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Alicia King will participate in her first powerlifting competition this weekend in the USPA sanctioned Core Wars Meet, which will be held at BCI Sports Performance & Fitness. At least 25 participants in numerous divisions will show their talents in the drug-tested meet that will be open to the public. Photo Contributed

Core Wars Powerlifting To Be Held This Weekend

MADISON- “May the force be with you,” the famous line from Stars Wars, may be heard throughout the upcoming Core Wars Powerlifting Meet scheduled to be held at BCI Sports Performance & Fitness located at 9582 Madison Blvd.

The United States Powerlifting Association sanctioned meet will feature as many as 25 lifters from throughout the Tennessee Valley battling for awards in numerous divisions. There will be several juniors (ages 13-23) participating and event organizers are excited to know as many as six women will also be lifting. Several of those expected to attend will be first time lifters.

Heidi Dehnel, owner of Huntsville’s Core Strength & Performance and meet director, has sound words of guidance to those attempting their first competition in Core Wars. She said of her advice, “I tell them this sport is not lighthearted and they will have to grind it out. This sport takes a special person to push through the heavyweight, but the sport should also be enjoyable.”

Alicia King, a 26-year old novice to the sport and who took up the sport in Dec., 2019, will enter her first competition at Core Wars. The 5-foot-6, 165-pound beginner in the strength sport was an athlete in high school and college, but looked to do something away from sports. A friend suggested powerlifting.

“I began looking for a gym here locally and ran into Heidi’s Core Strength Gym and I liked the fact there were mostly women involved,” added King. “When I first started lifting I soon found out I wasn’t ready for competition. I didn’t know the correct movements and over time and lots of hard work I improved my techniques. I admit, I’m nervous, but confident about my chances.”

Dehnel has been lifting for 10 years and just fell into the sport after being a participating in bodybuilding. For the last six years she has heavily focused on lifting and has become a national judge of the sport. She hosts podcasts on lifting techniques and is also the record keeper for Alabama among the USPA network. Her goal is to grow the sport in this area. With the Core Wars event on deck, she knows during the pandemic many lifters have not been able to properly workout and prep for such a prestigious event so the total number of participants will be around the 50-percent mark of a normal meet of this size.

Powerlifting consists mainly of three lifts- squats, deadlift, and bench press.

The sport has been covered with a myth for many years that women will become large-muscled. According to Dehnel, “The stereotype is women will become big, beefcake looking dudes and that’s just not true. The modern lifter does not wear a lot of gear and you can see the true strength. For those who participate, lifting has become a part of their life. For women, you don’t get muscle bound. Women look toned.”

The sport of powerlifting has a wide range of participants as today’s lifter is many times a business executive.

Core Wars begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29 and spectators are welcome. Admission is $10.

“I’ve worked so hard and for me this is a big thing and doing my first competition is a showcase of how I’ve progressed and a chance to see my goals,” said King.

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