Ed the builder sets national record

Parksville senior sets new national record after a lifetime of preparation weightlifting

Parksville's Ed Fergusson is home after setting a new national weightlifting record.

You can chalk up another weightlifting record for Oceanside’s Ed Fergusson, this one of the national variety, and a first to boot.

Fergusson, who turns 78 June 26, established new Canadian records in the M75 (for men 75-79) 94kg weight category, then raised the bar a few weeks later.

Fergusson’s journey started with the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Champions in Scarborough, Ont. April 27 where he set a new overall record in his division with a combined score of 110kg, which came by way of records in the snatch (48kg) and clean and jerk (62kg).

There was no previous record, as it is the first time anyone that old has lifted that much in that weight division at the nationals.

“I had to gain about seven pounds,” the easy going senior said of his run at the new Canadian records, and confirmed “it was harder than I though it would be. I had to do a lot of high repetition squats to build the muscle size in my legs.”

Fergusson and his wife Brenda left for Ontario April 22 and made a vacation  of it, staying with family and friends, only returning home this month.

Asked how long he prepared for the Canadian’s, Fergusson paused, and said “all my life I guess, I mean I’ve been training (for weightlifting) for what, 50 years come September.”

On the May Long weekend, Fergusson, who is also a certified Level 2 international referee, was back in his old stomping grounds in Edmonton officiating at the Canadian Weightlifting Championships.

The following weekend on May 25 he returned to the same venue (the Saville Community Sports Centre at University of Alberta) for the Alberta Open, where he bettered his record in the M75 94kg clean and jerk by three kilos with a lift of 65kg.

Fergusson was raised in Saskatchewan but spent 37 years as a carpentry teacher in Edmonton where he started the Edmonton High School Power Lifting Championships in 1963, which are still held annually.

An accomplished lifter, mentor and coach, Fergusson entered his first competition in 1972, and that same year helped form the Alberta Weightlifting Association.

Back on home court so to speak, after  living there for 51 years there were lots of family, friends and former students on hand cheering him on.

“Oh for sure,” he chuckled when asked if the cheering section spurred him on. “It all helps, and when there’s someone you’ve taught in the past and they’re out there yelling ‘come on ‘ Ferg you can do it, it’s kind’a neat, it puts a little pressure on to actually do it.”

The other records he holds — the two individuals and the overall — are B.C. Masters’ records in the M75 85kg category.

He also held the M75 Canadian Masters record in the 85kg category for two years.

Fergusson’s typical training regime has him working out at Jim’s Gym in Parksville three times a week, and down the road at Nanaimo CrossFit two evenings a week. All this, and he also still does quality carpentry work on the side.

“Satisfaction, of course,” he answered when asked how it felt to accomplish his goal and secure a spot in the record book, “and happy with the results of all that hard work. It pushed me, no question.”


Fergusson’s next competition is the 41st annual SeaFest Open in White Rock at the end of the month, an event to which he said he will be bringing three understudies.

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