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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
Pete Barbeau pursues a new passion
by Randy Pascal

Former local wrestling sensation Pete Barbeau Jr has found a new passion.

Somehow the Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School graduate is finding time to squeeze in some powerlifting training between the research he is doing while completing his Masters in Human Health adn Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph.

Barbeau was recently part of a group of one hundred or so lifters from across Canada who converged on Guelph to attend the national championships as hosted by the Canadian Powerlifting Federation (CPF).

The long-time Sudburian, who weighed in at 127 and competed in the 132 pound division, was quick to note that the sport also features a branch overseen by the Canadian Powerlifting Union, a group that dates back further and includes more members than the CPF.

With his current academic pursuits limiting his recent training, Barbeau struggled in the squad competition, recording only one official lift of 305 lbs, well off his normal standards in the event.

He recovered nicely in the bench press, registering a lift that came just short of breaking the weight class record that he currently holds. His best, however, would come in the deadlift, where he twice surpassed his old record of 403 lbs, nailing 407 on his second lift and 426 on his third.

Barbeau, who competes in the drug-tested amateur grouping, would take first place in his weight class and third place overall in the amateur division, as CPF utilizes a "Wilks conversion" scale in order to normalize the weights that are lifted with both the gender and the weight class of the athlete in question.

In overcoming a nagging injury at the time, Barbeau has used his performance as a catalyst to further competition. "This result motivated me quite a bit to focus on fixing my hip, and to train harder so that I can attain greater heights in the sport," he noted in email correspondence.

"While I do currently hold the records in the CPF, there are some lifters in the CPU (the separate, more well-known organization) that have posted slightly higher numbers in comparison to me," Barbeau added. "Considering that I am very new at the sport, having only started training early last spring, I believe that I have lots of potential, as long as I train efficiently, and listen to my body."

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