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SHEFFIELD HALLAM POWERLIFTER ED HOLT: “IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE YOU CAN HURT YOURSELF BADLY”

Sheffield Hallam student Ed Holt, 20, from Northampton, started strength and conditioning training at college, however since starting university he has trained for mass and is now a power lifter.

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With his second powerlifting competition coming up at Iron Athlete Gym on April 25, Ed’s approach towards weight training has changed greatly from his previous two years of bodybuilding.

As most young adults begin weight training to get bigger, mainly to look better – Ed trains with a goal in mind, to become as strong as he possibly can.

“I moved towards powerlifting because there was a more achievable goal. The goals in powerlifting are more intrinsic. It is showing in a sense saying you can do this much. I think also because less people do it. Most people say the go to the gym and they get a big pump, but not many go do powerlifting and say I did X, Y and Z amount.”

Powerlifting competition

Entering his first ever powerlifting competition in November, Ed finished with a 175kg squat, 115kf bench press and a 210kg deadlift, while weighing in at 86kg.

Unfortunately, his training for this competition hasn’t gone as well as he’d like due to an injury setback in his back.

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“I’ve only been properly training back since January. I’ve not been able to train deadlift as I’d like, my bench has been alright, my squat has been iffy. I’d love to get a 125 bench, 210 squat and a 190 deadlift at the comp. The back injury means I can’t deadlift as much as I did in the last competition.”

The powerlifting community appears to a close-knit environment where everyone supports each other and they want their rivals to do well, break plateaus and succeed.

“The atmosphere was really positive at the comp, everyone helped everyone out, it was brilliant. People were lending each other wraps. For such a small space, there were about 50 people there, so it was packed.”

Bodybuilding

 Ed’s weight training story began at 16, where he began strength and conditioning training as part of his hockey course, to improve performance. Moving to university, he advanced onto bodybuilding; “It was the environment I was in. I wasn’t in strength and conditioning for the sake of doing strength and conditioning.

 Not playing an important factor in his life due to the excitement of university and going out drinking, he became much more motivated to train in his second year. Starting off three of four times a week, it slowly progressed until it got to Easter and there was no lessons – he was going to the gym six days a week and four of those days, even going twice a day.

“I went so often because I knew you had to go that many times, I knew it’s what you had to do to get bigger. I realise now it was stupid to go so often and I was over-training, I didn’t know as much as I do now about steroids. Those who were on (steroids) were able to go that many times a week and they were eating much more than what I was, they were to cope with that mass of training.”

What is the difference between training as a bodybuilder and as a power lifter?

“It’s a massive thing, because powerlifting is so objective and competitive bodybuilding is so subjective. Bodybuilding is a very loose term, whereas powerlifting is very specific. People call themselves a bodybuilder, because they want to get bigger to look good. The training intensity is a big thing; you can be really intense in bodybuilding. In, powerlifting you can’t make any mistakes. If you make a mistake in bodybuilding you just lose a rep, if you make a mistake in powerlifting you can hurt yourself badly.”

 What are your future goals?

“I don’t know about my goals, I’ve got camp America coming up and my gym focus is going to change after the comp. Because of work basically, because of the nature of my new work. There isn’t a powerlifting gym, and I’ll be too tired from trapeze. You don’t need one rep max for trapeze, you need flexibility and stamina, so I’m going to train for those instead.”

“It depends where I am, I don’t think there is a powerlifting gym in Northampton, I’ll want to get back into it. It’ll be frustrating going down to whatever after a year out, when I know I’ve been able to do the amount I am now.”

Vital Stats:

  • Name: Ed Holt
  • Location: Sheffield
  • Hometown: Northampton
  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 90kg
  • Years Weight Training: 4
  • Bench Press: 120kg
  • Deadlift: 210kg
  • Squat: 200kg
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