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Frome-based powerlifting champions head to nationals

TWOpowerlifters from Train Station Gym in Frome are heading to the British Powerlifting Championship in Folkestone this weekend.

Mark Bentley, who owns the Train Station Gym, came first in his category at this year’s South West and Wales competition and Chris Pike, who will be competing alongside him, holds the British bench press record for his weight class.

The British Powerlifting Union competition is split into squat, bench press, and deadlift events, and each competitor must lift  435kg across the three to qualify.

Mark, 47, competes in the 45-49 year old <90kg category. He smashed his way through qualifying by lifting 570kg.

Mark said, “I’m feeling good about the competition. Training has gone really well and Chris and I are both in good shaape. I’m just excited to get down there now and lift more than I did at qualifying.”

Chris Pike, 30, will be competing in the 82.5kg bench press category and aiming to beat his record lift of 162.5kg.

The championship will be a one-day event where Mark and Chris will be competing alongside powerlifters from nationwide and overseas.

Mark said, “We’ve toned down the training now and it’s a case of stopping our egos overtaking common sense. The competition is too close for us to be risking injury.

“We’ve been practising since March and doing assistance training to improve stability and reduce the chance of injuries.

“There won’t be any money for the winner, just a medal and glory; that’s what we want to bring home.”

Train Station Gym is on Station Approach in Frome, and was built as an addition to Mark’s Glastonbury site in 2002.