1st Annual Gravity Pull


On Aug 31st, we’ll be holding our first ever unsanctioned powerlifting “competition” at Nerdstrong Gym for our members.

We'll be testing 1-rep max for:
- Bench Press
- Back Squat
- Deadlift

Classes will be cancelled for that morning. Awards will be given out for things like "Best Lift" and "Best Flair". There will be no weigh-ins. Singlets aren't necessary but, you know, if there is an award for Best Flair...

Let's get a couple things cleared up first.



I don't want to compete:
Great! If you want to treat this as a testing ground for your lifts, you should do just that. We 100% support this. Let us know your previous 1 rep max before you lift. If you don't know it, this is a great time to test it. You'll be judged on performance all the same, you just won't be in the running for competitive prizes.


I want to compete:
Competition is natural and, with this community, super duper friendly. I can't think of a better environment for friendly competition.


What system are we using to score? 
Well, since we're not doing public weigh-ins and not grouping people in any manner, for individual lifts, we will be testing/utilizing the Allometric Scale System (https://www.strongerbyscience.com/whos-the-most-impressive…/) The article has a metric shit-ton of data and science behind it but it seems to be the best system to test RELATIVE STRENGTH. Will it be perfect? No. That's why we're testing it for our very first competition. This scale will be utilized to determine "Best Lift" in each movement.

Here is a link to the actual calculator we’ll use for the meet: http://allaboutpowerlifting.com/best-lifter-formula/


How many attempts do I get at each lift?
You will get ONLY THREE ATTEMPTS at each movement. You will give the judges your weights choices before your lifts. Plan accordingly. No take-backsies. No judgement. Just plan your lift weights carefully. The bar will be set for you before your lift. A judge will be there to make sure you complete the lift.

If your previous 1 rep max at Bench Press was 100.
1st Lift: 95
2nd Lift: 105
3rd Lift: 110

If you fail at 105, you must attempt 105 again. If you fail both attempts at 105, then your score is 95.

You cannot change your lift weight once it's set. That's part of the strategy. If you need help, we will help you as much as possible before your lift.


On the day, we'll run heats of movements at the main rack. One person will lift at a time in order of where they are on the rack. We will complete all attempts at each movement before moving to the next.

1st: Back Squat
2nd: Deadlift
3rd: Bench Press

Will your effort at one movement affect your performance at the others? You bet! Plan for that!


Movement Rules


  • First, the lifter shall un-rack the weight and assume an upright position. The bar shall be held horizontally across the shoulders with the hands and fingers gripping the bar and the feet flat on the platform with the knees locked.

  • After removing the bar from the racks, the lifter shall wait in this position for the coach’s signal. The signal shall be given as soon as the lifter is motionless. The coach's signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command "squat.”

  • Upon receiving the coach’s signal, the lifter must bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip joint is lower than the top of the knees.

  • The lifter must recover at will without double bouncing or any downward movement to an upright position with the knees locked.

  • When the lifter is motionless, the coach will give the signal to replace the bar with a backward motion of the hand and the audible command "rack."

  • The lifter shall face the front of the platform.

Causes for Disqualification of a Squat

  • Failure to observe the coach’s signals at the commencement or completion of a lift.

  • Double bouncing or more than one recovery attempt at the bottom of the lift.

  • Failure to assume an upright position with the knees locked at the commencement and completion of the lift.

  • Any shifting of the feet laterally, backwards or forwards, during the performance of the lift. Rocking of the feet between the ball and the heel is permitted.

  • Failure to bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip joint is lower than the top of the knees.



Bench Press

  • The lifter must lie on his/her back with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the flat bench surface.

  • The lifter’s hands may grip the bar with a “thumbs around” grip. Note: The use of the "reverse grip" or a thumb-less grip on the bench is strictly prohibited.

  • The lifter’s shoes must be in contact with the floor. This position shall be maintained throughout the attempt.

  • The head may rise off the bench or move during the performance of the lift.

  • To achieve firm footing, the lifter may use flat surfaced bumper plates to build up the surface of the platform.

  • The spacing of the hands shall not exceed 32 inches between the forefingers.

  • After receiving the bar at arm’s length, the lifter shall lower the bar to his/her chest and await the coach's signal.

  • The signal shall be the command: “PRESS” to press when the bar is motionless on the chest.

  • After the signal to commence the lift has been given, the bar is pressed upwards to straight arm’s length and held motionless until the audible command "RACK" is given.

Causes for Disqualification of a Bench Press

  • Failure to observe the coach's signals at the commencement or completion of the lift.

  • Any change in the elected lifting position during the performance of the lift (i.e., any raising of the shoulders, buttocks or movement or the feet from their original points of contact with the bench or the floor, or lateral movement of the hands on the bar).

  • Failure to press the bar to full extension of the arms at the completion of the lift.

  • Heaving or bouncing the bar off the chest.

  • Allowing the bar to sink into the chest after receiving the coach's signal.

  • Any exaggerated uneven extension of the arms during the lift.

  • Any downward movement of the bar in the course of being pressed out.




  • The lifter shall face the front of the platform.

  • The bar must be laid horizontally in front of the lifter's feet, gripped with an optional grip in both hands, and lifted without any downward movement until the lifter is standing erect.

  • On completion of the lift, the knees shall be locked in a straight position and the shoulders square or back as seen in the figure below.

  • The coach's signal shall consist of a downward movement of the hand and the audible command "down." The signal will not be given until the bar is held motionless and the lifter is in the apparent finished position.

  • Any raising of the bar or any deliberate attempt to do so will count as an attempt.

Causes for Disqualification of a Deadlift

  • Any downward movement of the bar before it reaches the final position.

  • Failure to stand erect with the shoulders square or back.

  • Failure to lock the knees straight at the completion of the lift.

  • Supporting the bar on the thighs during the performance of the lift.

  • Stepping backward or forward, although lateral movement of the sole or rocking feet between ball and heel is permitted.

  • Lowering the bar before receiving the coach's signal.

  • Allowing the bar to return to the platform without maintaining control with both hands.

  • Failure to comply with any of the requirements contained in the general description of the lift, which precedes this list of disqualifications.





  1. Upon arrival, lifters will check-in or register for a lifting heat. Arrive around 7:15 to 7:30am.

  2. Meet begins at 8am promptly. PLEASE BE EARLY.

  3. The rules meeting will be held prior to each heat. Lifters are required to arrive early to observe this meeting.

  4. Lifters should be warmed up for all the lifts at the start of their heats. Lifters may warm-up additionally (time permitting) during their lifting heats. Lifters may warm-up anywhere in the gym except the main rack.

  5. Upon being called, a lifter has 60 seconds to begin his/her lift. If the lifter is not present for the attempt or is unable to begin the lift within the allotted time, that attempt will be missed.

  6. Upon completion of their first lift, the lifter has 60 seconds to announce his/her second attempt weight to the head coach. The lifter order will be reassigned based on the weight requested.

  7. Upon the completion a second attempt, lifters should begin to warm-up for their final lift.

Prepping for the Day

This video is for professional meets, but some of the information still applies and is good rule of thumb. Remember, at this meet, we will not being weighing you and you don’t need to wear a singlet. :)


It's gonna be a long morning, so make sure you bring snacks, food, drink, etc.


Remember, this is about fun. I was kind of an idiot in my first competition because I took it too seriously. Don't. You'll regret it. I do. Have fun. You're in a good community with tons of support and Hufflepuffs. I believe in you!

— Coach Andrew