Powerlifting to a State Championship

Reinaldo Llerena/ Staff Writer

The FIU Men’s Powerlifting Team claimed a State Championship win on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 at Florida Collegiate Championships at FAU. Led by freshman captain Roman Fronzaglia, the Panthers denied rival Florida State their eighth straight title at the Collegiate Championships. Fronzaglia holds the national record for the deadlift in the 60kg weight class. A deadlift is when a competitor raises the bar from the ground using only the core and lower body muscles. The 130-pound Fronzaglia managed to deadlift 160kg or 352 pounds off the ground, more than two and a half times his weight. The Women’s Powerlifting Team also competed at the Florida Collegiate Championships, but placed second to Florida Gulf Coast in the competition.

In competitive powerlifting each competitor is weighed in before the event begins. Once the competitor is weighed in, they are placed in a certain weight class. Once in a weight class, lifters only compete against those who are in their respective weight classes.

Fronzaglia was not the only FIU lifter to own a national record. Recent graduate Joseph Monduy owns four national records for the 52kg weight class. Monduy, listed as 106 pounds, holds the national record for the squat, bench press, deadlift, and total in his weight class. The total national record refers to the total weight when the three lifts: the squat, bench press and deadlift, are added together.

Dr. William Hennessey, an english professor at FIU, coaches both the men’s and women’s powerlifting teams. A competitive lifter himself, Dr. Hennessey established the powerlifting team about a year and a half ago when the Director of USA Powerlifting contacted him to form a team at FIU.

“We began about a year and a half ago with four lifters,” Hennessey stated. “I recruited people on campus that I saw were athletic, people that I saw at the gym, and anyone that was interested in joining.”

Since that time, the team has grown to six male competitors and three female competitors. But, growing a team from scratch contains a numerous amount of challenges, challenges that Dr. Hennessey did not expect when he first formed the team.

“I originally thought of coaching as helping others out with their lifts,” Hennessey mentioned. “However, the responsibilities are extensive on the administrative side. The recruitment, the motivational aspect, keeping people focused on powerlifting when they have obligations at school and work can be really tough at times. It is a huge challenge and it continues to be a challenge every day with things that I had not considered before such as budgeting, fundraising, recruitment, and training time.”

Since most of these competitors can lift a substantial amount of weight at a time, it is easy to assume that these competitors lift weights every day for multiple hours on end. Yet, this is not the case.

“I lift four times a week and I am usually in the gym for about three hours,” Fronzaglia stated. “The training for events is not difficult as long as you can provide a certain amount of consistency with your schedule. If you can put the time into your training, you will be better prepared for competitions.”

Compared to Fronzaglia, Monduy’s training regimen seems much lighter.

“I usually lift weights three times a week and practice the three lifts on separate days,” Monduy said. “The other three days, I concentrate on doing accessory work and technique.”

Since competitive powerlifting is an individual sport, one would assume that chemistry between teammates does not play a major role in the sport. However, this is not the case according to Fronzaglia.

“Chemistry is the biggest tool to any team,” Fronzaglia said. “Sometimes teams will have great players, but if those players do not know how to work together, then they are not going to be a good team. Powerlifting, even though it is an individual sport, it is a collaboration of everyone on the team. Everyone feeds off each member on the team. You need that energy in order to do well in competitions.”

Due to a lack of funding, both powerlifting teams can only afford to compete in one competition per semester. In the future, the club hopes to secure more funding in order to travel to more competitions. But, for now, the members of the Men’s Powerlifting team are proud that they were able to compete and do their best in the state championship. Both the men’s and women’s powerlifting teams hope to be able to compete at the next state competition in March.


2 Comments on "Powerlifting to a State Championship"

  1. The strongest team at FIU :)

  2. You have remarked very interesting points! ps decent site.

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