Strength Sports Gym Powerlifting Team @ Iron Fest Open

IRON FEST OPEN – April 2013 Powerlifting Comp: Recap
After months of dedicated training, the first big comp of the year for SSG powerlifters arrived – Iron Fest 2013. Held at Paul Thompson’s “Iron Underground” gym in Albion, Paul and his team had organised a great set-up for the competition.

SSG pulled a big crowd to support our eight lifters: Phillip Grant, Lynden Harbour,
Ryan Ferguson, Natasha Day, Jessica Gilbert, Zoe Deeks and
Chyna Howlett.
The Girls: With an impressive turn out for female lifters, the girls were all grouped together and the competition kicked off at midday.

Strength Sports Gym Powerlifting Girls

The SSG powerlifting girls; Natasha Day, Chyna Howlett, Zoe Deeks and Jess Gilbert.

Squats up first, and despite a healthy dose of pre-competition jitters, Natasha Day (52kg division) was successful with all 3 attempts, finishing on an easy 85kg which was a 7.5kg PB with more in the tank!
Chyna Howlett (52kg division) had been preparing for this competition for the past few months, focused on breaking the current Australian junior squat record of 82.5kg.
The plan of attack was to open on an easy weight (80kg), break the record on her second attempt, and push it higher on the third attempt. With the pressure of expectations, Chyna dominated her squats, taking 85kg on her second and finishing with 90kg, setting a new Australian junior record! VIDEO
Zoe Deeks (72kg division) followed Chyna and Natasha’s lead by blasting up 3 successful attempts in her first powerlifting competition, finishing with an easy 7.5kg PB on 92.5kg with more in reserve.
Jess Gilbert (84kg division) had the pleasure of being the last lifter for squats (and everything else!) as she was opening on the highest weight of 125kg, which she did with ease. A strong 132.5kg second attempt followed which set her up for an attempt at 140kg on her last lift. Making 140kg would be a 10kg pb for Jess, and a completely epic thing for a female to do in general. I can now count the number of girls that I know personally, to squat 140kg RAW, on one finger – Jess Gilbert.

Jess Gilbert 140kg Squat.

Realisation. Relief. Happiness.
Moments like this are the reason why I coach.

The Strength Sports Gym girls were the only female lifters to manage 3 successful lifts from 3 attempts in the squat section. They sure know how to squat!

Bench Press followed squats and we had Natasha Day open on 50kg and finish on 52.5kg after missing 55kg on her third attempt.
Chyna Howlett followed Natasha, opening on 50kg, and claiming the new Australian junior bench record with a 53.5kg lift! Chyna unfortunately missed her third attempt on 54.5kg.
Zoe Deeks made light work of 60kg & 65kg on her first and second attempts, and had a good effort on 70kg for her third attempt.
Jess Gilbert opened with a ridiculously easy 77.5kg and an equally easy 82.5kg press followed. She took a shot at 87.5kg on her third attempt, which would have been a new Australian record had she made it – next time!

Natasha Day
came out firing for her deadlifts, going 3 for 3 and lifting 107.5kg (5kg PB) on her third with more in the tank, for a 245kg total and first place in the 52kg division. VIDEO
Zoe Deeks followed suit getting 3 from 3 and pulling 117.5kg (2.5kg PB) on her third for a 275kg total and first in the 72kg division. VIDEO
Jess Gilbert opened on an effortless 130kg, and followed with 140kg on her second attempt. We needed 12.5kg on top of that to secure a 375kg total and Elite 2 ranking, but it proved to be a bit too heavy. Jess finished on 362.5kg and won best female lifter! VIDEO
Chyna Howlett sure knows how to stress a coach out. A week prior to the comp, Chyna pulled a strong triple on 100kg, so we chose 97.5kg as her opener, planning to break the Australian record of 111kg on her third attempt. Turns out Chyna’s deadlift wasn’t at full strength after the record setting squats and bench prior. To everyones surprise Chyna failed her opening attempt, and also her second attempt on the same weight, barely getting the weight off the ground.
Chyna knew she needed to pull a deadlift to total but unbeknownst to her she needed to pull it to secure her Australian record lifts. After alot of encouragement and psyching up from the SSG crew, Chyna stepped onto the platform with aggression and determination to pull the gutsiest and most inspirational deadlift I have seen. I won’t forget the sound of the crowd erupting and urging Chyna on as she ground out the lift. As one spectator put it “I wouldn’t have bet monopoly money on you pulling that”. VIDEO

