Swift Current powerlifter Wayne Cormier ended his 2018 season in a memorable way when he recently set a new national record.
“It's been an interesting couple of weeks,” he said. “I'm pretty excited.”
He competed at the South Saskatchewan Push Pull Invitational Tournament in Regina on Dec. 1.
He was not actually planning to compete again this year after winning silver at the Saskatchewan Powerlifting Association's 2018 provincial championships in September, but three weeks before this tournament he received a call from another powerlifter who told him there is still a spot open at this invitational event.
He spoke to the tournament director, who confirmed that the event will have nationally qualified referees, and Cormier decided to compete in the bench press portion of the tournament.
“I was still in on-season training from provincials,” he said. “So I hadn't migrated to the off-season training where you cut back.”
This tournament was hosted by the Global Powerlifting Committee (GPC), one of three major powerlifting federations in Canada. Cormier was even more keen to compete when he discovered that the GPC has vacated the Canadian record for his age and weight class.
“That means there was a record there at one point, but it had been vacated,” he said. “It's a record to be taken. So that gets my attention.”
He competed in the 55-59 age category in the 110 kilogram (kg) weight class. He started the competition with a lift of 135 kg (297.6 pounds), and then lifted 140 kg (308.6 pounds) for his second attempt. He established a new national record with his final lift of 142.5 kg (314.2 pounds).
Continued on Page A23
“This past year I haven't done anything over 308 (pounds) in competition,” he said. “So I'm pretty happy with that. It was a really strong contest for me, because everything went right. Weigh-ins went right, I didn't fail my weigh-in. I was actually a couple of pounds under. The warm-up went smooth. You have one of these contests once in a blue moon, once in two or three years, and this one was one of those where nothing went wrong. Everything went so smooth. No injuries, and training went well.”
His training for the competition was very intense, because he had to maximize his effort in the three weeks before the event. He usually will have a single three-hour training session per day, but during this time he trained twice a day for a total of six hours.
“It was tough,” he said. “To condense six weeks of training into three weeks is very difficult. You're looking at 30 hours a week training.”
For Cormier this was a perfect way to end the year, which had some ups and downs. In February he won gold in the bench press only competition at the 2018 Canadian Powerlifting Union national championships and qualified for the international bench press championships, but could not go due to injuries He also participated in the three-lift competition at that national championships and finished in fourth place.
His silver medal in the bench press competition at provincials in September was a highlight, but he was not able to achieve his competitive goals at that event and he had to compete in a higher weight category after he did not make the weight in the other class.
“Before this opportunity came, I was feeling this is just not going the way I wanted it to go,” he said. “I had some injuries this year, some mental setbacks around not making weight, and I started to feel maybe this comeback that lasted four years is done. ... It just came at the right time. I was looking for some inspiration, something to get me to jump as opposed to just the alarm clock and this got me pumped.”
He already went back to the gym to train the Monday after setting the new national record, which is not something he will usually do after a competition.
“I'm very pleased right now,” he said. “I'm very excited about nailing that. It's a nice way to finish the year and also it changes my whole workout schedule now.”
His training schedule will now be focused on preparing for the GPC national championships, which will take place in Edmonton in May. He will remain in the 110 kg weight class and his focus will be on the bench press.