Powerlifting 101: The Handler
Let’s say you have just completed 14 weeks of strenuous training and you are ready to compete in a powerlifting meet this weekend. Here is a little piece of advice that may help you more easily achieve your goals. Assuming you are a serious lifter and are not competing just as a hobby you may want to consider using a Handler. You may ask, what is a Handler? A Handler is a person (in some cases a group of people) who helps you during a contest. If you are competing at a meet your primary reason for being there is to lift. You are there to lift! You need to be concentrating on lifting and not be distracted by other things. This is where the Handler comes in. The Handler accompanies you to the meet to handle all things related to lifting except for the lifting itself. He/She allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Here are a few things a Handler can help you with:
Wrapping Knees- Handler wraps the lifters knees. He / she should have experience in wrapping the lifters knees many times in advance of the meet.
Loading the bar and Spotting during warm ups- Handler should be knowledgeable of weights needed for lifters proper warm up.
Back Spotter- Handler can back spot on the squats if the lifter prefers.
Lift off or Hand off for Bench Press- Handler should have practiced this many times before the meet.
Carries gym bag etc.- Handler does anything for lifter that prevents undue energy expenditure.
Prompts lifter to warm up / lifting time / meals- Handler pays close attention to the meet announcer and keeps lifter informed about warm up and lifting times. He also makes sure lifters food and supplement intake is done on schedule.
Reports any changes in opening attempts after warm ups.- Handler notifies score table of any changes that need to be made concerning opening attempts after warm ups.
Report attempts to score table- Handler reports next attempts to score table after first and second attempts.
The above list is not all inclusive but does give you an idea of the Handler’s duties.
The Handler is usually one of your trusted training partners who know you and your lifting tendencies very well. Recruiting a Handler can be very beneficial in your powerlifting success. Just remember, the work and sacrifice you devote to being competitive before the meet is enhanced by utilizing a Handler during the meet.
Powerlifting 101 articles are focused on primary fundamentals of powerlifting and are designed to help novice lifters. For more Powerlifting 101 articles visit www. www.naturalstrengthtraining.fit
Keith Payne CSN, CPT, YFS
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