POWER lifters Dean and Vicki Cowan equalled or broke national and world records at the Australian Championships in Brisbane,
POWER lifters Dean and Vicki Cowan equalled or broke national and world records at the Australian Championships in Brisbane,

Couple powers way to the topthe top

By LUIS FELIU

CHINDERAH couple Dean and Vicki Cowan are powering their way to the top of their sport.

The power lifters broke or equalled national and world records at the Australian State Postal Deadlift Championships in Brisbane earlier this month and have set their sights on smashing further records next year.

In Brisbane, Vicki, 36, a national champion, pulled off the biggest lift for any female in Australia with a 170kg deadlift.

And she did it after returning from an 18-month injury spell.

At the same titles, Dean pulled a massive 350kg deadlift, equalling the world record.

"I'll be going for 400kg in Darwin next year," he said.

Dean, who stands 187.5cm tall and weighs in at 155kg, is an eight-time national heavyweight power-lifting champion, now capable of benchpressing an Australian record 273kg, deadlifting 350kg and hoisting 350kg in the squat.

He is now working out most days in his house-gym, gearing up for the Northern Territory power-lifting titles in April ahead of the Australian titles in August.

Dean, 33, is determined to lift a combined 1000kg in three lifts by the end of 2005.

"I want to be the first Australian to lift a 1000kg total," he said.

Vicki, who holds the records in the 82kg and 90kg divisions, will be out to defend those titles at the Northern Territory and national championships.

But the biggest drawback to their sport is the lack of financial backing and sponsorship.

"We finance it ourselves because no-one else is interested?.?.?.?and it's pretty expensive to get fully-kitted - you could easily spend about $2500 for a full kit," Dean said.

"The sport here in Australia is not high profile - it's not an Olympic sport and is very much hidden away, lots of us power lifters train in garages like this?.?.?.?we have the greatest amount of world records and champions compared to other sports.

"Yet when we try to get sponsorship from nutritional or other type of companies, they're not interested in picking it up".

The Cowans, who have been power lifting for about 18 years each, came to the Tweed from Brisbane nearly two years ago.

"We met at a work site and coincidentally he did weights too," Vicki said.

The couple established their business - Powerhouse Strength Training and Powerlifting from home at Chinderah and train about 50 people a week, including elite Tweed-based athletes, to achieve their targets.

"They range in age from 15 to 76 year-olds and come in for three sessions a week," Vicki said.

Dean said he developed the personal-training program to be quick and efficient with sessions taking as little as 10 minutes.

Top local swimmers Ethan Rolff and Josh Watson and triathlete Paul Sheahan and just some of the sports stars benefiting from the Cowan training.

"It's all about using a timeefficient training programto increase strength with verylittle weight gain," he said.

The Cowans can be contacted on 0417 666863.



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