Barbell strength competition showdown at the Athletics and Recreation Centre

“It’s cool see people push themselves to the max,” said a competitor at the event
Some of the deadlift competitors at the March 22 event gather for a group shot. "I just want to have fun and see where other people are," said a competitor before the event. "Encourage and support others.”

A strength competition was held on March 22 in the varsity gymnasium at the Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre to find out who is strongest among Algonquin College students.

Participants for the event had to be Algonquin College students or active ARC members to compete. There was a total of 32 competitors competing in the event.

“Today, I wanted to compete to represent my culture and people from India as an international student,” said Divyansh Sharma, an Algonquin College student and one of the competitors. “We’re all going through tough times and I wanted to inspire strength for myself and others.”

Each participant was given three chances at performing their one rep max for the judges. The lifts for the competition were bench, squat, and deadlift.

There was a $15 fee per lift, or to do all three, a $45 fee.

The participants were either doing all three lifts, or one and two. All competitors were judged based off the weight they could move with a full range of motion.

Competitor squatting while staff spot him.
Abhishek Chana competes in the squatting event while a staff spots him. Here he's lifting his PR of 200lbs.

Before the competitors moved onto lifting their one rep max, they each weighed their body weight so the judges could calculate how much the person lifted.

“I’m hoping to win or get at least third place,” said Lacy Matondo, an international business student competing in the bench and deadlift competition. “If not, I just want to have fun and see where other people are. Encourage and support others.”

The winners for the men’s bench competition were Max Parker, an Algonquin College student, in first place. Second place was a tie between students Divyansh Sharma and Max Mitchell. Third place was earned by Lacy Matondo.

The women’s bench competition winners were Faiza Faucher-Ahmed in first place, a fitness and health student. Second place was Chloe Pearson, an animation student. Third was Khloe Brule, a pre-health student.

“It’s cool see people push themselves to the max,” said Nodin Hiltz-Andre, a film and media production student.

That was not all for the day. After the bench press competition was over, the squat competition began.

The winners for the men’s squat competition were Max Mitchell in first place, a business marketing student. Students Abhishek Chana landed in second place and Jing-An Chen came in third place.

The winners for the women’s squat competition were students Khloe Brule in first place and Faiza Faucher-Ahmed in second place. Finally Stephanie Spencer, a paralegal student, came in third place.

“It takes weeks of preparations but this is kind of like last minute for fun,” said Spencer. “I’d like to place top three and show I am one of the strongest people on campus.”

For the the final performance of the event, the deadlift competition was underway.

The winners for the men’s deadlift competition were Divyansh Sharma at first place, Patrick Bordeleau-Kelly in second place and Dean Matthew Cruz in third place. Cruz is an Algonquin College film and media production student.

The winners for the women’s deadlift competition were Brena Irvine, an active ARC member, at first place, Stephanie Spencer in second place and finally, Olivia Bagshaw in third place. Bagshaw is an early childhood education student.

The winners for the competition received a t-shirt by the ARC team.

“For any woman who’d be reading this, just we know we belong in the gym,” said Spencer. “Don’t be afraid, especially if you’re not lifitng the weight others are. Just have fun and show what you can do.”

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