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Powerlifters meet for casual competition

May 16, 2014

Erin Morvant, a graduate of Tech with a speech pathology degree, is a frequent competitor in strongwoman competitions and was the only female competitor in the Bro Show. – Photos by Colin Fontenot

Erin Morvant, a graduate of Tech with a speech pathology degree, is a frequent competitor in strongwoman competitions and was the only female competitor in the Bro Show. – Photos by Colin Fontenot


CODY “TICK” McELROY
Staff Reporter

Twelve competitors turned up May 8 at the Dr. Billy Jack Talton Weight Room in the Intramurual Sports Complex’s to lift some weights, but it was not just a workout.

The competitors showed up to break personal records at the second annual “Bro Show.” Aaron Gootzeit, a graduate sports performance studies student and weight room supervisor, said he and some friends conceived it simply as a fun, informal competition.

“We wanted a competition that was different from what we’ve done in the past,” Gootzeit said.  “Something different from powerlifting or CrossFit.”

Competitors participated in four lifts: bench press, shrugs, curls and skull crushers.

James Windham, sophomore computer information systems major, was judge of competition. Windham said the bench press, shrug and curl may be widely known, but the skull crusher may not be widely known.

Windham said lifters must lie on a bench with elbows tucked in — not flaring — lower the curl bar down to the forehead until the judge gives an “up!” command, then extend the weight up.

Though there was enthusiastic involvement by those involved, Gootzeit said there was something missing in the competition.

“I wish there were bigger female involvement,” Gootzeit said.

Unique to the competition was Ruston resident Erin Morvant, the lone female competitor. Morvant is a strongwoman competitor. who has won one competition and placed second in another.

“Somebody talked me into it,” Morvant said of the competition. Though it wasn’t her idea at first to participate, she said she did enjoy the events and had a good time.

“I just like to be strong,” Morvant said, and she said she wishes more women felt the same way. “More women need to realize muscles are beautiful.”

Morvant shrugged 315 pounds, the equivalent of more than six 50-pound sacks of livestock feed.

“The perception of women on TV — that’s not what you want to look like. Skinny, too skinny,” Morvant said. “It’s unhealthy.”

Earnest Miles III, a recent nursing graduate, said he was excited about the event.

“I’ll try to smash my own records,” Miles said. Though he missed his final attempt of 360 pounds on the bench press — about 1/8 of a Toyota Prius — he said he still had a lot of fun.

“It’s all about getting in shape and feeling strong,” Miles said. “It’s knowing I’m a better person than I was yesterday.”

Whether for men or women, competitions like the “Bro Show” are fun for many, Morvant said, offering this simple advice for women who might be interested in lifting:

“Don’t be afraid.”

Email comments to cjm048@latech.edu.

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