New Year, New Chapter as Jenelle Schultz joins APU in 2021
This year I’ve decided to lift with Australian Powerlifting Union (APU), a decision I made after Powerlifting Australia nationals last year. I’ve loved my time at Powerlifting Australia, where I’ve made a ton of friends, and have 3 national, 1 Oceania and 1 World title from the last 3 years of lifting under this banner, but as they say ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result’, so I’m keen to reach for the challenging levels of competition I see in the IPF, the international branch of APU.
I have many powerlifting friends, including my coach and teammates, who are taking this same path, so it feels right for me.
Of course, my love of bright and shiny things (medals perhaps?) draws my immediate attention to the APU state and national championships, both in the first half of 2021. Being a newbie to the federation I need to qualify to participate in both, but due to the time constraints (or maybe just because the APU people understand that I like cookies?) I have the luxury of not needing to qualify in my usual weight class, so I registered for the North Queensland State Qualifier as an under 63kg.
The competition was on Saturday 13 February in a (gasp) Crossfit gym up at Townsville. I travelled up with Sarah Wheal, a powerlifting friend who is an ex-crossfitter (just in case I inhaled the crossfit fumes – so tempting, I reckon I’d be good at muscle ups!) and we committed to an under 24 hour turnaround for this adventure!
Early Saturday morning we awoke to a steamy 45 degree day with 98% humidity at 5am (haha, not really but it felt like it) and made our way to Crossfit Townsville.
New fed, same comp day feels – some new faces and some familiar ones – I soon settled into the warm up routine after weigh in (a light u63 at 59.45kg, even with a couple of cookies on board!), tunes on, food in, brain on.
Being my first competition without any of my McDonald Strength team mates around, I was feeling a little nervous but I had wonderful support from the Panthers Powerlifting and APU Queensland teams, with Colin Webb platform coaching and Lachlan Green helping with warm ups. I came away with my first gold at APU in the u63kg M1 division, and finished 2nd overall on the day on 80.19 IPF points –Brigot Pugh took out first place – we’re both masters – the old girls can lift!!
(Jenelle is wearing an Inzer suit, SBD socks, Irontanks belt, Titan Excalibur deadlift slippers)
My Results From My First APU Powerlifting Competition
Even though this was just a qualifier and I hadn’t done a peak, I had a crack at a bench PB of 82.5kg – not to be this time, I had to settle for a speedy 77.5kg but I did successfully switch from conventional to sumo deadlift and pulled a 155kg, only 1kg under my competition best. I finished with a 352.5kg total, 4.5kg under my total at nationals last year.
In the past I’d have been pretty annoyed with myself at the lack of PBs on the day. This time, I knew that, as a qualifier, the focus would not be on numerical PBs, so I had to come up with some new metrics… I did this retrospectively, because I think it’s important to come away with a win of your own definition, despite the numbers, so here are my PBs from the day:
- The confidence and desire to take a third squat – I didn’t need to, I’d already squatted 117.5kg, which was the goal for the day, and in the past squats and I haven’t exactly been friends, so I was intending to just take two attempts and save my energy for bench and deadlifts. But the second squat felt good so I went for the third and it was the easiest 120kg I’ve ever stood up! Maybe there’s a tentative friendship forming after all 😉
- First APU competition, away from home, without any of my usual crew to support me. I know that sounds a little sad, but it’s not, it’s just the reality of how we need to compete sometimes, and the result shows me that I can do this on my own, I’ve got this.
- First competition deadlifting sumo – this transition was about 12 weeks in the making, I started block pulls not long after nationals last year and gradually made my way to the floor – I think I like them now 😊
The Powerlifting Community Is Just Like A Supportive Family
Even though I was thousands of kilometres from home, I found that I still had friends and family there on the day – that’s how powerlifting is, the community is always there to support you. It was great to travel with Sarah – we met at Oceanias in 2018, first international competition for both of us – we’ve both been powerlifting a similar amount of time so we have lots of similarities in our journeys (aside from her squat, where she is a few light years ahead of me!). Seeing old (haha, masters? Or long term?) friends up at Townsville was lovely too – Meaghan Trovato came along to watch the event and took videos for myself and Sarah as she knew we were both attending alone – what a champion, because… no vid, no did! And my sister-in-law dropped in for a bit to see what I do first hand, which was nice because powerlifting can be hard to explain to family unless they’ve seen it.
After the traditional post-comp burger, we made our way home, adhering to the 24hour away-competition deadline, and touched down back in Brisbane in time for a Valentines Day sleep in… next cab off the rank is APU Queensland State Championships in Nambour at the end of this month – I’m back in the under 57kg category so those cookies will have to wait a bit, but I’m definitely having another go at that 82.5kg bench!!