Powerlifting competition at city gym is a huge hit
RECORDS tumbled thick and fast as some of the strongest lifters in the region descended on Plymouth for the biggest powerlifting competition ever held in the city.
Manor Street's Plymouth Performance Gym hosted the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association 2013 South West Divisional Powerlifting Championships.
It saw 30 lifters of all ages competing at the squat, bench press and deadlift to secure places at the 2013 British Powerlifting Championships in April.
Spectators were stunned as 17-year-old Mark Green – a guest lifter from Reading, competing in the Teenage Two under 67.5kg bodyweight category – added 25kg to the British bench press record. His 125kg lift is a world record for his age and weight.
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Lucie Spraggon, 22, from Somerset, broke the national junior squat record in the under 80kg category with a lift of 90.5kg, and the South West deadlift record with 117.5kg.
Local lifters also claimed records, with Plymouth Performance Gym (PPG) owner Will Badenoch, 30, setting a new South West deadlift record of 252.5kg in the under 82.5kg category and Jade Farrington, 26, who trains with Badenoch, sweeping the board with a South West record squat, bench press, deadlift and total in the women's under 58.5kg category.
Badenoch, Farrington and fellow PPG lifters Sean Stupples, 29, Mark Irwin, 20, and David Aldworth, 28, all qualified for the national championships in Stafford in April, with Kirk Simpson, 31, and Justin Jewel, 37, narrowly missing out.
West Midlands guest lifter and World National Bodybuilding Federation professional Richard Gozdecki, 30, put up a combined total of 695kg to take the title of best lifter.
Badenoch said: "It was fantastic for the gym to host the competition. It got members involved and helped motivate people to train hard and get focused.
"Plymouth will see some of the UK's best young lifters emerging as a consequence."
Badenoch said it was good to have so many natural athletes in an environment where all lifters knew they were competing against people and not chemicals.
The British Drug Free Powerlifting Association has a strict drug-free policy and does not allow its members to take part in non-tested federations.
"It's been brilliant how everyone has mucked-in and helped," Badenoch added. "They volunteered their time to make sure it ran smoothly.
"It's a very inclusive sport and doesn't matter how much you weigh, how tall, short, skinny or large you are, there's an age and weight class for everyone."