Pair weigh up raw chances at champs
Two Manawatu powerlifters may do things the hard way, competing "raw" without any lifting suits, but they are confident of doing well at the national and Oceania championships later this year.
After a good showing at a Central Districts competition in Wellington recently, Hayden Pritchard and Jono Parsons will compete at the nationals in Dunedin in August, and should be selected for the Oceania championships in Sydney in December. The pair compete raw and don't wear lifting suits, which can give competitors an advantage, but are hard to train with by yourself.
"I like the idea of it just being me and the weight," Pritchard said.
"That stuff does give you a little bit extra ... it's a bit harder to use that stuff by yourself.
"It takes a lot extra time and a lot of extra effort going raw, and I like to know it's me lifting the weight."
Most competitors wear them at national events so it will be tough, but Pritchard thought they were up to it.
Parsons' best competition lifts are 240kg in the squat, 300kg in the deadlift – which is more than the New Zealand junior record of 285kg, and 160kg in the bench press.
Pritchard's best lifts are 272.5kg in the deadlift, 242.5kg in the squat – which are CD and unofficial New Zealand records, and 135kg in the bench press – which had him confident they would do well in their divisions.
"At nationals I want to get first, second or third," Pritchard said. "Even against guys in their equipment, I'd like to try to win the deadlift. I think for Jono, it's going to be the experience of nationals. He's never been there and he's bound to win the juniors."
Pritchard, 23, competes in the open men's grade, which was a big jump from the junior ranks but he still wanted a national raw title.
"I should have a good shot; there's one guy who's a complete freak from Otago. He has some freaky numbers. Aside from him, I've got a pretty good chance."
Both former Palmerston North Boys' High students, Pritchard is 90kg and competes in the 93kg classification, while Parsons competes in the 120kg category, but is still quite light for that, at 112kg.
"He's a bit of a beast," Pritchard said.
"He's got a pretty good future if he sticks to it."
The powerlifting stereotype may be muscle-bound giants, but Pritchard said competitions were all really friendly.
They do have some down time recovering, because "you don't want to do something crazy and smash your body".
A typical week's training consists of deadlifts, bench press, working on their weak points, squats, military press, heavier squats, and a heavier bench press.
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