Brimming with elation, exhilaration, exuberance. Racing heart. Face-splitting grin. Did I win the lottery? No. I reached a goal โ€“ an epic, seemingly unattainable goal. I conquered a 200-pound โ€“ nearly double my bodyweight โ€“ lift.

Ten months earlier, fresh from my first powerlifting meet…

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This past month a few of our own BWI athletes competed in the Maryland State Powerlifting Meet. For those of you that came and supported them, you know how great a weekend it was, not only for them but for showing the quality and tight community we have here at BWI. So first we would love to thank all of you that came out and supported!

Now for the good stuff! Melissa Copeland and Ben Bordeley were our two athletes competing and they represented the gym well. Lets start with the squat.

First up Ben. He went into the first rep a little shy and his opening weight looked a little slow, but the nerves were gone…second rep looked fantastic and his final attempt of 341.5# was the fastest of all three reps. 3 for 3 on the attempts and a new PR!



Second was Melissa. What can I say, she made it look easy. Started off at 330# to be conservative and threw it through the ceiling. Every attempt looked strong, and she also went 3 for 3 in the squat. O yea, did I mention all three attempts were new STATE RECORDS! Final attempt of 369.5# was cake, she had some left in the tank.



Next up was bench press, probably the most technical of the three lifts because they give you 3 commands, one to lower the bar where you pause with the weight on your chest, another to press it up, and another to rack the weight.

First up Ben, was still ‘Squat-tarded’ and forgot to wait for the press command so first lift was a DQ. No big deal, it was a light opening anyways and we went up for the next lift. Hit the next two lifts strong to go 2 for 3 on the bench with a new PR of 187.5#.



Again Melissa came into the bench press with an opening lift that was a new state record. The opener was light, no problem…bang new state record. Continued to break her new state record 2 more times as she went 3 for 3 with a new PR of 198#. RAD.



Last up the deadlift, aka the bestlift. Its a long day of heavy lifting lots of energy and trying to hold back some juice for the last exercises which is the most taxing. No fancy commands here, just a barbell with a shit ton of weight on it, you pick it up and they tell you to put it down. That simple.

First up Ben, he came into this meet with one goal. Deadlift 400lbs. That was his goal from the first time he walked into the strength class, and has been working extremely hard for months to get here. Needless to say hes a beast and made it look waay easy. New PR with a deadlift of 407#



Finally Melissa brings her talents to the deadlift platform to show everyone there that she was owning this meet. Same story, opening lift was a state record and she killed it. 3 for 3 with a new PR of 352.5# in the deadlift.



So to recap all this Ben went 8-9 (squattarded and missed bench command) had new PR’s in all 3 lifts and achieved a long standing goal of deadlifting 400lbs! I am very proud of you Ben, you bring amazing energy to the gym, work extremely hard, and never miss a workout. You deserve every piece of that day dude, good work!

Melissa completely dominated every aspect of this entire meet. She went 9-9, with all 9 of her lifts being state records! Her total was 417kg which comes out to 918.5lbs! That my friends is RIDICULOUS. For some of you that aren’t as into the powerlifting world, that total was 3kg higher than the girl who won NATIONALS last year. So thats the goal, we have more work to do, and she will continue to work hard, NATIONALS here we come. I super stoked for you Melissa, you went into that meet knowing what you had to do, and completely killed it. Your hard work has paid off, and you should be very proud. Great Job!

Again thanks to everyone who came out and watched, for those of you that didnt make it out, make sure if you see either of them at the gym to give them a quick congrats! They represented the gym well and should be recognized for that.

Coach Luke

For videos of all lifts visit our YouTube channel.

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Ben wins “raddest lift ever of all time” with his PR deadlift of 407#.

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with a 352.5# deadlift as a finishing move, Melissa destroys the MD state record for a powerlifting total in the SHW division

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Ashley PRs her deadlift at 181.75# to finish out the meet.

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Melissa mangles another MD state record with a bench of 198.25#!

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Ben PRs his bench by killing 187.25!

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Ashley’s top bench 88#

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Buh-bye MD state squat Record! Melissa pwnd 369.25#

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Ben throws 341.5# through the roof

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