Billy Buhler set a provincial record in his age and weight group and achieved a couple of personal bests in his provincial powerlifting championship debut, held in Surrey recently.
For many, that’s quite an impressive achievement but not for the 18-year-old Parksville powerlifter. That’s because they still weren’t good enough to make him the top powerlifter in his age group in the province.
Buhler ended up finishing second in the 120-kilo junior category with a combined total of 602.5 kilos (1,328.5 lbs). He feels he could have done better.
“Second is the first loser in my opinion,” said Buhler. “I am very competitive. If it’s not first it’s not worth bragging. To everyone it is good and it is something that I should be proud of but if it’s not first then I am not going to be satisfied with it.”
In squat, Buhler lifted 237.5 kilos (523.6 lbs) to shatter his old mark and provincial record of 227.5 kilo (501 lbs). He also bench-pressed 135 kilos (298 lbs) for a personal best. His lift of 137.5 kilos was not counted due to a violation when his buttocks came off the bench while his was lifting.
In the deadlift, Buhler made it to 230 kilos (507 lbs). He went for 237.5 kilos (523.6 lbs) but it was also nullified due to a technicality.
Buhler’s second place finish at the provincials earned him a berth at the Western Canadian Championships in Winnipeg, Sept. 9-10. He has already started focusing on this event and has set lofty targets.
“I plan to take a podium position with a squat of 247.5 kilos (545 lbs), 142.5 kilos (314 lbs) and a deadlift of 255 kilos (562 lbs),” Buhler said. “As long as I can stay injury-free and everything goes according to plan on meet day, I don’t see why I can’t be hitting those numbers.”
Buhler trains four times a week and said that his second-place finish is driving him to really work harder.
In his quest to be the best, Buhler has had some help. He is thankful to his family and friends for their undying support through all his competitions. He also appreciates his coach, Avi Silverberg, who is in Belarus right now coaching team Canada powerlifting at IPF worlds, and Bodyworks owner and sponsor Dale Nagra for providing him the best place to train in Parksville.
“This is just the beginning for me,” said Buhler. “There’s bigger things ahead.”