Filipino powerlifter sets his sights on Iceland championships

Filipino powerlifter sets his sights on Iceland championships
Powerlifter Regie Ramirez performs a squat. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Filipino powerlifter Regie Ramirez is gunning for a spot in this year’s World Equipped Open Powerlifting Championships in Iceland.

Making it there requires a challenging gambit on Ramirez’s part. To ensure his qualification, he needs to clinch a first-place finish in the Asian Equipped Powerlifting Championships that Hong Kong will host on May 5-11.

The way he views it, there’s a clear path to victory in the Asian meet: through deadlifting the world standard 275 kilograms (606.27 pounds)—a feat that has yet to be seen in the men’s equipped 59-kilogram division.

Ramirez is confident he can manage 275 kilos of calibrated plates. After all, he has done so multiple times in training camp. However, he is aware that replicating his best set in an actual competition is an entirely different beast.

“I’ve lifted 275 kilograms already,” claimed the former World Junior Powerlifting champion. “But still, you have good days [and] you have bad days. Some days I can only lift 260 and some days I can lift 275.”

2 major factors

A deadlift performance

According to Ramirez, his success in breaking the world record will largely hinge on two major factors: sleep and diet.

“It will be very important for me to get proper sleep and to eat right,” said the 31-year-old athlete from Ormoc City, Leyte. “Diet, I can control better. But when it comes to sleep, sometimes you just can’t control your environment. Sometimes it’s too noisy, sometimes it’s too hot, and other times there are a lot of things on your mind.”

As far as Ramirez is concerned, discipline and consistency are his keys to victory.

“I know I can do it,” he declared. “I’m not even just saying this. I’ve done it already in the gym, and those are all calibrated plates. It’s just that I have to get my conditions right. I know I have a very big chance to win. I just have to be consistent.”

The Asian Championships is where Ramirez will compete in an equipped international contest for the first time since 2017.

He claimed the gold medal in the Southern Philippines Powerlifting Championships in March 2023. Three months later, he finished seventh in the World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Malta, where he competed under raw rules.

Go big or go home

powerlifting championship
Ramirez tops the 2023 Southern Philippines Powerlifting Championships.

If Ramirez pulls off his game plan, he will likely be standing on the podium with a gold medal slung around his neck and a new world record on his resumé. But if he fails, the consequences are dire. 

“If I get a no-lift and I don’t get it, it’s going to be a big factor, and I would likely miss out on a podium finish. I have to lift those weights—at least, based on my opponents’ records—in order to secure first.”

Ramirez is keen on taking a “safe approach” for his squat and bench press attempts. This way, shooting for the world record will be his only real risk. His target is to bench 160 kilograms (352.75 pounds) and squat 260 kilograms (573.20 pounds). 

“In terms of squats and bench presses, I’ll just be safe lifting. I won’t even think about the records. I’ll be thinking about the total and what I can give to the Philippines,” he said, adding:

“So I have to be very safe, but very brave at the same time.”

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