For a city with a population a hair above 12,000, it is of note that two of Canada’s strongest people hail from Quesnel.
Shalynn McCauley and Anthony Faggiani both set national World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) powerlifting records at an event in Portland, Oregon on March 10.
McCauley, who is from Quesnel but now lives in Williams Lake, set a junior raw (no compression gear or lifting aids) Canadian bench press record by pushing up 156.4 lbs and a junior raw Canadian deadlift award by lifting 336 lbs. When added together, she also set a push/pull record for her class (Junior 220 lbs) of 492.4 lbs.
These incredible results are made even more impressive upon hearing that McCauley achieved them with less than a year of training.
“I started going to the gym last September for weight loss,” McCauley says.
“I hired a personal trainer because I knew nothing about the gym and through training with him I discovered I had certain strength talents. So we started gearing my training towards more strength-based movements.”
It wasn’t long before she made contact with Blair Fisher, a local powerlifting coach, and started training with Faggiani on a regular basis.
“I think that having a like-minded and positive training partner is extremely important,” she says.
“Anthony has taught me so much about the sport, and his strength is extremely inspiring. Sometimes you need someone to push you to go to the gym and get the work done on days when you can’t push yourself.”
Faggiani also set WABDL Canadian records for bench geared single ply and deadlift geared single ply with weights of 464 lbs and 573 lbs respectively. Unlike McCauley, he had to use some lifting implements to safely hoist the whopping mass of plates.
Although he ordinarily competes at 275 lbs, for this meet he did not want to cut weight while travelling, so he set his records at the 308 lbs class.
Both competitors have to watch their diets closely to ensure they are well fueled for training days.
McCauley tries to stick to a raw, whole foods diet where she avoids all processed food. When gearing up for a competition she uses a high carb, moderate fat, moderate protein diet but in the off season, she cuts down on the carbs a bit. Throughout, she counts macros to stay on track but, in order to stay sane, will treat herself with a cheat meal from time to time.
For both Faggiani and McCauley, doughnuts are a favourite.
Although there are a few powerlifting events coming up in the next few months that they plan on competing in, both lifters have their sights set on the WABDL world championships being held in Las Vegas this November.
For those who might have an interest in getting involved, Faggiani has some advice.
“Get into it and compete,” he says.
“A lot of people want to be able to lift ‘x’ amount of weight before they compete. I was the same way untill I got talked into competing. And it was the best thing I’ve ever done. The things I’ve learned and the people I have met along the way who have helped me get stronger are priceless.”