Last weekend’s Waikato Bay of Plenty Power Lifting Championships saw two local powerlifters come away with top results in their divisions, and the medals to prove it.
Doug McWatters, 38, and Josh Manuel, 41, who both train under local sporting legend Doug Mienie, finished up the competition in Tauranga on April 28 with personal bests, and first place spots in the open men’s division and the M1 division (40 – 49-year-old masters).
It was the first regional competition for the pair, Doug having started training in October and Josh in December, at the Cambridge Fitness Centre. They credit their success so far to the expertise and guidance of coach Doug, who was rapt with their results.
“They both did really well,” said Doug, “I’m very pleased with their progress, and their ability to stick to the programme that I’ve set for them, every weight I’ve written down, they do it. The dedication they’ve put into it is really good.”
If it weren’t for a minor technicality called by the judges, Doug McWatters would have beat the total lift record for his division, for the Waikato/BOP region. “I’m still very happy with getting the overall first,” said Doug, who would have set the new record at 603 kgs – a total of the three main lifts, squat, bench press and deadlift, the latter of which he did lift, at 263 kgs, but was failed in completing proper technique. Luckily, competitors always get three attempts at each lift, and he settled with 245 kg.
“I was just pleased to see him get it up there,” said coach Doug. “He’s quite capable of it.”
Doug also lifted 200 kg in the squat, and 132.5 kg on the bench, for a total of 577.5 kg. “Every competition, you learn,” he said.
Josh pulled off a total of 482.5 kg, with a 160 kg squat, 160 kg lift, and 117.5 kg bench press.
“It’s a good learning experience,” Josh said. “I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made, I don’t feel like I’m at my top level yet, but I’ve only been doing it for six months… I’ve taken a bit of a good liking to it, and these two are awesome.”
The three men train four times a week at the Cambridge Fitness Centre, where the two Dougs originally roped Josh into training with them.
“It’s the friendship, and the comradery, with coach and Josh,” Doug McWatters said, talking about why he likes powerlifting. “And the challenge as well,” added Josh. “It’s just you and that bar, there’s nothing else.”
“That weight doesn’t change,” said coach Doug. “100k today is 100k tomorrow, it’s constant, it’s only you that alters.”