PA powerlifter sets world record in bench press

By Jeff D'Andrea
May 31, 2012 - 7:11am

When Kohlton Parenteau first picked up the sport of powerlifting about a year ago, he was immediately driven by the level of competition, beating somebody better than himself.

“There’s always a lot of competition, there’s always someone that can lift more,” said Parenteau.
But as of this past weekend, that isn’t quite true.

With his bench press of 187.5 kg at the 2012 Powerlift and Bench Press Nationals in Calgary, Parenteau broke both the world and Canadian bench press records for the junior men’s class and competed in the 110 kg and under division.

The previous world record was 185 kg, which Parenteau surpassed in his second lift of the tournament. In the process, Parenteau also shattered the Canadian record of 170 kg.

Due to the records, Parenteau has earned himself a spot at the Global Powerlifting Committee 2012 World’s in Bardejov, Slovakia Sept. 17-22.

“Really excited and really pumped up about it,” said Parenteau. “This is an opportunity that a lot of people don’t get, so I’m going to do my best.”

It’s been a very quick and rapid rise for Parenteau.

At just 22, Parenteau broke the world record despite having one year of eligibility left at the junior level, which allows athletes aged 19-23 to compete against each other.

He’s also only been in the sport for the past year.

“I actually haven’t been to even national level or worlds (competition), I only started this a year ago,” said Parenteau. “I got quite interested in it and continued to pursue it.”

Parenteau got into the powerlifting thanks to friend Mike Martin, who introduced him to the sport. Now, Parenteau gets his kicks lifting weights at the 4 Horsemen gym, a few blocks away from St. Mary High School where he was a track and field star and a multi-talented athlete.

Since punching his ticket to the worlds, Parenteau has already ramped up his training.

“I usually go about 3-4 times a week, but now that I qualified for Worlds, I’m going to go a lot harder and watch my diet, things like that,” said Parenteau.

Moments after he etched his name into the record books at the nationals, Parenteau attempted break his own record, attempting two bench press lifts at 200 kg’s— almost double his body weight.

It’s the competition at tournaments that drives him, but in those last two lifts, the only competition he had was with himself.

Records or not, at the worlds stage, he’ll be against a very accomplished field full of the best lifters from around the world, and a result, a ton of motivation.

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