Don Lovell tends to stand out at weightlifting competitions.
“There’s not so many people that are 145 pounds who are weightlifting. When I stand in a group, I don’t look like the weightlifter,” said the 64-year-old Saanich man.
But Lovell’s stature is the only thing that makes him stand out, it’s also his technique that’s brought him numerous championships along with provincial, national and North American lift records.
“My best lift is the deadlift and I have the national record at 183 kilos [403 pounds],” said Lovell, adding he holds the record for both Masters 3 (age 60 to 69) as well as Masters 2 (50 to 59) for the under 66-kilo weight class.
“I say my advantage is that I’m light.”
Lovell hopes to use that advantage when he competes at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships, Dec. 1 to 6 at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Lovell will be competing Dec. 3 and 5 in the squat, bench and deadlift categories at the Commonwealth Championships that will feature more than 550 competitors from 15 nations.
“This is the largest power lifting event ever held in Canada.”
Lovell has been active in the sport since 2008, seeing it gain in popularity as a result of the cross-fit training aspect.
“I did a lot of martial arts and biking. I had a knee injury from martial arts and I got into weightlifting to help strengthen joints and for recovery,” he said.
Lovell credits his instructor Rick Fayad for his success in the sport, and encouraging him and his wife Charmaine to take part in their first competition back in 2008.
“Back in 2008 when [Charmaine] lifted, she was the only woman who competed at that event. Now the sport has really taken off with cross-fit and they regularly have 20 or more women lifters.”
Lovell said he enjoys the individual aspect of the sport and the friendly competition and support you receive from other lifters.
“Because you can see improvement, it keeps you going back to the gym,” he said. “It’s an exercise that can be done throughout your lifetime.”
And Lovell has no intention of giving up the sport anytime soon, pointing out there is a Masters 4 category for ages 70 and above.
“I’d like to [eventually compete in the Masters 4 category]. There’s more records to try and set,” Lovell says with a laugh.