Blog Page

The 2016 West Australian Powerlifting Association (WAPA) season started with a huge roar at the inaugural Hulk Smash Deadlift Competition on Saturday 6th of February courtesy of hosts Heavy Duty Gym in Clarkson.

With the sweltering heat this time of year it was decided to run the meet as a twilight concept with the view that the cooler temperature and a later start time for those that worked earlier in the day, would prove more convenient for both spectators and athletes.

On reflection it was definitely the right call with 32 competitors and approximately 100 vocal spectators enjoying the platform performances.

Apart from an initial technical hitch the competition ran without incident and with emcees Adam Coe and Henry Day calling the action and “revving” the crowd the Hulk Smash proved to be just that – a smashing success.

To add another layer to this event, the WAPA in accordance with its stated objective, to honour past greats and major contributors to our sports history, honoured both Joe MacGowan and Linda Miller with the naming of the Men’s and women’s perpetual trophies designed especially for this event.

The competitors were divided into two flights; all women divisions and men up to and including 90kg and all Men 100kg and above.

It’s hard to highlight and to single out individual performances as there were so many Personal Bests (PBs) hit on the day to the point I wouldn’t be surprised if probably 28 of the 32 lifters did hit PBs.


The women’s section saw a line-up of seven take the platform and it was great to see Fatima DeLane back on the platform after her debut at the 2015 Deadliest Deadlift last December. She has such a positive attitude and embodies everything that is great about resistance training.  Fatima rounded off her day with a comfortable 117.5kg leaving a bit in the tank for her next outing.

Michelle Stone was the first of the Heavy Duty brigade to hit the platform and returned 115kg for her efforts. This was Michelle’s first comp along with her husband Gregg.  It’s always great to see family involvement in this sport and as I’ve heard somewhere “The family that trains together stays together”.  Well done to both of you in making solid starts to your powerlifting careers.

It was good to see reward for consistency when Nicola Ros hit a final PB of 120kg – her work ethic has been on point and I’m looking forward to seeing what she will unleash on her first 3 lift comp this year.

56kg Michcell Sloan also making her debut showed plenty of heart with solid lifts of 90kg and 100kg before falling a little short on 110kg. Looking at the way her 100kg lift flew up she definitely has 105kg in the tank and I’m sure with her work ethic we will be seeing these figures bump up quite rapidly in the coming months.

Heavy Duty’s Justine Fuentis took 3rd place honours with a solid lift of 112kg weighing in at 59kg.  It was good to see her finally make it on to the platform after sustaining a broken arm in her lead up to the 2015 Sons of Odin comp last August.  With a little more experience to match here desire under her belt we are going to see Justine hit some big numbers in the not too distant future.

There is quite a bit of potential here and it will be interesting to see what Marilyn will be unleashing at the WAPA States come May.

PT trainer Marilyn Tuna made a stunning debut going 4 from 4 and finishing with a solid PB of 142.5kg at 73.7kg body weight putting her in second place. There is quite a bit of potential here and it will be interesting to see what Marilyn will be unleashing at the WAPA States come May.

And the winner is….. Shaahni Carter. Standing close to 6ft and at Body weight of 81.3kg Shaahni pulled the biggest female lift of the day with a very controlled 155kg.  Each comp that Shaahni has competed at over the last 12months she has increased her lifts little by little and is starting to look pretty formidable as we head towards the WAPA State Titles.

In winning the women’s division Shaahni became the first recipient of the Linda Miller perpetual trophy – a great honour indeed.


With 25 lifters in the field there’s not enough ink in china to report on everyone and apologies upfront for not covering everyone.

That said a few lifters caught the eye; Peter Fletcher was one, pulling a mammoth 170kg PB on debut was special. Peter grew with confidence with each lift and going 4 out of 4 capped a great first up appearance on the platform.

Erwin Abdul Lalip representing Wanneroo Health and Fitness had a nice introduction to the sport finishing with a solid 215kg and looks set to do well in this sport. It was great seeing a few of his team mates and seasoned competitors from Wanneroo Health and Fitness supporting Erwin on the day. Hopefully we will be seeing a few of them filter back on to the platform in 2016 as this gym has had a long association with the sport in West Australia.

Muscle Pit trio of Rob Joyner, Nestor Basilio and Aaron Thrumble all hit P.Bs and I feel all had a little more in the tank. Rob just failing with a technical late hitch on his final lift of 272.5kg and Nestor just missing his 230kg final attempt after pulling what looked like an easy 225kg.  No doubt both these lifters will be making amends at their next outing.  A big congrats thou must go to Aaron for finally hitting the 272.5kg (or 600lb) mark and in the process laying to rest any demons from his last outing in Clarkson when he did the hard work getting the bar up and due to poor training habits purposely dropped the bar on the way down to be denied the lift.

