Montrose man Nick Whitecross lifted himself into the record books when he bench pressed 245.5kg - the heaviest ever achieved in Scotland.
The 27-year-old made the historic lift at the GPC Scottish National Championships held in Clydebank Glasgow at Outcast Barbell Sanctuary a few weeks ago, writes Scott Binnie.
Nick’s bench press is a world record for the GPC federation at the under 140kg weight class, beating the previous record by half a kilo, and is also the biggest Scottish bench of all time.
But Whitecross, who trains out of Warehouse Gym Arbroath, has refused to rest on his laurels and has his sights set on catching a couple of rivals from down south in the forthcoming British Championships.
“I’ve got the biggest bench in Scotland now and being able to say that is a pretty good confidence boost,” he said. “But there are a few guys down in England I’m chasing and there are two guys in particular that I’d like a crack at especially.”
Whitecross, a service engineer by trade, admitted that he wasn’t expecting that heavy a lift before the day - though his lifts in training suggested an increased personal best at least - but once he heard the noise as he approached the bench, Nick knew he was making the lift.
He said: “In training I’d hit 225kg for a double and my previous personal best was 227.5kg so we were pretty close to the PBs and getting that double, I knew we’d be aiming for PBs but nothing quite as big as that.
“It was a big push and I was surprised to do it. The atmosphere was incredible though and with that much noise, I knew it was going up.”
Nick was eager to praise his training partners for their help and support ahead of the record lift, as well as every other competition.
Fellow WGA members Mike Spink, Ross Kincaid, Owen Simpson and Dan Ferguson all compete in powerlifting alongside Nick and the big behemoth believes he couldn’t train in any other way now because working as part of a team has been so beneficial.
He said: “I don’t think I could train any other way now. We’ve got a good group of lads here, we’re all training towards the same competitions and goals.
“When you’re training towards the same things it’s very easy to support each other, and it becomes a team sport rather than an individual sport which really helps.”
Next up for Nick and the guys is a competition in Eastbourne in August before the biggie - the British Championships in November.
Nick continued: “We’ve got the British Championships in November so I’m hoping to get a stab at the guys I’m chasing then and see how we get on.
“We’ve got a competition in Eastbourne in August then it’s a good few months of training for the British.
“We’re all training for the British and we’re all hoping to be up there for the finals.”
Nick has only been competing in powerlifting for three years, which makes his record numbers all the more remarkable.
He revealed that he’d never really thought about powerlifting until WGA owner Lee Page encouraged him to look into it, and once he did - there was no looking back.
He said: “I’ve been training in the gym for almost 10 years now but I didn’t discover powerlifting until three or four years ago.
“This will be my fourth year at Warehouse Gym Arbroath. Within the first couple of sessions, Lee Page recognised I was quite strong and pointed me towards powerlifting.
“At the time I’d never even heard of powerlifting, I was just going through the motions in training. I looked into powerlifting and fell in love, it’s right up my street.
“There’s a lot of competitive athletes here at WGA and that helps motivate you. Even between the powerlifters, bodybuilders, crossfitters, it’s just one team.
Nick and his training buddies are eager to attract some sponsorship to help them fund their trips all across Britain, and can offer nationwide advertising to any interested parties.
Nick added: “We’re all seeking sponsorship from local businesses to help us with the costs of travelling, accommodation and everything. We’d be able to advertise any sponsors at competitions all over Britain. If anyone is keen please get in touch.”