Xtreme Gyms is pleased to announce that they are the official sponsor for Powerlifter Russell. Russell will be competing towards the ABPU European and World powerlifting titles. Russell joined Xtreme Gyms in March 2017. During that time, he has become one of our most popular members. Even though he trains himself hard, he always finds time to help other members in the gym. Russell embellishes all that the Xtreme ethos represents by competing naturally, working hard, and showing great sportsmanship.
We are sure you will all support Russell this year and help him to win his titles!
Look out for details of the upcoming Powerlifter courses that Russell is planning to run at Xtreme Gyms!
My name is Russell, 28-year-old and I am a powerlifter. I have always had a passion for health, fitness and general sporting activities since a young age. Back in the day I was a snowboarder, but this became less accessible when I went to university. I studied maths and have since pursued a career in education and am now a head of maths in a secondary school.
Back in 2014, my passion for lifting changed and it all became more serious. I was in decent shape but was not particularly strong. However, remaining dedicated I would go to the gym on a regular basis doing chest day, shoulder day, back day, abs day and ‘god knows what else’ day… but rarely a leg day! Even though I worked my arse off, I had hit a plateau. However, I knew I had untapped strength.
I met my strength coach – now my team leader (Phoenix Performance), European and World medalist and a good friend. Initially he scared the hell out of me, he was lifting crazy weights in the gym and appeared to be some form of mythical beast that was shifting weights that I was pretty sure the human body was incapable of doing…
It turns out he is a really nice guy. He opened my eyes to a whole new world to lifting. The team grew and we now compete together at regional and international competitions. One of the things I love about powerlifting is the social aspect of things. When you go to competitions, you meet like-minded people, everybody supports you, and the atmosphere is just immense. It does not matter if you are big, small, male, female, 16 years old or 70 years old; everybody you meet has the same agenda – to lift weights and help others in the process. I owe everything to my team and family who support me every step of the way. In a nutshell, this is the ethos of powerlifting.
My first competition was back in April 2016. I managed to qualify, by the skin of my teeth, for the BPU Euros, which was on home turf that year. BPU is non drug tested and ABPU is drug tested. The qualifying totals for BPU are much higher. The fact that I had managed to qualify for a non-drug tested competition without drugs, was a massive achievement for me.
A year later the cycle restarted. In April 2017, I competed at the South West qualifier in Barnstaple and won a gold medal for my category (ABPU U90kg). I qualified for BPU Euro’s in Finland and went on to win a silver medal. My aim for 2018 is to compete in Folkestone (regional qualifier), qualify for British Nationals (at body power expo) and then onto ABPU Euros or ABPU Worlds. To get to Euros I have to lift above a certain amount and to get to Worlds I have to place top two in my category.
Personally, I have no interest in performance enhancing substances and never will have. Each to their own but it just goes against my principles. As a ‘natty’ lifter, once the beginner gains are out the way, it can literally take a year just to increase your lifts by 5%. With determination and hard work, there is still a very respectable level of size, strength and leanness you can achieve.
At the end of the day, I just love going to the gym, being fit and healthy, meeting like-minded people and just generally smashing it!