Holbeach Weight Training Club has a proud history when it comes to strength sports.
They have produced British and Commonwealth record holders, world powerlifting competitors and two-time World’s Strongest Man Geoff Capes who is still a current member.
So it was no surprise that the club’s first powerlifting competition in many years attracted eight competitors of the gym who all produced an exceptional display of strength in what turned out to be another record-breaking day in the club’s history.
The first discipline on the day was the squat lift with Kasia Kopciewicz, the first female competitor in the club’s history.
She went on to achieve an 85kg squat on her second lift, marginally failing her third lift of a 100kg on depth – still a strong performance by a woman weighing in at only 59kg in bodyweight.
The youngest competitor in the competition was Joe Fowler (15) who put another strong performance in with the squat, breaking the club’s previous under-17 age group record which had stood for 29 years – an impressive 117.5kg at 68kg bodyweight.
As the squat continued, a rivalry began between Daniel Taylor and Craig Candler, both competing for the heaviest squat lift of the day.
Taylor, weighing in at 90kg, began his squat with a cautious 190kg before his second lift of 210kg.
Candler, the heaviest competitor on the day at 120kg bodyweight, went slightly heavier on his first two lifts – achieving 200kg and 215kg.
For their third and final squats both men opted to attempt 227.5kg (a landmark in any strength sport of going over 500lb).
Three white lights from the judges for both men saw Taylor and Candler finish the competition with a successful 227.5kg squat lift.
The bench press produced more fantastic performances.
Candler again delivered the biggest lift with a bench press of 162.5kg before failing 170kg.
Other impressive efforts came from Tom Bell and Lindon Wise.
Wise, weighing in at 94kg, finished with 130kg while Bell, competing at 100kg in bodyweight, easily pressed his second lift of 140kg before failing his third lift at 150kg.
Other lifts saw Fowler press 80kg, just missing out on breaking the 29-year-old record.
His older brother Sam also produced impressive strength, pressing 92.5kg on his third lift.
The final chance for all competitors to get themselves in the top three was the deadlift.
Kopciewicz once again delivered a strong effort by pulling 105kg.
Joe Fowler pulled 155kg – breaking another under-17, 29-year-old record) as Wise managed 180kg and Bell got 200kg.
Sam Fowler pulled the third biggest deadlift of the day with an impressive 210kg as Taylor went one heavier at 230kg.
The heaviest lift of the day to no surprise went down to Candler who pulled 300kg on his second deadlift, just failing his third lift of 320kg which would have seen him go over the 700lb barrier.
To achieve a fair result, the competition was ranked on the Wilks formula which generates a score based on total weight lifted with the bodyweight of the individual.
Sam Fowler finished third with Taylor second and Candler first.