Quesnel’s strongest couple will take home some brass from Chicago this weekend after winning their divisions at a powerlifting competition.
Anthony Faggiani and Shalynn McCauley both won first-place medals from the World Powerlifting Congress Can/Am Championships on Saturday (Oct. 26).
Faggiani took part in a bench press-only contest, deciding to forgo the deadlifting and squats he would often compete in too.
He was still feeling a little banged up after his last meet in Orlando this August and did not want to risk injury.
While being cautious, he still managed to accomplish an incredible personal best, going three-for-three on his lifts in the 330 pound weight class and hoisting an astonishing 600 lbs while wearing a multi-ply bench press shirt.
“I’ve come close to that in similar exercises with shorter range of motion, but that was a record for me, which was the goal when coming here,” Faggiani says.
The strongman was able to get some assistance from a powerlifting legend.
“So my other coach was supposed to be my hand-off guy, but he hurt his knee squatting at the meet so he wasn’t able to lift off,” Faggiani says.
In a bit of a pickle, he scanned the room looking for the biggest guy he could find, and his gaze alighted on Daniel Bell, who Faggiani says is probably the fourth-strongest human who has ever lived.
“I went and talked to him and asked him if he could do the hand-off for me, so he helped me out and hyped me up when I was ready to go.
“I’m a pretty big guy and he made me look pretty small, so it was definitely different,” Faggiani says, chuckling.
Even though McCauley won her events, which included all three powerlifting disciplines, the meet did not go exactly as planned.
“She’s not as pleased with her meet,” says Faggiani.
McCauley -who has lost 32 pounds since her last meet – tried to cut some water weight to get into a lower weight class in order to put up some big numbers for the class, but as it was her first time, it was quite difficult for her and she was unable to cut quite enough.
“She was a bit dehydrated and depleted and had to compete in the heavier weight class anyway,” says Faggiani.
While it was very uncomfortable, she did very well in the 207-pound class and went eight-for-nine on her lifts to squeeze out first place.
She squatted 330 lbs, benched 165.7 lbs and deadlifted 326 lbs.
The couple is planning to take it relatively easy for the next couple months.
“We’ve had a busy year, so we’ve got an off-season now,” says Faggiani. “We’ll just get back into the swing of things and most likely compete in Prince George in spring. [We’ll] still train hard but heal up a little bit.”