Strong UT students united in new powerlifting association Fenrir

| Pim Eerden

A group of strong UT students recently founded a new strength sports association, called ESKV Fenrir. About forty powerlifting enthusiasts united themselves for bench pressing, deadlifting and squatting.

Photo by: Hung Nguyen
The Fenrir board, from left to right: Can Erdogan, Bo Arends and Sibren Vuurberg.

‘There used to be a strength sports association (SKV Hercules, ed.), but they turned into a crossfit association long ago,’ says Sibren Vuurberg, treasurer of Fenrir. ‘For years we have had the idea of re-establishing a strength sports association, since strength sports is rapidly growing.’

About one year ago, things became serious and recently they established the association: ESKV Fenrir. ‘A lot of strength sports associations have names related to Greek or Norse mythology, so that’s why we came up with Fenrir. Fenrir is a very strong wolf in Norse mythology that can break the chains he is tied to’, says Vuurberg.

Three disciplines

Strength sport, also called powerlifting, consists of three disciplines: bench press, deadlift, and squat. In bench press, a weight is pushed upwards while laying on a bench. In deadlifts, a barbell is lifted off the ground towards hip level. In squats, you lowers your hips and bends your knees while holding a barbell on your back.

It’s very different from crossfit and calisthenics, says Fenrir chairwoman Bo Arends. ‘Crossfit can be considered a high intensity workout with elements of powerlifting. In calisthenics, the exercises are performed using bodyweight.’ Fitness training is not that much involved in powerlifting. ‘A common joke about powerlifters is that they are out of breath after five repetitions’, says Arends.

Coached by a champion

Currently, around forty enthusiasts gathered in a Fenrir WhatsApp group. Besides a gym membership at the UT, there are no costs of joining. However, Fenrir does not have their own location or material yet, so they train in small groups at the gym at the UT. ‘Whenever you want to train, there is almost always someone who wants to join’, says Arends. ‘Besides, showing up with forty people in the gym is undoable, since we would have to wait for each other a lot and no one else could make use of the gym anymore’, says Arends.

At Fenrir, they take their sport seriously. A few members recently participated in the SBD cup and some of them improved their personal bests, while being coached by Arends. And Arends herself is no stranger to powerlifting. This year, she won the Dutch student championship.

Pulling an airplane

Since Fenrir is still in the process of becoming an official association at the UT and do not have their own location yet, they are not busy with committees. However, they certainly they have some plans, says Vuurberg. ‘We would like to organise drinks in the future, and we are thinking of organising a strongman competition, in which people, for example, pull a truck or an airplane.’

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