Powerlifters L-R Shane Atta-Singh and Vidu Eb at the APL/ IPL Anzac international last year.
Powerlifters L-R Shane Atta-Singh and Vidu Eb at the APL/ IPL Anzac international last year.

Powerlifters ramp up home training to keep in top form

LOCAL powerlifting club, Ron's Power Gym, hasn't allowed COVID-19 to stop its members training hard.

Owner and world record holder Ron Birch has been powerlifting all his life.

Now in his 70s, Mr Birch proved age isn't a barrier when he made his new world record deadlift of 162.5kg in August last year.

"There's been a landslide of home training now," he said.

"Some of our members have taken gear home so they can keep lifting. Plates, bars.

"I'll always be lifting with weights."

Mr Birch is optimistic the powerlifting calendar will go ahead, with events either postponed or scheduled for the latter half of the year.

"There's Nationals in May, with the December deadlift only comp coming up, which should go ahead. We'll just have to ride this out," he said.

Mr Birch and Shane Atta-Singh attended the APL Gold Coast Cup in February with Mr Atta-Singh qualifying for the Nationals competition.

After winning his 110kg division at the Anzac International with equipped deadlift only, opening with 240kg then 250kg for a national record, Mr Atta-Singh is keen to keep his numbers and improve on them.

"For the moment I'm setting up at home, it'll be maintenance then prepping to build up the weights," he said.

Federal, State and Territory public health authorities will ultimately determine when sport and recreation resumes, with National Cabinet to consider further measures this week as part of a broader package.

President of the Australian Powerlifting League, John Gabriel, said the COVID-19 outbreak has had wide-reaching implications, including the disruption to the powerlifting events for the year.

"Rest assured, as soon as this threat passes, we will reschedule events accordingly," he said.

"We are very hopeful we can still manage to get our 2020 National Championships in later in the year.

"We are working closely with our meet directors across the country to ensure the quality of our meets only continues to improve.

"The main thing at this point is that everyone remains safe and adheres to government advice to minimise this threat."



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