Worth the weight
JASON Clarke is proof that if you put your mind to anything, you can succeed.
The Lismore Heights competitor enhanced his reputation as one of Australia's top powerlifters in his class with victory at the Matti Tikka Challenge in Brisbane.
Clarke claimed a conclusive win in the 93kg division, achieving a huge lift of 280kg.
Although he narrowly missed out on an Australian record, Clarke was delighted with his success at the event last weekend.
"It was great to do so well," he said. "This was a big competition (so) I wanted to do well. It was a great validation of all the training."
Dozens took part in the event, one of the biggest dates on the Powerlifting Australia calendar.
Participants took part in squat, bench and dead lifts, with their best marks counting towards final standings.
Clarke, who works as a members' supervisor at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre, lifted a competition best 280kg to claim the dead lift section.
He attempted an Australian record 295kg - 3kg more than the benchmark - but came up short.
Clarke achieved a top lift of 250kg in the squat, while his mark of 140kg in the bench press helped him achieve the overall best score.
Success at the event was another notable achievement for Clarke, who started lifting weights as a teenage footy player.
"I was lifting weights to get fitter and stronger," he said.
"I stopped playing rugby league, but I kept the training going."
It is an exciting time for married Clarke, who will become a father for the first time in February.
A tilt at important titles, including the Oceania Powerlifting and Bench Press Championship next month, is possible.
But the 38-year-old is also eager to nurture the next generation of talented powerlifters.
"Sooner or later, the body will say, 'no more heavy lifting,'" he said.
"There is a great quote, 'lift, learn and pass on' and that is what I want to do.
"Hopefully we will get some guys coming through (in Lismore) who will be able to go to things like the nationals."
Jason Clarke's top three tips to becoming a champion power-lifter:
Consistency is the key: Don't miss a training session
Compound movement is important: Work on squats and dead lifting
Eat clean: Avoid the junk food!