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MMM... CLICHE: Gallant balances weights and school work.
Colleen Potter/The Gauntlet

No room for error: Gallant heads to Nationals

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Allan Gallant doesn't compete for any team, he's never had a coach, and in fact, he'd never met another powerlifter before attending his first competition. But the 33-year-old psychology student at the University of Calgary is going for the gold March 31-April 1
at the Canadian Powerlifting Championships in Quebec City where he will be competing in the 67.5kg weight class.

Gallant started powerlifting after a friend asked him why he went to the gym.

"She asked me why I trained [and] I couldn't find a reason. So I picked a sport," says Gallant.

He was always told he was fairly strong for his size, so power lifting seemed like an obvious choice. That was seven years ago, and since then he has attended three Canadian Bench Press Championships. In the process he won one gold, placed 16th at the World Bench Press Championships and finished second at the Canadian Power lifting Championships last year.

His results are somewhat surprising for an athlete who is self-coached.

"Every time I go to a competition I pick up something new," says Gallant.

Unfortunately, without a coach or a training partner it is hard for Gallant to keep from developing poor technique so he spends a lot of time breaking bad habits.

The upcoming Canadian Power-lifting Championships consists of three events: the bench press, the squat and the dead lift. The total weight lifted in the three events will determine the ranking. Gallant is looking to lift over 1,240 pounds this year which would represent an increase of 10 per cent over last year's score.

"The win is actually secondary, it's all about outdoing my performance," says Gallant. "The gold would be nice, but it's gonna be a heck of a fight."

Despite the incredible stress powerlifting places on the body, Gallant believes time management poses his greatest challenge. When balancing school, a job and training, 5:00 a.m. workouts come all too soon.

"The mental is a huge portion of it, though the physical takes its toll," says Gallant.

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