Locke looks to break lifting record
By Robert Mackenzie
Published June 29, 2017
After setting an unofficial record and placing third overall in a national competition, Stuart Locke is looking to break a national power lifting record, but by his count, he only has three more years to do so.
Locke competed at the Canadian Powerlifting Federation’s (CPF) Pro Nationals in Guelph June 3. In the competition, which requires a squat, dead lift and bench press, then adds the totals and factors in the competitor’s weight, Locke finished first in the 275 lbs. weight class and third place overall, lifting a total of 1,857 lbs. over the three events.
Locke, 23, moved to Haliburton when he was 10, attending JDHES and later HHSS. In Grade 11 he started to take football more seriously, and did more weightlifting as a result, something which he quickly excelled at. After completing a high school victory lap, Locke was offered a spot on University of Ottawa’s football team.
Injury concerns ultimately ended Locke’s football career at school, forcing him to find another channel for his physical activity as he finishes his degree in religious studies. “Right around the time I stopped playing football, I knew I needed a competitive outlet so I picked a [power lifting] meet the following June and started training for it,” Locke said in an email to the Times.
While he’s been competing in the sport ever since he ended his football career, Locke doesn’t appear to have the same passion for the sport as he did football. “I haven’t actually liked lifting in a very long time, I just do it as a matter of course,” he said. “I’ve been doing it so long it’s sort of like I’m on autopilot and I just happen to be pretty good at it.”
Although he may not like the sport, Locke says it’s fun to take part in the competitions. In a relatively short amount of time he has become quite competitive in the sport. In the June 3 competition Locke set an unofficial record in the 275 lbs squat, junior squat, junior bench press, junior dead lift and junior total score. (In the CPF, you have to tell a judge you’re attempting a record in order for it to be official. Locke says he didn’t realize he was attempting a record, so he didn’t tell them.)
Now Locke’s goal is to set the total Canadian CPF record of 2,157 lbs., but he’s only giving himself until the age of 26 to accomplish that feat.
“Powerlifting, while fun to compete in, is damaging to your body. I already have nagging injuries from football and I’ve told myself I have until I’m 26 to accomplish whatever,” he said. “If I don’t get it by 26, that’s life. At some point you need to think about your life after sport, and I told myself from the start if it became more trouble than it was worth that I would stop.”
Locke is able to squat more than 700 lbs., but after a rough injury history from his athletic career it appears his health weighs in as his No. 1 priority.