ARCHIVED - BC Dragoon Wins World Powerlifting Title

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Article / April 20, 2015

By 2Lt James Wood, UPAR, The British Columbia Dragoons

For Corporal Brendan Eberle, the most difficult moment of his record-breaking showing at the 100% Raw Powerlifting World Championship was the first event. “I was the last lifter on all my lifts,”   says the 23-year old Kelowna Army reservist,  “because at 148 lbs. I was the heaviest competitor in my weight category.  It was awkward. I’m armoured recce… we’re supposed to go first.” 

Stepping to the bar for his first lift of the competition that was held in Virginia Beach on 30 October 2014, Eberle started off with squats, an event he often struggles with on account of a 2012 back injury. “The first lift of the day is always the most nerve racking. If you don't get your first opening attempt in the three tries you get at that lift you bomb out, meaning you don't get to compete in any of the other lifts.” 

As one of two hundred competitors taking part, including ten representing team Canada, Cpl Eberle almost faltered when officials accidentally overloaded his first lift by 22 lbs. “My confidence was pretty low at that point but I did it anyways”  On that first lift, Eberle squatted a bar loaded with 410 lbs. – enough to set the BC army reservist on his way toward winning the three-lift event.

 “I got into powerlifting at the beginning of 2014,”  says Eberle.   “A friend of mine, Bjorn Torgenson, a former BC Dragoon, told me to compete.” says Eberle. Eberle himself joined the British Columbia Dragoons in 2009 at the age of 17. His status as an army reservist means that in addition to breaking world records in the open competition at Virginia Beach, his performance has set an imposingly high bar for future competitors in the Military/Fire/Law division at future events.

A point of pride for Eberle and the other lifters at Virginia Beach is that Raw Powerlifting Federation championships are a rigidly drug-tested and "support free" event, meaning that aside from wrist straps and a weightlifting belt, competitors are running on 100% their own steam.

After the squat, Eberle went on to the deadlift, successfully pulling just over 562 lbs. three times to set a new world record in his weight category. A follow-on attempt at deadlifting 589.1 lbs came close but failed, this being four times his own body weight.

Then came the pause bench press at 308.4 lbs., giving Eberle a total lift of 1,278.6 lbs. in the day's three events – almost nine times his body weight and enough to snatch overall victory in the competition.

When asked about Cpl. Eberle’s new world record and victory in the Virginia Beach competition, his troop leader, Lieutenant Mark Jennings-Bates, summed things up quite nicely:   “Glad he’s on our side… And the best part is that if one of our G-Wagons breaks down in the field, we’ve got a two-legged recovery vehicle to carry it home.” 

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