Several Shoalhaven powerlifters have seen their efforts in the gym rewarded, setting a number of records at the national level as they eye their next challenge internationally.
Kristian Arcus, Zeke Mcauslin and Linda Rose-James all train locally at Dynamis Strength in Nowra, under the guise of coach Manny Tsiolakis.
Arcus secured three national records from his performance, squatting 227.5kg, benching 122.5kg and deadlifting 235kg for a record total of 585kg at 72kg bodyweight.
This performance by Arcus was made even more impressive, with him coming down with a bad case of COVID-19 and later on bronchitis and a chest infection only three weeks out, which impacted his training, weight and energy leading into the comp.
“He barely even trained coming into the comp and we were all worried about him,” Tsiolakis said.
“I think adrenaline took over and he had a job to do and he got it done.”
James, like Arcus, also performed exceptionally in all three of her lifts. She broke a total of four national records, while coming into the competition in a deficit and far from full strength according to Tsiolakis.
James opened the competition with a 115kg squat, following that lift up with a 82.5kg bench and finally a 170kg deadlift.
This brought her to a total of 367.5, the second highest total all-time for the masters category.
“She just seems to be breaking a record every time she steps on the platform,” Tsiolakis said.
“We all call her our gym mum and she just continues to smash it.”
Lastly 17-year-old Mcauslin secured himself a top 10 finish in the competition. He jumped to 205kg for his squat, benched 120kg and pulled 225kg for his deadlift, rounding to a total of 550kg.
“We couldn’t be prouder of Zeke the freak,” Tsiolakis said.
“I honestly forget sometimes how young he is and he’s already a top 10 all-time Australian.”
Dynamis Strength currently have nine national record holders coming through the gym.
Tsiolakis, when asked about why the gym consistently produces top athletes, said it comes down to the dedication he provides to his clients and the family atmosphere of the gym.
“The training, programming and protocols we use definitely show that we get results and that we are on to the right thing,” he said.
“I’m there with them every step of the way, I travel interstate with them and soon it’ll be to other countries. I’m there to support them and also hold them accountable so they can get the most out of their training.
“I’ll spend hours putting together each client’s programme, just to make it perfect from nutrition to training to everything just so it’s all laid out and easy for them.
“I think what really sets us apart is the community aspect.
“We train as a team, we compete as a team, we have team training sessions every week and that really helps to keep guys accountable, it’s all about supporting one another.”
Dynamis Strength isn’t just about the elite of the elite athletes either, with Tsiolakis saying it really is a gym for everyone no matter your strength, experience or goals.
“Everyone is treated the same, we are one, it doesn’t matter if you are lifting 10kg or 110kg, you’ll get the exact same attention and coaching,” he said.
The team will now be taking on international competition following their national performance as they will fly to the United Kingdom later this year to compete against the best from around the world.
By Sam Baker, this article was published in the South Coast Register on 1st June 2023.