NEW PLYMOUTH, Idaho — The United States Powerlifting Association held a meet in New Plymouth and people came from all around the region to compete.
Besides the raw strength and power at the meet, the High Desert Open also showcased how this sport is growing in popularity especially among women.
"Being a strong woman is something to be proud of," said Alivia Patterson who came from Wyoming with her husband for the event. "Strength is never a weakness."
Peter Martin hosted this USPA sanctioned event, it starts with a drug test, then competitors have three opportunities to lift as much weight as they can in the squat, bench and deadlift.
"I started doing these in 2013 in Oregon," said Martin. "We started with a couple meets with about 16 people and now I put on nine meets a year and this one sold out."
Patterson and her husband got into the sport by chance, but they quickly developed a passion for it, not just because of the challenge of lifting weights, but also the camaraderie associated with everybody pushing each other to do their best.
"This is the most welcoming environment if you are looking for something where you just want to have some friends, someone to cheer you on, you should try powerlifting," said Patterson. "These are the nicest people you will ever meet."
Women were setting new state records in the squat on Saturday morning including Patterson who broke the Wyoming state record in the squat with 429 pounds, she hopes this meet will help take her to another level.
“I really want to pull a couple of national and world records," said Patterson. "I’m not too far from the deadlift so I'm hoping to get that here in not too long.”
The gym hosted the High Desert Open, they have a location in both Ontario, Oregon and in Idaho.