Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

IDFPA Intervarsities 15th November 2014 – UCC Mardyke Arena

26 January 2015

IDFPA Intervarsities 15th November 2014 – UCC Mardyke Arena


Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. You have three attempts on each lift with the ultimate aim to get a new personal best on the third.

The Intervarsity competition is in its 2nd year of running and will have over 200 competitors, both male and female, from colleges such as UCC, CIT, WIT, UCD, TCD, DCU, NUIG, Maynooth University and many others. This year it was held in the Mardyke sports centre of UCC on Saturday the 15th of November.

The Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association is the governing body who run the competition.

I am only new to the sport, training specifically for Powerlifting for about a year and this was my first competition.



Having entered the competition a few months before, I finalised my training programme and prepared as best I could. Two weeks out, I had worked up to about 90-95% of my projected maximum weight for each lift and was feeling very confident of hitting a few personal bests on the day. All was going well until 7 days before the event when I injured my back and shoulder playing in a hospitals cup rugby match. I was unable to get out of bed for two days the week before the competition and things weren’t looking good. With a little help from the physio however I was feeling stronger and decided to travel to Cork.

So on the Friday afternoon I left Dublin on the train, got settled into the B&B and went to get some physiotherapy done to loosen up my back. Had a big meal, strolled around Cork and stocked up on food for the following morning.

The morning of the competition I was up bright and early and after a hearty breakfast I headed over to the arena.  I weighed into the <100kg class and got ready.



After warming up I stood behind the platform with the rest of my weight class waiting to be called. I have never been so nervous before any sporting event, it was probably down to the fact that it was my first powerlifting event and unlike any team sport I’ve ever played you can’t make excuses or hide away. It’s just you against the weight. You either can lift it or you can’t.

My first squat went up easy; I was conservative with the weight due to my back injury. But I forgot to wait for the judge’s command to rerack the weight so it a no-lift. I didn’t make that mistake again! The 2nd and 3rd lifts were strong and looking back I was probably way too conservative with the weight but you live and learn.

Next up was the bench press, not my strongest area. The first lift went up easy enough, as did the second. The third attempt was a disaster as my back went into spasm as soon as I lowered the bar, so no lift.

Last lift of the day was the deadlift, my favourite of the three. Again I started on a low 160kg because of my back but it was way too light. I pulled 180kg with ease on my second attempt and then 200kg for my final lift. It was nice to finish on a decent weight and knowing that there was a lot more left in the tank.




So that was the day over and unfortunately I had to leave pretty much straight away to catch the train back to Dublin. In doing so I missed my chance to stand on the 3rd step of the podium at my first ever powerlifting competition!


I would hope that there would be a greater number of entries from RCSI students next year as I know the interest is there and that we would be well capable to challenge for the overall title of best college. If anyone is interested in Powerlifting email me at