By: Mira Costello
They may not move mountains like the heroes in Greek mythology, but IU South Bend’s Titans sure lift heavy. Now, you can join them by becoming a member of the Titan Powerlifting Club.
So, what is powerlifting, and how is it different from other forms of working out, like bodybuilding? Fundamentally, powerlifting is about maximizing your strength in the three big barbell lifts: bench press, deadlift and squat.
On the other hand, bodybuilding is about gaining muscle mass and reducing body fat; many people you might see in the gym lifting weights are casual bodybuilders, or enjoy a combination of the sports called “powerbuilding,” which focuses on both maximizing strength and body composition.
While the Titan Powerlifting Club will specialize in and primarily focus on powerlifting, President Owen Walters recognizes that everyone who joins will have different goals.
“We’re here for everybody; we know that everyone has their own goals, and we’d like to incorporate those goals into our focus as much as possible,” he said. “You can be a bodybuilder on the powerlifting team and just make friends.”
Although the word “powerlifting” might sound intimidating, the club officers said that many of the new members interested in the club are beginners, and that people of different fitness levels are welcome.
“If they join, I immediately look at them as a friend and a member of the community,” Walters said. “I’m excited to meet new people and build a sense of belonging, a sense of home. For other people, it will be that they want to lose weight. Everybody will have their own thing, but everybody will know, ‘I’m part of the club’.”
He said that the initial training sessions will focus on powerlifting basics and form.
Walters said that the club’s mission – which you can read more about in their Titan Atlas constitution – is to bring people together and build a community. He said he was inspired to create a campus powerlifting organization after seeing fellow IU South Bend students at off-campus gyms.
“I was seeing people from IU South Bend and I was thinking, it would be nice to get these people together,” Walters said. “It really is motivational for me, seeing people around you lift heavy and train hard and hold you accountable.”
While the officers and more experienced members of the club will help beginners learn proper lifting form and increase their strength, Walters said he is also excited to be partnering with multiple community organizations like Network Barbell Club to bring professional coaches to campus.
Ultimately, Treasurer Carrie Fozkos said that the club hopes to send IU South Bend students to competitions such as the Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals. Fozkos said that competing is not a requirement of joining or remaining in the club, since it is not a university sports team, but that coaches and club officers will help those interested in competing prepare for conferences.
As the club gains traction on campus, Walters said he hopes to fundraise and establish a budget that can be used to subsidize competition fees for members, bring professional coaches to campus, create club merchandise and purchase new equipment for the school, such as powerlifting shoes.
With hopes high for the future of the organization, Walters said he wants to prioritize creating connections for those who get involved.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a community to make someone dominant in their sport,” Walters said. “The more people you have supporting you, the more you’ll feel encouraged and loved and part of something.”
Keep up with the Titan Powerlifting Club on their Titan Atlas page or on their Instagram page @titan.powerlift.club.