Category Archives: athletics

What is Powerlifting?

By Dennis Wu

Last semester, I picked up a new fitness hobby called powerlifting.  According to the International Powerlifting Federation, powerlifting is defined as a strength sport made up of three attempts at maximal weight for three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The goal of powerlifting is to lift the most weight possible for each of the three lifts. The summation of the best attempts for each of the three lifts is the final score a competitor receives.

Squat

The powerlifting squat begins when the announcer yells, “the bar is loaded”. Then, a competitor has one minute to un-rack the bar.  When the competitor is read to squat, the competitor makes eye contact with the referee.  The referee will yell “squat”. Then, the competitor must squat down until the hip joint is below the knee joint. After that the competitor can squat back up and re-rack when the referee yells “rack”.

Bench Press

The powerlifting bench press also begins when the announcer yells, “the bar is loaded.” Then, the competitor has one minute to begin the lift. The competitor is allowed to un-rack the bar but must wait for the referee to yell “start” before the competitor can lower the weight. When the bar is touching the body, the competitor must wait for the command “press”. Then, the competitor can drive up the bar to lockout. When the command “rack” is given, the competitor may rerack the bar.

Deadlift

The last lift is the deadlift. This lift also begins when the announces states, “the bar is loaded”. However, there is no start command. The competitor must begin within one minute. The competitor must stand up with the weight and when the referee yells “down”, the competitor may place the weight back down with both hands on the bar.

Conclusion

To summarize, powerlifting has become my new fitness hobby. Powerlifting is comprised of the three main lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.  The final score of a powerlifting competition is comprised of the best weights for each of the three lifts.

Featured image is author’s own

Dennis graduated USC with a degree in Human Biology, with an emphasis in Applied Physiology, and a minor in Occupational Therapy. He was born in Belgium and moved to the U.S. at the young age of 5, so Dennis had experienced numerous cultures around the world. Once in the U.S., he moved around quite a bit, living in multiple cities in Arizona, Texas, and California. Dennis speaks three languages- Mandarin Chinese, Flemish, and English. Ss a student, he loved playing basketball; he’s been playing since he was five years old, but his greatest passion in life was fitness and the pursuit of progression. Dennis always sought to improve himself – to become the best version he can be, not only physically but also mentally. Dennis was also a certified personal trainer at USC Lyon Center and worked with numerous international clients. He also worked as a tutor for mathematics and various sciences with numerous volunteer organizations around campus.

American Football Explained

By Anya Khurana

American Football baffles me. I simply do not understand our fascination with the sport. It’s hard to participate in conversations about team statistics or big games when you don’t understand the sport. If you’re like me, and football makes your head spin, you’re in luck: here is a crash course in all things football- the rules, the history, and other important information.
Football comes from an early form of rugby and grew in popularity through the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the NFL (National football league) has 32 teams across the U.S. and in 2017, made $8.16 billion. Needless to say, the NFL is very popular and has an almost cultish following, where committed fans attend or watch every single game. Even college football teams, such as our own here at USC, have huge followings and make huge sums of money from ticket sales, athletic apparel, and TV contracts.

Continue reading American Football Explained

LA Fitness on a Budget

By Alicia Roman

Everyone knows that living in LA can cost a small fortune. However, staying active in LA doesn’t have to be expensive. With 365 days of sunshine, there are endless opportunities to stay active without spending more than a few dollars. Many people believe you have to be confined to the crowded campus gym, but with the following options just a short train/car ride away you’ll be looking at your workout regime with new energy and enthusiasm!

Hiking is a great way to explore a new area while also getting in some exercise. There are several hiking trails within a 20-minute drive from the USC campus. Take a trip to the Hollywood Hills at sunset and hike the 3.5 miles up to Wisdom Tree. This hike offers beautiful views of the Hollywood Reservoir and Downtown LA. Another option is to take a train to Los Feliz and visit the stunning Griffith Observatory. Most people will drive up to the Observatory, but an even better option is to hike to the top. It’s a quick and easy 40-minute hike from Fern Dell Dr. to the Griffith Observatory. Once at the top, you are rewarded with one of LA’s best views.

Photo by daveynin on Flickr

If you aren’t a big fan of hiking but enjoy the water, take advantage of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl has countless options and it’s free of busy and overcrowded streets. Take a jog around the Rose Bowl, known to locals as the “Rose Bowl Loop”. You can stop by the Aquatics Center and take a $2.00 swim in their olympic size pool. If you’re not looking to swim or run, you can enjoy a nice bike ride around the complex. The Rose Bowl is a great option for those who need variety but aren’t looking to spend a lot on a gym membership.

Most people love going to the beach to relax and enjoy the weather. The beach can also be a great place to get in a weekend workout. Santa Monica Beach is only a short train ride from the USC campus. The beach can also be a nice place to workout when the weather’s too hot to be indoors. Santa Monica has several options for fitness and fun. Take a long walk along the beach or bring along a workout video from your phone and try it out on the sand. It will definitely add an element of difficulty to your regular workout. If you’re feel really adventurous you can visit the outdoor gym which is literally right on the sand! The best part of a beach workout is when you’re finished, you can take a refreshing dip in the ocean water!

With so many options around USC, you never have to feel like the gym is your only option. Sometimes, doing something different can remind you why you love exercising. Grab your suit and head to the beach or slip on your tennis shoes and go for a hike! You’ll be able to check out your new LA neighborhood with all the added health benefits.

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons

Alicia has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Clark University. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Educational Counseling within Rossier School of Education. She has spent several years working in the field of Education. She spent three years living and teaching ESL in Taipei, Taiwan. She also coaches a special needs swim team at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena. When she is not working, she loves reading, traveling, watching movies, and exercising.