Do you even lift? They do.

In middle school, “More power to the hour,” was just another cheer. Now, three cheerleaders are putting the power in the hour in powerlifting.

Brenlee Wright, Kaylin Tedeschi, and Blake Gilmore have found that both cheer and powerlifting take strength.

“With cheer and powerlifting they both involve, like you have to have muscle because we have to lift the people up but we also have to lift the weights up. And it just takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time to put in the work,” sophomore Blake Gilmore said.

“There’s a lot of strength needed in cheerleading, where, you know you’re basing and you’re stunting and you’re jumping. They both take a lot of stamina to keep going because they’re both very tough sports and they both take a lot of strength. In cheerleading you stunt, and you have to base people, you’re throwing girls in the air, and you’re jumping,” cheer coach Shannon Slade said.

The stunting, jumping, and conditioning they’ve done in cheer has prepared them for powerlifting.

“I have a very poor knowledge base in cheerleading. All that I do know for sure is that these girls come in strong and they’re trained to really be able to handle their bodies and be able to have a strong core,” powerlifting coach David Walker said.

Strength and conditioning aren’t the only ways that the two sports are similar.  

“Some similarities are the coaches. They’re really motivating and help us do our best,” senior Brenlee Wright said.

While the two are alike, they are also different.

“The differences in cheer and powerlifting [are] in cheer we really work on running whenever we condition and stuff and then in powerlifting we work on muscles and really pushing,” Wright said.

Although cheer and powerlifting may seem like they’re from different worlds, the coaches say powerlifting has a positive impact on the girls both physically and mentally.

“I’ve definitely seen improvements in their jumps. Jumps take a lot of strength and they’ve definitely gotten up there now, so they’ve improved,” Slade said.

“It’s empowering to the girls, and I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. The genders kinda break down. It becomes just a team. So it’s a unique sport where…we’re all just athletes and we’re out there working,” Walker said.