May 17th, 2024

Local powerlifter breaks World Raw Powerlifting Federation record

By JAMES TUBB on May 9, 2024.

There’s a new weightlifting record holder in the World Raw Powerlifting Federation and he calls Medicine Hat home.

Tom Petersen set a new record in the 165lb. benchpress, benching 265.5 to surpass the previous record of 264.4 pounds at the WRPF’s Pirates of the Platform event held in Lethbridge over the weekend.

Petersen competed in the Master 7 category and says he went into the event with his eyes set on the record. He’s been competing in powerlifting for over two years but has been into weightlifting throughout his life.

He says it’s been an adjustment going from weighting on his own to doing so in a competition.

“When you do it in a competition, you have to pause it, you have to lower it and stop it, and I’d I’ve never done that in my life,” Petersen said.

“That’s a huge difference under the lights, they’re watching your butt, your feet, your head and you can’t move nothing.”

Petersen says he got into competitive powerlifting through his son Dayne who is also interested in the sport. He took inspiration from Joe Stockinger of Pincher Creek, a 93-year-old who holds multiple world records in powerlifting.

“There just isn’t anybody in that age, he benched 200 pounds when he was about 84 and he probably weighed 150 pounds and he can deadlift 400 and some at that age,” Petersen said. “Between him, and my son was looking up the Alberta records, and I figured, I can do that.”

Petersen splits his workouts between his son’s garage and Crestwood Pool and attributes his success to his wife Bonnie’s cooking. He wouldn’t share any of her recipes but says they’re all good cooking and get him the strength he needs.

He’s planning on competing at another powerlifting competition in a month hosted in Medicine Hat at Back Alley Fitness where he holds the national record at 270lb. He says it’ll be an easier approach to that event knowing he already has the record and isn’t chasing anyone but himself.

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