Competing at the 2015 CommonWealth PowerLifting Championships in BC

Competing at the 2015 CommonWealth PowerLifting Championships in BC


rob-kingHey Rob King here and welcome to my blog.

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It has been an amazing year competing and to finish out the best training year of my life I had an incredible opportunity to compete at the 2015 CommonWealth PowerLifting Championships in BC as a part of Team Canada PowerLifting was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

It was one of the best days of my life.

But only three weeks before that I was ready to give up and not even compete.

I had set a goal to compete at the CommonWealth Championships. but it seemed that nothing was going my way in training.  In the last year I have competed in 2 PowerLifting Competitions, Nationals in St. John’s and World’s in Salo Finland, along with this I had the crazy idea to do a UFE BodyBuilding competition as well. 

It’s been a great year and I wanted to finish the year out strong, my brain wanted to compete, but my body had different plans.

I had three pretty serous injuries while training for CommonWealths.  As soon as one injury healed another one took it’s place. 

First up was a shoulder injury.  About 10 weeks out from this meet I couldn’t bench press much at all.  205 lbs hurt (my best was 300), so it was not heavy at all, but it was incredibly painful to bench.  Once the shoulder started to heal and I started to regain my confidence in training I hit another set back.

On Oct 30th the day of our HeavyWeights Halloween Party I was doing a deadlift session, while in my warm ups I went for a deadlift and felt a weird rip/tear under my left arm pit.  The bar didn’t move but I was done.  I iced, rested, and I didn’t hit another deadlift for 6 weeks.  My best lift was now gone from training.

Just when things are going bad I hit another set back.  During a set of Pause Squats I tweaked my back which led to 3 days in bed not able to move.  I honestly could barely move on my own.  This happened on a Thursday and I spent the whole weekend in bed unable to move.  On a positive note I had a great Walking Deadathon on Netflix while I couldn’t move.

Three weeks out from competing I emailed Team Canada Head Coach Avi Silverberg and basically told him that I don’t feel I am able to compete and do my best and that I was thinking of not competing.  My bench was not going great, I couldn’t deadlift.  My back hurt, my lat hurt, I felt weak and I felt unable to even come close to being able to compete.    Avi told me that any chance to represent Team Canada is an opportunity to not pass up and that I should do my best and finish out training as best as I can.  On top of that my training partner Megan was always pushing me to stay positive and keep pushing.

I wanted to quit every day. 

I can honestly say that the last 12 weeks of training were the hardest of my life.  Not because of the intensity of training, but because of the set backs and hardships of being hurt and not being able to give my best.

On Monday I boarded a plane to cross the country and head off to Richmond BC to compete.

What’s the worst that could happen?

I landed in BC on late Monday night and the first thing I did on Tuesday was to check my weight.

I was very excited to compete at the Olympic Oval!



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I compete at 83 kg, and if I don’t make my weight I don’t get to compete.  So making weight is very serious.  I learned a BIG lesson when I competed in South Africa about weight cuts, and a hard cut is not something I ever want to do again.

My weight was good so i just had to eat low calories for two days and low water for one day.


Competition day was Thursday and weigh ins were at 11 am.  I got up at 8 and headed over to the venue at 8:30 to check my weight.  It was 82.6 so I was perfect.  It just meant no water or food until I weighed in at 11 am.   Weigh ins went well, I weighed in at 82.45 and I was feeling pretty confident.

After weigh ins I had some food and then made my way to the warm up area.

I started in on my warm ups and they were feeling good.  Squats felt pretty light and my warm ups went well.  I got videos of my last 3 warms up to check form and depth and everything seemed good.

Squats were my strongest lift.  I am ready to do this.

“Robert King…. The Bar Is Loaded”.

I stepped up to the platform on my opening squat, I felt good.  I was ready to hit it and then have some fun.

I unrack the bar, feels good.  I got this.


Felt good.


I walk in it, reds all around.


3 Red Lights.

Panic sets in.

I have never missed an opening squat.  It was an easy squat, I knew they were picky on depth, so much that I even lowered my  open 2.5 kg to be sure I get my open”.

3 Red Lights.

I heard a quote once that “everyone has a game plan until they get hit in the face” – Mike Tyson

Well everyone has a game plan to lift heavy as possible until they see 3 red lights on their opening squat.

Thanks to some great coaching and smart attempt selections from Avi we managed to go 2/2 in our next 2 squats making me have a  2/3 day.  Not great.  My worst squats of the year actually. 

Next up, Bench Press.

For this training block a big focus for me was improving my bench press.  I can say with gratitfude that this is the best my bench has ever felt.  I felt strong, the weight flew up.  I didn’t hit any PR’s but we went 3/3 on bench and I felt very strong.  The bench helped us move up in the totals a bit.

Going into deadlifts I was 2.5 kg behind the guy in first place.

Deadlifts are usually my strongest lift.  This time however I wasn’t sure.  I hadn’t pulled a heavy deadlift in 8 weeks, and the most I pulled in the gym was 405 lbs.  I was opening with 465 lbs.  These were not heavy deadlifts for me.  But after a lat tear and a week in bed with a low back flare up I had NO idea what my deads were going to be like.

I usually feel pretty confident going into deadlifts.  On this day lifting I was honestly petrified.

I knew I was in a fight going into deadlifts and I had no idea how my injuries were going to hold up.

On a good note warms up felt good, and some help from Team Canada Chiro Aras made me feel confident.  No pain in warms up and my confidence was starting to build.  

It’s time to deadlift.

“The Bar Is Loaded”.

I walked out to my open and held nothing back. 

It came up fast, I felt strong.

OK….Whew…..I won’t DQ.  That’s ONE less thing to worry about.

Next up was my 2nd deadlift.

A bit heavier but still being smart with attempt selections.

Got it.  And I felt strong.

Let’s see what’s next.

Next up my competitor from the UK went for his 3rd attempt and he missed it!

All I had to do was pull my next deadlift and I win OVERALL GOLD at CommonWealth Championships.

No pressure, except that I hadn’t pulled a heavy deadlift in 6 weeks.

“The Bar Is Loaded”

The next 15 seconds or so were honestly like a black out.

I walked up to the bar, I gripped as tight as fucking possible and I just pulled until i heard the “DOWN” command.


I got it….

I went 3/3 on deads and managed to pull off what was needed to WIN.

Overall it ended up being a great day.

I went 8/9, and ahead in the total by 2.5 kg.
Enough to win overall 1st place gold.

I won silver in squats, silver in bench, gold in deadlifts and GOLD Overall.

I can honestly say that was one of the best days of my life.

On the platform you lift alone but none of this would be possible without the great team of people I have in my life.  Thanks to everyone at HeavyWeights for your constant positivity and support.  Every post and comment helped me stay positive and motivated. 

Thank you to Team Canada coach Avi Silverberg.  I trust in him to handle my numbers and attempts, not something that is easy for me to do.  He did an amazing job and I couldn’t have had the day I did without his help.


Thank you to Danielle for supporting me.  Every day you would  always tell me that things are going to to great and that I would do fine.  Thanks for believing in me.

And a big thank you to my training partner Megan.  One of my motto’s is “Iron Sharpens Iron”.  Late at night we trained, early in the afternoons we trained, weekends we trained.  We trained every day and even with all the injuries and set backs you pushed me through them.  Thank you for pushing me and thank you for not letting me quit.

Only a few years ago I never thought I would ever lift heavy again.

Never give up on your dreams and always keep pushing and find a way.




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rob-kingHey Rob here again.

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