Performance Training Centre – Perth played host to this year’s GPC powerlifting state championships. Two days of squatting, benching and deadlifting, and it’s hot. Damn hot. While the gym’s aircon fought it as best it could, the humidity was oppressive for lifters and spectators alike. Being there for the duration of saturday taught me a lesson, so on day two, when the temperature climbed even higher (to over 41 degrees celsius, according to my vehicle’s thermometer), I was glad for the extra ice packs and towels I’d brought with me.
Despite the heat, the crowds were lively and excited for what was promised: the moving of some serious weight. And they were not disappointed. Now, if I spoiled the mood by telling you what some of the athletes thought of their efforts it would be no good at all. Sitting in the pews that Saturday I saw Linus, a kid weighing under 90 kilos, squat 280 like it was a warmup (and indeed it was), and then take a shot at 300. Watching that kinda feat makes my hips want to break in sympathy – both of them. It was incredible. And later, the likes of Yianni and Darwin both pulled 280 kilos at under 72.5 and under 82.5 respectively. Phenomenal numbers for their weight classes… but still not where they’d intended to be.
Amongst the other notable efforts for day one, serious improvements were in evidence from PTC crew Danni Pearsall, who squatted 125, benched 75 and pulled 130 at under 52 kilos – all Masters Australian records. And one of the oldest and most well recognised lifters at the comp – Jim Ambrose – equalled his previous personal best deadlift of 225 kilos in the kind of fight which seemed to define the day.
This time around I was in the under 140s (just) after a two month bulk. Last year I was typically walking around at 127/128. I weighed-in Saturday at 136.4, and the morning of the comp itself I was 139 and change… successful enough, if the main determinant was scale weight. But I wanted it to translate to a significant improvement on my previous S/B/D total, with the firm goal being 700 or more. A couple of technicalities cost me my opener on squat, and my best ever bench; I locked out 165 kilos but didn’t wait for the start call. And, after 310 I tried to pull 320… got it maybe a foot off the floor when the bar shifted forward just a little (likely from me compensating for my aching goddamn knees) and from there it wasn’t ascending any further. But with singing knees and the serious exhaustion all lifters had to contend with that day, I really cannot be upset with my efforts. 320 will fall, just as 310 has, and in good time. I’d really like 250/175/325 by mid-year. I think it’s achievable so long as I keep with the fortnightly squatting program I implemented late last year… and stick to it this time.
The impressive performances on the day were above and below my weight class. Kat, a lady in the under 82.5 kilo division, squatted an amazing 191.kilos to break the ladies open record. An absolute behemoth from Bunbury, I believe his name was Matt, squatted 330 and benched 230 at a touch under 170 kilograms bodyweight. And PTC’s own Tim Tomkinson went 280/185/300 for a 765kg total at just 103.2kg, taking gold for his division and bronze overall.
Normally I would add a bunch of pics and/or vids about now. Pics and vids I’d either have shot myself or purloined from Gaborjacked (who typically can’t help but bring his enormous digital SLR along to a lifting comp), but thankfully PTC has all that shit locked down. There will be plenty of both coming up in my newsfeed soon, so I’ll just grab some of the better ones and add them here.
A huge thanks has to go to PTC Perth, their major sponsors including Loaded Lifting and Awesome As, and the efforts of the loaders, spotters and referees who made both days run smoothly and professionally.