Nathan Searle and Dan Bianca representing Heavy Duty Gym made their presence felt in the early rounds with solid lifts of 275kg and 250kg respectively. Both had trouble on their 3rds which was quite surprising after the ease the previous lifts had been done.  Despite the third round misses they finished 4th and 5th respectively.  I’m sure both lifters will be determined to rectify the situation by the time May’s State Championships come around and I’m predicting both to figure prominently at this year’s event.

Joe MacGowan’s young protégé Richard Cooke entered this event at the last minute when he found out that Joe was being honoured with the naming of the perpetual trophy. Richard pulled a solid opener of 270kg which suggested bigger things to come unfortunately for Richard he fell short twice at his next two attempts of 285kg.  That aside Richard’s progress has been nothing short of substantial since he has come under the tutelage of Joe and I’ll give you the heads up now – Watch this space!!

New comer Ryan Buchanan is going from strength to strength with each comp he participates in. Ryan finished his day with a controlled pull of 240kg and in doing so never missed a lift. His efforts had him voted by the panel of the day as the “most promising” lifter.  Congrats to you Ryan – well done and keep up the good work and attitude.

Now for the big three; Heavy Duty owner Arron Cullimore leading his team had a massive day out, going 4 from 4 with very well selected weight jumps, his final lift of 280kg was right on the money and earnt Arron 3rd place.  I can’t stress enough if any of you are reading this that are keen to give Powerlifting a go and are living in the Northern Suburbs give Arron a call you won’t find a better mentor and coach in the neighbourhood – more important he embodies what he teaches.

Masters GPA World Record Deadlift holder Stephen Ramsay back on the platform after a year’s absence showed he’d lost nothing after his self-imposed hiatus, hoisting a well fought 235kg at a body weight of 72.1kg this equalled his existing world record and set him up for second place. Great to see you back on the platform doing what you do best.

That leads us to the star of this year’s show; Muscle Pit’s Gary McCartan. Gary has had his eye on that magical 300kg mark now for some time and has worked tirelessly towards the goal.  Those that witnessed his hard fought but failed pull at last year’s States will know just how much heart and stubbornness this guy can muster – he must of held on to that lift at sticking point for a good minute before being asked several times to put it down!!

The pull flew off the floor to knee height with such momentum that when it was time to grind Gary had the lift well under control locking it out superbly and to prove a point held it there for a couple of seconds taking in the moment and joining in with the crowd who were ecstatic… sensational!!

Opening up his account with a comfortable 265kg he followed it with a smooth 285kg setting up the opportunity for a 300kg attempt. Setting up on the bar conventionally, and lifting beltless, he set himself before launching into the lift.  The pull flew off the floor to knee height with such momentum that when it was time to grind Gary had the lift well under control locking it out superbly and to prove a point held it there for a couple of seconds taking in the moment and joining in with the crowd who were ecstatic… sensational!!

Gary weighed in at 100.5kg making this a 3 times body weight lift and on formula the best of the day. Gary became the first recipient of the Joe MacGowan Perpetual Trophy and Muscle Pits 10th 300kg Deadlifter.  Congrats Gary on both accounts.


So there you have it the brief roundup of the first Hulk Smash Deadlift Comp.

As usual big thanks to our 2016 WAPA sponsors, Verve Chiropractic, Body Genius, Awesome As, Emerald Ink, Harris Stability Systems, Theroplate Australia, Iron Addiction, Victorious Fitness Supplements and MPS Remedial – While on MPS Remedial it was great to see Jac offering her services to give last minute aches and pains a loosen up before the event started… Thanks Jac!!

Special thanks to Zaid Faydi and Julz Preston for an excellent job on the scorer’s table in initially trying circumstances. Referees Jimmy Ambrose, Geoff “Bear” Barclay and Henning Bach.  Loaders Corey Millar, Scott Lockyer, and Antonio Ferraro.

Finally a massive thanks to Arron Cullimore and the team at Heavy Duty Gym for putting on a fantastic event that made everyone feel welcome.

This is going to a huge year for Powerlifting in this state, WAPA’s next sanctioned meet will be on March 27th for The King of The Bench.

This will see Perth’s biggest benchers in action. The current title holder and 2015 Champ is Nang Van Nguyen – this will be a ripper!! Stay tuned for details….

Cheers Henry

Blog 3 photosPhotos L to R:

Winners Mens Section Gary McCartan

Winners Women Section: Shaahni Carter

Most Promising: Ryan Buchanan