McKenzie Strait – Strength Transformation

McKenzie Strait – Strength Transformation

At  my gym HeavyWeights we are all about Transformations and Strength.

We have had so many incredible Best Transformations, but I felt it left a big side of what we do go unnoticed and that is our strength results.

So I would like to share McKenzie Strait’s story of her Strength Transformation.

From Ripped in 42 to Canadian National Power Lifting Champion, Record Holder & now competing for Team Canada in Finland in June.

I started my journey at Heavyweights on May 6th, 2014 with the Ripped in 42 program at the age of 16. After finishing a long season of basketball, I wanted to get leaner so I could run better and keep up my strength until the new season started.

After I finished Ripped, I continued with Built in 28 a few weeks later.. In the program we learned more about lifting, and I really didn’t like it.. at all. I couldn’t lift as heavy or well as the other people, and I didn’t think that it was for me.


A few weeks later I started personal training with my coach Jill, and my main goals there were to prepare for basketball, because I knew if I wanted to make the team, I had to get my fitness up.. And after a few sessions it really didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

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One session at the end of August, it wasn’t going well at all, so Jill asked me if I wanted to try lifting.. I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere with it, but I agreed to try.. and that’s where I got hooked. After a few sessions of lifting, Jill told me she wanted me to compete in the meet that was approaching in October, which was only 6 weeks later.. So I trained, and I started training hard to prepare for the meet.. I basically put my whole attention on lifting and gave up what I thought was my true passion, basketball.

On October 18th, the day of the meet, I knew my numbers were close to what I needed to qualify for nationals, but I honestly thought after only 6 weeks of training, there was absolutely no way that it would happen.. I ended up not only coming in 2nd, but I did qualify for nationals.. It was the most amazing experience of my life and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

I soon found out there was another meet in January, so I got my application in and started training again.. This meet was completely different, as I already had one under my belt, and I had entered this meet with the numbers to beat records.. And it did just that.. Not only did I come in 1st, but I broke 3 provincial records and made 3 unofficial national records.

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Training for nationals started not long after.. but I ran into a bit of trouble. Somehow as I was squatting in one training session, I managed to injure my hip.. At first I was told it was my sartorius and hamstring, to later find out it was actually my hip adductors and my hip flexors. My physiotherapist didn’t want me to lift, little yet compete, and I was told that if I were to continue lifting, I could possibly pop a disk in my back..

This news did not come easily, so I upped my physio, and started getting massage therapy.. anything to make my hip better. But that’s where I ran into another problem, my hip wasn’t getting any better because I was constantly in the gym training.. At the point I couldn’t squat more than 90lbs, and I couldn’t deadlift without blocks.. It got to the point where I was told by my coaches that I either had to take a bit of time away from the gym or that I wasn’t going to be able to compete because they couldn’t have me getting hurt any worse.. I didn’t really like that idea either, so we compromised and we decided on a de-load week and more rest days, which ended up being exactly what I needed.. and as my training started coming together the right way, I gained my strength back.

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The day of nationals came sooner than later, and it was probably the best day of my life.. I had no competition, so all I had to do was get my numbers.. I hit 7/9 of my lifts.. I broke the national squat record on my second lift with 100.5kg, and then broke my own on my third with 115kg. I also opened with a national deadlift record, 120.5kg and then broke it on my second with 127.6kg. It came down to my last lift of the day, and my coach Rob asked me if I wanted to stay safe, or go bigger.. to which my response was “go big or go home”. I had nothing to prove, I already had broken the record twice, but I didn’t want to end the day by playing it safe. I went out and there broke my last record on my third with a lift of 137.5kg.. I also broke the national total record with my lifts totaling 292.5kg.


McKenzie Strait Deadlift: 137.5kg National Record

Posted by Robert King on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

McKenzie Strait – Squat: 115kgBreaking the Canadian Squat Record

Posted by Robert King on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

After only 6 months of training and encountering injuries, not only did I break both provincial and national records, I came in 1st in my first national level competition, and I qualified to go to Salo, Finland as a part of Team Canada to attend the 2015 World Classic Powerlifting Championships at the age of 17.




This time last year I certainly did not see this as being my life. I probably would have laughed if you told me that I’d be a national record holder and now on my way to Finland.. but I am, and I owe mostly all of my success to my coaches Jill, Rob, Danielle, and my powerlifting group for believing in me and being my support through this whole journey.. I am certainly glad to be a part of team Heavyweights, the support from everyone at that gym is amazing and I’m proud to be able to call myself a part of it.

I can’t wait to see where I am this time next year!


If you live in St. John’s or surrounding areas and want to start YOUR Transformation click HERE to get more info.

Want to become a HW Body Transformation or HW Strength Transformation?  Click HERE to get more info on the HW Nation and Coaching With Rob no matter where you live.

If you enjoyed this blog post and want to “Raise The Bar” on your training & results check out The HeavyWeights Nation where you get ALL my programs, coaching from me and much more.


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