UF introduces powerlifting club

UF recently added a powerlifting club to its list of club sports for students to join

By Cassie Arnett, ArnettC@Findlay.edu

The University of Findlay and Findlay Barbell partnered together to add a new club sport to UF’s list of club sports. The powerlifting club is now among club sports at UF. The Powerlifting Club is open to all students, male or female, with the interest of powerlifting and personal training.

The Powerlifting club started in January 2024 by Taylor Lafferty, a sophomore majoring in exercise science, president and founder of UF’s Powerlifting club and a current holder of four national powerlifting titles. According to Lafferty, she started this club sport to bring more attention to the popularity of the sport, as well as to show students that anyone can powerlift.

After sending out flyers to UF, Lafferty, with the help of UF and Findlay Barbell, have created a powerlifting club of approximately 15 students. According to Lafferty, Bryan Golding, Director of Recreational Services, is helping to fund the club costs through the recreational center. Funding covers the cost of: t-shirts, gym memberships for active students, individual costs for competitions, as well as all excess costs the club may have. Students can join the powerlifting club with no costs to them.

The Powerlifting club places a unique impact on students, creating a new community within UF. Students come together to push themselves beyond their limits surrounded by students with similar goals. This club keeps students active and allows them to use their skills in powerlifting competitions.

“You are surrounded by a group of individuals who all want to better themselves in a specific way physically that not a lot of people do or understand,” Lafferty said. “There is a certain grind mentality in powerlifting. You force yourself to be uncomfortable, to feel weird, and you push yourself to see stars after lifts.”

According to Lafferty, beyond powerlifting, this club was established to motivate students and encourage them to push themselves and overall improve as individuals. To Lafferty, powerlifting goes beyond just being a sport, it is a community.

“It is more than just lifting heavy stuff; there is a community, a group of individuals willing to push their bodies to the max and see what the human body is capable of,” said Lafferty.

Among current members is fifth year Pharmacy student, Carson Shoemaker. Shoemaker is a former soccer player for UF with a seven-year experience in weight lifting. According to Shoemaker, he jumped at this opportunity to join a club like this and help others in their powerlifting journey.

“I am looking to get a healthy and new experiences,” Shoemaker said. “I hope that I can provide some of the members with valuable information so that they can avoid the mistakes I made when I was starting out.”

In addition to support from UF, the club receives support from local Findlay gym, Findlay Barbell, and owner Tyler Beckley, according to Shoemaker. Beckley has offered to host the club’s meetings, as well as provide additional support. Beckley has taken the time to teach students more about powerlifting and use his expertise to help students, according to Shoemaker.

“Tyler Beckley, the owner of Findlay Barbell has been a huge help,” Shoemaker said. “In addition to helping us get into his gym he has been offering his expertise to help with our new member’s gym programs.”

There is more in store for the club sport’s future. The president of the powerlifting club has high hopes for the club’s future and is expecting great success. According to Lafferty, the number of members will only increase as passion for this sport spreads.