Chyna Howlett Australian Record Holder

My favourite moment in all of powerlifting.Chyna Howlett, new Australian junior record holder.

The Boys group followed with Ryan, Nathan & Lynden all in their first official powerlifting competition and Phil in just his second.
Ryan Ferguson and Nathan Olsson both managed 2 out of 3 on squats with each managing to get PB’s. Ryan finished squats with an easy 142.5kg (2.5kg) but just didnt have enough to finish his 150kg third attempt.
Nathan opened on an easy 140kg, and took things a little fast on his 2nd attempt of 150kg, but he managed to lift it with relative ease on his third attempt, giving him a 10kg PB.
Lynden Harbour went 3 from 3 on squats, managing PB’s on his second (170kg) and third attempt on 180kg (17.5kg PB).
Phillip Grant was looking on track for a great squat session based on his fast warm-ups, opening his account with an easy 200kg and following it up with 210kg on his second attempt. Phil finished the mens session off with a 217.5kg squat, which was a 15kg PB at a bodyweight of 82kg, 3 from 3 and the biggest squat of the day.

Phillip Grant squatting 217.5kg RAW at 82kg Bodyweight.

Phillip Grant squatting 217.5kg RAW at 82kg Bodyweight.

Bench was next and we saw Nathan and Lynden both manage 3 from 3, finishing on 120kg (5kg PB) & 127.5kg respectively.
Unfortunately Ryan jumped the gun on his first attempt, starting before the ref’s call, but he managed to come back and secure his planned 2nd attempt on 92.5kg (2.5kg PB) to move ahead with his total.
Phil blasted up his first and second attempt benches on 115kg and 122.5kg but just missed his third of 127.5kg half way up.

Ryan Fergusson Deadlifting 177.5kg @ 67kg bodyweight.

Ryan Ferguson Deadlifting 177.5kg at 67kg bodyweight.

Deadlifts to finish and we had Ryan Ferguson up first, managing a 3 from 3 effort with a best pull, and 17.5kg PB on 177.5kg. This gave Ryan a total of 412.5kg and first place in the 74kg division. VIDEO
Nathan Olsson opened on his current PB of 180kg, and followed it up with a strong 195kg (15kg PB) second attempt. We chose 205kg for Nathan’s third attempt, and it appeared to be right on the money, however the ref’s believed Nathan had hitched the weight slightly on the way up, so he had to settle with 195kg and a total of 465kg in the 83kg division. VIDEO
Lynden Harbour continued his successful rounds of squats and bench by going 3 from 3 in the deadlifts also. 180kg, 200kg and 220kg rounded out Lynden’s deadlifts and he managed a 30kg PB on deads, and a total of 527.5kg in the 105kg division. VIDEO
Phillip Grant came into the deadlifts just 2.5kg behind the leader in the 83kg division, and he pushed hard through fatigue to take the lead into the second round of deadlifts by pulling 237.5kg but it proved to be the limit as Phil unfortunately missed his last lift on 242.5kg, and had to settle for 2nd and a 577.5kg total in the 83kg division. VIDEO

Nathan Olsson & Lynden Harbour post comp.

Lynden Harbour and Nathan Olsson.

All in all every SSG lifter hit multiple personal bests lifts and finished with personal best totals. A huge thank you to the organisers, officials and everyone who came to the competition and supported us and the other lifters.
A great day, and we look forward to the next competition!

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Yours in strength,
Nick Dorn

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