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Armstrong claims provincial title, sets new records


Taylor Armstrong’s first foray into the world of powerlifting resulted in a provincial record in her weight class at the Brickhouse Power Challenge in February.
Her second foray at the Manitoba provincials, Oct. 17 and 18 in Winnipeg, resulted in the 17-year-old Dauphinite being crowned a provincial champion.
Armstrong weighed in at 47.8-kg or 105-pounds and competed in the 52-kg class in the sub-junior division. She had a squat of 57.5-kg or 126.7-pounds, a bench press of 40-kg or 88.1-pounds and a deadlift of 87.5-kg or 192.9-pounds for a total weight of 185-kg or 407-8-pounds.
Armstrong set provincial records in her weight class in all four categories.
As much as she was a little bit disappointed in some of her lifts and her performance at the meet, Armstrong said the overall atmosphere made her feel accepted as a powerlifter and athlete.
“And to get to walk away with a medal with other amazing athletes felt really good,” she added.
Armstrong began powerlifting last fall and the Manitoba provincials was just the second competition she ever participated in.
After the Brickhouse Challenge, Armstrong said she took a step back and looked at what she was doing.
“And worked on fixing my form with all of the three compound lifts and focused less on how much I was lifting and more how I was lifting it,” she said.
That allowed her to create a structured program. Once she did that and started following it and learned more about powerlifting as a sport, things grew from there.
“I train about six times a week. I bench four to five times a week. I squat three times and week and I deadlift two to three times a week,” she said.
Armstrong hopes to keep improving as she continues competing in the sport.
“That’s the goal of every session. My goal for my workouts or training sessions have never been I want to burn a set amount of calories. I want to get better,” she said.
Armstrong enjoys everything about the sport, stating it is an accepting sport with so many amazing athletes.
“And it’s never been a comparison game. Everybody is always just there to support and cheer each other on, no matter how much weight they’re lifting or what they weigh. Everybody cheers for everybody,” she said.
Competitors had to compete wearing a mask due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was not too bad, Armstrong said.
“It didn’t really bother me that much. It was a little bit hard to breathe in, really deeply, but other than that, it wasn’t a big deal,” she said.
“We kept them on, we socially distanced. Nothing out of the ordinary in these times.”
Training during a pandemic was a bit different because she was in a garage gym for a while. But she is back in an actual gym now.
“But honestly it helped. It forced me to focus on myself rather than everybody else.”
Armstrong is eyeing a return to the Brickhouse Challenge, which usually takes place every February.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to compete in that one again. And if anything else comes up before then, I’ll throw my name into the ring, because why not?” she said.

Doug Zywina