Doing something well is very rewarding but doing it right at the same time places the activity into that special and rare category. It’s a place where Red Deer power lifter Ben Guenther resides at the moment.
The 34 year old recently outlifted seven other men at the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) power lifting championships in Las Vegas and he did it without any laboratory assistance. Clean as a whistle.
“It’s a true strength. It’s not fake by throwing drugs into it,” he said. “You’re relying on drugs to improve help your strength where it’s more of a natural strength.”
He’s been lifting for about four years , training at the Collicutt Centre in the mornings but he started pumping iron years ago as a body builder. He competes in the Canadian Drug Tested Federation, holding all the records for that outfit. Over the years of competition he can’t recall anyone being caught dirty and sent packing.
“A lot of guys don’t try to sneak by. They’ll just go in a different federation,” he said. “If they’re not clean they’ll just find a different federation that doesn’t test.”
He has stepped into competition against other lifters in those very same federations where lifters are on some sort of chemical aid. “I have won in them over the last few years except for last year when I finished second,” he said. “I knew a lot of the guys weren’t clean and so I was pretty happy that even against those guys I was stronger than them.”
He says it sends a very clear message to young lifters coming into the competition.
“It’s all about consistency. You don’t need to take that crap to be strong.”
Standing at five foot seven he tips the scale at 212 pounds when he competes and his build does help him when he lifts. “My physique is different because I train as a body builder.”
He loves the sport as it provides him an avenue in order to push himself to new limits. “What can I do better the next time. It’s more for me to not put limits on myself and I always want to try to beat my last best,” he said. ” If I get a record at the same time then great. I get a bunch of trophies I can show my kids when I’m an old man I guess.”
He can also tell them he got those trophies the right way.
Bench press 350 pounds, squat was 470, dead lift 606 pounds. None are personal bests but he was heads above the competition so on his third lifts in each category he went for records instead. “I knew I had won by my second attempts so my third one I was just trying to see if I could break records but I was sick at the time as well so I think that kind of held me back a little bit.”
Teams from Afghanistan, Mexico, India, the United States, some good competition.