Billy Buhler had his ups and downs at the 2019 Canadian Powerlifting Union Championship in Ottawa.
The Parksville athlete said he is still happy overall with his performance, as he was able to set several personal bests and will now get an opportunity to compete in a world championships event.
“The thing about powerlifting is you can only do as good as you can do, you can only worry about what is in your control — attitude and effort,” said Buhler.
It was a challenging championships for Buhler as he entered two separate competitions in one day. It’s a feat not very many competitive powerlifters would attempt. He took part in unequipped powerlifting and then later in the equipped competition.
The 20-year-old former Ballenas Secondary student was aiming to place in the junior division in the raw event. He said he fell short of his total objective and finished sixth overall. But he did draw the attention of his rivals as he rewrote his previous marks in all his lifts. He posted a total of 690 kilograms (1,521 pounds) which is a personal best as he raised his record by 45 kg (99 pounds). He squatted 272.5 kg (600 pounds) to shatter his previous best by 17.5 kg (39 pounds). He benched 137.5 kg (303 pounds) and improved his old mark by 2.5 kg (six pounds).
“I think 700 kilos could have been there,” said Buhler. “Some technical command issues on my first bench press attempt happened so I retook the same weight for my second and then went up 7.5 kilos for a small PB and smoked my third. If I can stack another 12.5-15 kilos ,I’ll be dangerous to the other 120 kg juniors because my squat and my deadlift hang with anyone in 120 kg juniors in Canada. It’s just my bench that’s holding me back so I’m going to work really hard on that this off-season.”
In equipped lifting, Buhler’s result was a lot more positive. In this form of powerlifting, participants wear a squat suit, knee wraps, a bench shirt and a deadlift suit. These four things are what separate equipped lifters and raw lifters.
Buhler lifted a total of 800 kg (1,764 pounds) by way of a 317 kg (7oo pounds) squat where he bettered his personal record by 42.5 kg (94 pounds); benched 202.5 kg (446 pounds) to improve his previous mark by 15.5 kg (35 pounds), and had a deadlift of 280 kg (617 pounds) which is 25 kg (15 pounds) more than his old record. His impressive results landed Buhler a first-place finish and earned him a trip to the World Championships as Canada’s equipped 120 kg junior power lifter.
“To be honest I didn’t know how things would go but I believed in my training and my preparation for this contest and my coach believed in me,” said Buhler. “Avi Silverberg is an absolute stud of a game-day coach. We did something no one does in competing twice in one day. Not to toot my own horn but I made it look damn good. I placed first in that class and punched my ticket to worlds.”
Buhler plans to continue improving his lifting skills. He is determined to be the best.
“I’ve done a lot of reflecting and talked to my coach about it,” said Buhler. “We’re just going to keep working. Some people said to me after this ‘wow you’ve reached the top of your mountain’ and I appreciate their kind words. But that is untrue, this is just base camp. I’m going to be around in this sport for a long time and I wanna go down as one of the greats in Canada and represent Canada on the world stage, in the juniors, open and masters categories. I love this sport and it has done a lot for me. I’m very grateful for that.”
Buhler is back working out at Bodyworks Fitness, one of his big supporters He’s thankful for all the help he is getting in his quest for excellence in powerlifting.