Shalynn McCauley and Anthony Faggiani continue to set the bar high by smashing their own national World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) records at the 2019 USA Powerlifting Oregon State Championships in Portland on March 30.
McCauley competed in the open 220-pound women’s weight class, which allows competitors who weigh between 198 and 220 pounds.
“We were both eligible for records,” she says, noting they got four chances at it. “You pick an opener that you know you’re going to get, so you get in the competition, and then you go up from there.”
McCauley set a Canadian national WADBL bench record of 160 lbs, improving upon her past mark of 156.4 lbs, as well as a deadlift record of 341 lbs, which was five pounds more that she had lifted in her last record-setting attempt.
The competition is won based on the overall total, which in this instance was 501 lbs, good enough for first place in her weight class.
Faggiani was not to be outdone by his partner, putting up some mammoth weights of his own.
He competed in the 308 lb geared single ply division.
For the event, the local lifter was allowed to use some lifting implements, including a deadlift suit and a bench shirt, which helped him safely hoist masses of plates that would crush a medium-sized family.
His bench press for the meet was 523 lbs, improving upon his 2018 mark by a staggering 59 lbs. For deadlift, Faggiani hit the 600 lb mark, which beat last year’s mark of 573 lbs.
“It was a really good experience,” he says. “My bench press was a little bit of a far shot kind of thing. I was hoping for it and thought it was a long-shot reasonable number, but I was happy with it.”
The nice round number on the deadlift seemed to really please him.
“That 600-pound deadlift,” he says, before pausing, “I’ve been chasing it for a year, so it was good to finally get it in competition.”
Since the last time they were in Oregon, the pair have become a couple, moving into a home together in Quesnel and helping each other achieve their goals.
“There’s a lot of tough love because it take a lot of dedication every day to eating and training,” says McCauley, who is in charge of nutrition for the couple.
“Going to the gym is the easy part,” she adds. “It’s everything that comes along with that, like getting enough sleep and eating right.
“I spend a few hours each week meal prepping for us.”
The pair hired a coach/trainer from Xconditioning, a gym in Prince George, who helps them with their workout programming. They split there time between there, TNT Nitro Fitness in Quesnel and a home gym they have put together in the shop on their property.
Faggiani says the volume has increased severely over the past year.
“We’re still training four to five days a week, but some days we’re in the gym for up to three hours.”
Living with a partner who competes in the same sport helps monumentally, but it is still a relationship, so there has to be some give and take.
“There’s a fine line there whether you’re acting as a training partner or as a boyfriend, and I think there’s a time and place for both, but it definitely helps having someone involved who understands what it takes,” says Faggiani
“As much as there are people around you while you’re doing it, it is a selfish sport. Your life revolves around it.
“Whether it’s eating, training or recovery, one of those three things is always on my mind.”
The next major challenge for the couple will be the Amateur World Powerlifting Congress’s (AWPC) Worlds in Orlando, Florida, in August.
They hope to continue to grow together and put Quesnel on the map by setting more records against some of the top lifters from around the globe.