Powerlifter pumped after tasting competition

A 16-year-old from northwest B.C. broke two records and won gold at a recent CPL powerlifting competition in Vancouver.

Brandon Mclean broke a national league record at his recent competition.

A 16-year-old youth who has been living in Terrace broke two records and won gold at a recent Canadian Powerlifting League (CPL) competition in Vancouver.

Originally from Telegraph Creek, Brandon Mclean moved to Terrace in Grade 9 in order to finish high school and has been training at the North Coast Health & Fitness Centre gym.

He won gold and broke league records in both deadlift and bench press in the under-17 age category (sub-junior flight) at the CPL competition, which was part of a huge bodybuilding expo on July 9-10. The weight racks were set up in the front, with crowds of people milling around and a group of powerlifters warming up to the side.

He said that the best part was how other powerlifters pumped him up just before he went up, shouting encouragement and challenging him to make his attempt.

“It felt really cool because everybody is just screaming for you, like ‘come on Brandon!’ and you don’t want to fail because everybody is there,” he said.

“When you are back there (warming up), it’s not even really like a competition. Everybody pushed each other to get their personal record,” Mclean said. “No body is like ‘oh yeah, I’m benching more than you today.”

“That’s what I really like about doing powerlifting,” he said.

Out of seven other sub-junior powerlifters, Mclean took home a gold medal for his overall score, as well as broke two league records.

The prior CPL deadlift record was 363 pounds and Mclean opened with 369 pounds. In his next two attempts, he deadlifted 383 pounds, then 390, and finally lifted 403 in an extra set given to record breakers.

In the bench press, the prior league record was 215 pounds and Mclean opened with 226 pounds. He then pressed 237 pounds in his next attempt and then tried and failed for 253 in his third attempt.

He broke a personal record in squats with 314 pounds, but did not reach the 374 league record.

This is the second competition Mclean has been in. His first was the Northern Powerlifting Classic in Prince George, where he broke all three of his personal records last April.

He is planning to compete again in November at the CPL Northern Power Wars competition in Prince George.

Mclean said he started his personal training at age 13, inspired by his older brother Alan Vance.

“My brother started working out two years before that and he got really jacked,” Mclean said. “So I asked him, I was like ‘bro, can you start training me or something? … he took me for a couple workouts and showed me what to do.”

Mclean started eating healthier at the same time, and his family adjusted to it, but he said that he didn’t see any results until 4-5 months later.

He grew up in Telegraph Creek just over ten hours north of Terrace and attended the Tahltan School. The community has close to 250 people and the school only goes up to Grade 9, so Mclean moved to Terrace to finish high school.

“I wanted to explore the world a little bit more… meet a bunch of new people and stuff,” he said.

With the okay from his parents, Mclean moved in with relatives in Terrace in September 2014 to take Grade 9 at Skeena Middle School.

He says walking through the halls on that first day, he was both nervous and excited, and though he felt a bit awkward those first few days, he soon made friends.

He moved in with his buddy Craig Konst and family during Grade 10 this past school year, and his family plans to move here in September.

Mclean got a job at the North Coast gym here in Terrace for the summer, after working out there all year and competing in the powerlifting competition last December.

‘Gym troll’ Adam Yawrenko said Mclean impressed everyone at the competition with his strength and his respectful manner.

“He caught everyone’s eye… He had a big smile that just took you. He was well-mannered and had none of that cockiness that sometimes comes with this sport,” Yawrenko said.

“He’s just an all around great kid — so respectful.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

Martin Holzbauer, independent, Nicole Halbauer, BC NDP, and Ellis Ross, BC Liberal Party, are the candidates for the Skeena riding in the upcoming provincial election. (Terrace Standard/BC NDP)
Skeena candidates talk northwest education

Online learning access and early childhood education were common themes

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

David Block, director of development services for the City of Terrace, explains City staff’s new approach to bylaw and official community plan amendments associated with the proposed inland port development. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)
City of Terrace changes approach to inland port development process

Keith Estates Neighbourhood Concept Plan to be dealt with separately

Martin Holzbauer, independent candidate for the Skeena riding in the Oct. 24 provincial election, is seen here outside the Terrace Standard office on Oct. 1. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)
Learn more about Skeena’s independent candidate

Martin Holzbauer says he wants to bring a unique point of view to the race

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read