Iron Men & Women Unite

Jamie Heap
Published on August 3, 2013
Members of the Fredericton, NB Elite X Power Lifting Club (including trainer Thom Lamb, second from left and Ashley Drost, far right) pose for a picture prior to the beginning of the Ironman Pro/Am competition Saturday at the Amherst Wandlyn. All four will be traveling to Prague, Czech Republic this November to compete at Worlds against 100 other power lifters from across the globe.
Jamie Heap-The Amherst News

Canadian Power Lifters Converge on Amherst.

AMHERST- Approximately 20 competitors of both genders competed in the CPF Amherst Powerlifting Club Ironman Classic Pro/Am Saturday at the Wandlyn. In keeping with the spirit of Ironman/Ironwoman competition, only bench press and deadlift attempts were made. No squatting took place.

 Following a brief explanation of the rules by Meet Director Nathan Robertson, the 20 or so power lifters in attendance prepared for their lifts.

 “I’m pretty excited about it,” exclaimed Amherst power lifter Chelsea Cluett as she concluded some band and stretching warm-up exercises.“I’m looking forward to setting some new personal records.” Cluett proceeded to lift the bar.

 “I just lift the bar without any weight on it before I compete so that I don’t lift too much, too soon,” she explained. “I don’t want to strain anything.”

 One female lifter who wasn’t worried about straining anything was Red Deer, Alberta’s Liane Sabourn who planned on benching and deadlifting 400 pounds, benchmarks she set this past May in Calgary at Nationals/Westerns.

 “I would like to thank Nathan Robertson for inviting me to compete.”

 In addition to physical preparation, power lifter Greg McCleary, a 7-year veteran from Moncton, New Brunswick who was competing Saturday in the 125 KG weight class, says that diet is equally important to his success.

 “I eat a lot of meat, anything that is high in protein, including good fat from eggs, fish and beef,” stated McCleary who planned on setting some records.

 While eating healthy and training hard are acceptable ways of enhancing one’s performance, performance enhancing drugs  (PEDs) are not. In accordance with amateur drug testing policies, two out of the 20 competitors (10%) were to be randomly tested on Saturday to ensure compliance.

The goals of Cluett, Sabourn and McLeary notwithstanding, 3 female power lifters from the Fredericton, New Brunswick’s Elite X powerlifting club have even loftier goals-competing at Worlds this November in Prague, Czech Republic against 100 other power lifters from around the globe.

One of these female power lifters was Ashley Drost who was competing Saturday in the 45 KG weight class. “They’re probably all going to break national records here today,” stated their trainer Thom Lamb. “It’s almost ridiculous how much weight Ashley can lift,” said Lamb. “She can pull two times her body weight. You would never know it to look at her,” he added.

 In about three years from now, all of three of these women will be on cereal boxes,” he joked. Maybe not, but female power lifters such as Drost and Cluett proves that you don’t have to be physically big in order to be strong.

Results were not available as of press time.  Visit for results as they become available or pick up the Friday, August 9, 2013 edition of The Amherst News for more