have muscular lower bodies. The squat is undoubtedly a perfect way to build lower body strength.
However, squats are a painful movement for many people to master. To squat, you need functional mobility in your hips and knees. You also need to be pain-free. Otherwise, the squat is a very technical and challenging lift to learn.
Besides, unless you have a spotter, you need a power rack for safety while doing squats.
If you are still nursing knee injuries from high school, college, or your weekend warrior days, the squat might not be a great idea. Fortunately, you still have two of the best push-pull compound exercises which are ‘easier' to perform, the bench press and the deadlift.
And to help keep you motivated, you can sign up for competitions offered by the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters. So if you cannot squat, no problem. You can still train the deadlift and the bench press.
Watch Natalie Freed deadlift 305 pounds at only a bodyweight of 105 lbs.
The Deadlift is the Most Important Exercise
Gus Rethwisch, the President of the WABDL, recognized that a push-pull competition is even more valuable than a traditional powerlifting meet. For the simple reason stated above, that not everyone is mobile enough to train and compete in the squat.
He knows that the deadlift is one of the most important exercises you will ever do. The reason is that the deadlift will train your entire body.
And the bench press is an easy way to add the balance of a push exercise to the pull of the deadlift. If you cannot do a pushup, no problem, you can still learn to bench press with a weight lighter than your total body weight.
Between the push-pull workouts of the bench press and the deadlift, you can train all the muscles of your body.
As a result, even people who are overweight or even obese have an opportunity to lean out and build muscle with the deadlift and the bench press. And when they do, they can push themselves to become better because of the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters.
Competition Keeps You Focused on New Goals
The World Association of Bencher and Deadlifters offers bench press and deadlift meets around the World. Competing is an effective way to motivate you to get into shape. No matter what your age.
Just ask Eldon Olson of Billings, Montana. He bench-pressed 383 pounds at a WABDL meet on November 13, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. That is quite a bit of weight, especially for a 73-year-old man.
Back in 2013, at the age of 68, he benched over 400 pounds. “I just enjoy lifting, and I’ve developed a formula where I’ve become very successful,” he said. And in 2006 he benched over 500 pounds and commented to the Billings Gazette “Powerlifting is my way of releasing tension,” he said.
For the last thirteen years, the WABDL has kept Eldon Olson on his toes pursuing strength and fitness. If you think deadlifting at 73 is a big deal, check out Shirley Webb who started deadlifting over age seventy and is still going strong at age eighty-one.
You can find the full listing of open competitions, eligible age groups, weight classes and world records at wabdl.org.