Norwood Classic builds muscle and community

By Joseph Cotton, Education and Enrichment Coordinator

The upcoming Norwood Classic powerlifting competition is not just about building strength; it’s also about building community.

The Norwood Classic is a powerlifting competition started in 2020 by senior biomedical sciences and radiological technologies double major Richie Kaminski. Held at the Health United Building (HUB), the competition features teams of three, with one team member assigned to each single event: deadlift, bench press or squats. 

“The main point of it is to just get more people involved at the gym, meet new people and come out to have fun,” Kaminski said. His goal is to break down some of the social barriers that traditionally deter people from the sport. 

“Sometimes, we can seem like a scary group. We throw our things and feel like we own the place. But, that’s the wrong way to approach it. (The Norwood Classic) allows people to realize that we’re just normal people that just like to lift heavy things,” Kaminski said.

The group started with only 12 people, but the event  quickly gained popularity. In tomorrow’s competition, 15 teams will compete — totaling 45 different competitors. 

“It was just a group of guys that wanted to work out, and we never really had this opportunity to PR (Personal Record) together and go for the heaviest weights possible… (It became) a place to come together, PR, yell at each other and have fun,” Kaminski explained. 

As the group has grown, it has gotten more recognition from Xavier and has changed in some ways. The original name of the competition was the “Tren-athelon” — a portmanteau of trenbolone acetate (a commonly used steroid) and the word triathlon. The name later changed to The Norwood Classic, drawing inspiration from the surrounding township and other powerlifting and bodybuilding competitions such as the famous Arnold Classic. 

Officially, The Norwood Classic is considered a limited affiliation group by the university, which means that they are allowed to reserve a time slot at the HUB but do not have official club status. 

The group receives support from local businesses that sponsor them and attend their events. These sponsors include Norwood Nutrition — a smoothie bar on Montgomery Road — as well as Norwood Chiropractic and Sports Group. Norwood Nutrition often attends the competition to give out free samples and coupons, and Norwood Chiropractic’s Dr. Chad White offers active release therapy to competitors to prevent injury. 

As the founder of The Norwood Classic, Kaminski is passionate about the work he’s cut out for himself. 

“I love setting (the competition) up. I love trying to get students involved in the gym,” he said. “I tore my ACL back in April, had surgery in May and couldn’t go to the gym. It was a bad time in my life, but getting back to the gym helped.” 

The Norwood Classic is always searching for new students who want to get involved with the group.

“I want people to know that it’s a very open environment. Everyone there is going to be supporting you,” Kaminski said. “This is the most safe event that you could possibly do, and you get to meet a ton of new, great people doing so.” 

Those interested in getting involved can look for flyers in the HUB and follow the group’s Instagram, @the_norwood_classic.