Beaumont resident worth his weight in steel

Kendall Solbak’s personal record is 455 pounds for squatting, 330 for benchpress and 507 pounds for deadpress. Solbak recently returned from a world powerlifting competition with gold and bronze medals. (submitted)

Kendall Solbak’s personal record is 455 pounds for squatting, 330 for benchpress and 507 pounds for deadpress. Solbak recently returned from a world powerlifting competition with gold and bronze medals. (submitted)

If you’re looking for a lift, Beaumont resident Kendall Solbak might be a good person to ask.

But don’t ask for a lift with his car. Solbak recently won gold and bronze metals at the world drug-free powerlifting competition.
In October, Solbak attended the World Bench, Deadlift and Push/Pull, Curl Championships and International Powerlifting and AAU world Feats of Strength, hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of the U.S.
The event came to be through a partnership between the AAU and the Canadian Drug Free Powerlifting Association, of which Solbak is a member.
Solbak participated as a member of Team Canada and ultimately won bronze in powerlifting and gold in the pushpress component of the Feats of Strength.
He has taken part in national events before but this was his first at the worlds, which took place in Las Vegas.
Solbak has been powerlifting competitively for about four years, and went into this year’s competition with a strained muscle.
“At the world event, it was very competitive which was quite exciting,” Solbak said. “I was more intimidated by the fact that I had been injured before going, than by knowing that a lot of these guys were more experienced than me.”
Solbak ended up hurting himself in the second round of his deadlift, which is part of the powerlifting round.
“I took home the bronze despite having an injury midlift,” he noted. “And I was actually 54 pounds away from the silver … All things considered I’m pretty pleased with the bronze.”
Solbak, who weighs about 213 pounds and can squat 455, benchpress 330, and deadpress more than 500 pounds, admits there’s some level of narcissism to his hobby.
“To be perfectly honest, I got into powerlifting because I’m a showoff,” he said. “I find it’s kind of a man’s sport compared to bodybuilding.”
He said that while he appreciates that bodybuilders dedicate a lot of time to the look of their bodies, he appreciates that powerlifting is all about how much you can lift.
“Nothing against those guys, because they’re probably more dedicated to their sport than I am,” he said.
“But for me, it’s more about strength.”
Team Canada consisted of competitors from Taber, Lethbridge and the Edmonton Area. One fellow was supposed to come from British Columbia but wasn’t able to make it.
Representing his country was an experience Solbak says he won’t soon forget.
“That was kind of exciting,” he said. “There was a sense of pride being able to put on your Team Canada gear.”
As for next year? Solbak is hoping to raise the bar. “Step one is get healthy,” he said. “I’m still recovering from injury, so can’t go too hard at the gym here … But my vision for next year is to go for the gold.”
This story originally appeared in La Nouvelle Beaumont News
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