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WCAX TV-3 News Coverage of Masters Nationals April 3, 2011
Vermont a Powerifting Mecca!
Burlington, Vermont - April 3, 2011
Putting their strength to the test, a group of athletes gathered Sunday for a power lifting competition at the Burlington YMCA.
Shannon Wisdom sort of stands out in the traditionally male-dominated world of power lifting. "I saw results really, really fast and I've been doing it now for seven years," Wisdom said. After having her second child, she realized she needed to get back into shape and she chose power lifting to do it. "Your mostly competing against yourself so you don't need to be intimidated by some guy lifting 450 lbs."
And there was no shortage of heavy lifters at the Masters Nationals in Burlington Sunday. "It is a world sanctioned power lifting competition from a 100-percent raw lifting federation out of North Carolina," said Bret Kernoff, the events organizer.
There are four different areas of competition -- squats, bench press, dead lift and strict curl. Sixty-six year old William Farrell beat the world record in dead lift for his age and weight bracket. "The total record was 830 lbs. for the free lift and I totaled 838 lbs. so I broke it by 8 lbs.," Farrell said.
When he's not lifting, Farrell practices psychology in Burlington. He started power lifting only a year and a half ago and already has won the World Championship in Las Vegas. "One of the main things is trying not get injured, especially when you're older," he said.
"World records have been shattered. There have been people that have beat them by a lot of weight," Kernoff said.
Only half way through the competition, already 20 world records have been broken and apparently that's not as unusual as you might think it is for Vermonters. "If you check the world records, Vermonters have more than their per capita share. We've got a lot of strong people up here in power lifting," Kernoff said.
"I actually already have the state record and some world records in my weight class," Wisdom said.
With several power lifting teams and trainers here, Vermonters were also beating world records they already had set themselves -- including one 82 year-old lifter. "If they're the current world record holder, they can lift more and make it harder for someone else to lift theirs," Kernoff said.
And there's no being intimidated here -- even a nine year old girl was making people look twice. "Even being here with all the men -- not a big deal because they're pretty encouraging," Wisdom said.
The results are great. Anytime you have a meet and everybody walks away from the competition without getting hurt - it's a good day," Kernoff said.