Surrey teen Gaurav Dhanoa is powerlifting his way to national records.
The 17-year-old broke 12 powerlifting records in two age classes, at national and provincial levels, at a Canadian Powerlifting League competition in Nanton, Alberta, on Aug. 20-21.
“He squatted 336 pounds, bench-pressed 228 and deadlifted a very impressive 474 pounds, putting it all together for a 1038 pounds total between all three lifts,” explained Pavi Toor, who runs Young Guns Weightlifting Club. “His numbers rival those of adult lifters.”
In powerlifting, a lifter has nine attempts to achieve the highest total possible. A lifter gets three attempts each for squat, bench press and deadlift. The goal is to lift the maximum amount of weight for one repetition.
Gaurav trains at Iron Throne Strength and Conditioning in Newton with coach Ryan Maclellan, who is impressed by the teen’s powerlifting abilities.
“People commented on my Instagram post that Guarav isn’ very big at all, but you don’t have to be huge to lift a lot in this sport,” noted Maclellan, who placed sixth in the world during a bench-press championship in Kazakhstan last May. “If you have the right genenics and right leverages, you can lift a lot. You also don’t usually see people get into powerlifting until their 20s.”
Last November, Gaurav set four powerlifting records during his very first competition in the sport, in Victoria during the Kabuki Strength Van Isle meet.
Today, he’s been powerlifting for a couple of years, and is about to enter Grade 12 at Enver Creek Secondary.
“I want to see where it goes, just slowly build, and hopefully go to some international competitions and also some local ones,” Gaurav said.
Young Guns Weightlifting Club offers free co-ed weightlifting and boxing programs to youth. Toor and his two teenaged sons started the program in September 2019 because they realized that the greatest limitations youth face when it comes to weightlifting was safety, inexperience and financial resources.
“It’s amazing to see what proper support can do for today’s youth,” Toor said of Gaurav’s successes in powerlifting. “We hope this story can provide inspiration to anyone hoping to chase their dreams and compete at a high level.”