With a few fall meets now under their belts, the powerlifters at Western Strength are officially off to an awesome start! This post will highlight the meet results of four lifters, all of whom competed in their very first powerlifting meets ever (hint: you should too). Abigail, Justin, and Vincent competed at the Scarborough Fall Qualifier, whereas Tyler competed in the Last Chance Zone Open. Tyler already wrote up an extensive reflection on his learning experiences that you should check out, so this post most will mostly feature Abigail's (53kg) remarkable 1st-place finish plus Justin and Vincent finishing 2nd and 3rd in their competitive class of 93kg. In the video below they're in the same order: Abigail, Justin, Vincent.

Everyone at the gym who knows anything about lifting knows Abigail is incredibly strong, especially her legendary bench press and strict pullups (30+). However, it's one thing to hit jaw-dropping lifts in the gym and another thing entirely to do it under the intense pressure and strict scrutiny of a meet. So we are particularly proud of her since -- on her very first meet ever -- she scooped up the Best Lifter award, a 1st place finish, AND set a provincial Bench Press record (92.5kg / 203.5 lbs!). We don't want to jinx her with excessive praise, but we know she'll do amazing things once she gets into the swing of powerlifting-specific training and converts her pure-muscle bench press technique to a more efficient and arched form. Since she did the right thing by choosing conservative numbers on her first meet she even survived the mishap of accidently pausing her first squat and ended up with three white lights.

Our friends Vincent and Justin (both 93kg) had pretty much textbook-perfect first meets (Vincent went 9 for 9, Justin went 8 for 9). Their relatively cautious attempts still earned them 2nd and 3rd place in a class with 7 people, which is an impressive result. Though their squat and deadlift attempts were virtually identical, Vincent edged out Justin on the bench. Vincent now plans on doing provincials, centrals, and nationals. We appreciate their helpful advice in the gym and the way they reach out to general gymgoers, powerlifters, and the many people in-between who are considering doing a meet one day. With so many first-timers, we now have a friendly pool of knowledge for how to succeed in your first meet! Tyler’s post definitely has some insight here.

Stayed tuned for our upcoming experiences at provincials (AJ, Ben, Vincent, and more). Even though many of our powerlifters only met each other in September, there is a growing sense of community and optimism for future meets. Despite the fact that coordinating powerlifters in this often-solitary sport amounts to herding cats – rather jacked cats who like wearing fancy belts, sleeves, and shoes – AJ (the powerlifting coordinator) has done a great job linking us together. It won’t be long until our lifters transition from getting their feet wet with their first meets to individually and collectively dominating with Western Strength.