After tightening his belt as much as he can, wrapping his knees and inserting his mouth guard, Michael Martin is set to settle under the bar and squat 545 pounds with his wife, Karen Sinoski, behind him to spot.
As impressive as that sounds, it’s actually 45 pounds shy of his world record in his category, one of three world records he holds in powerlifting.
“I work in corrections and I needed to have a stress relief,” the 57-year-old from Prince Albert, Sask., said.
“Before that, I worked for young offenders and I found that when I can come in here, I can vent all my stress and anger and everything else and it keeps me healthy. Mentally I’m probably about 16.”
Both Martin and Sinoski competed in bodybuilding many years ago and this is how Martin said he made the transition to powerlifting.
He recently got Sinoski into powerlifting, and she set a national record in her category. Someday down the road, Sinoski would like to attend the world championships with Martin.
“My family lives in Regina and it would have been, do the competition, or get to see them one last time,” Sinoski said.
“So my family won out instead of going to the competition but it would have been nice.”
The couple has now assembled a gym in their garage to train, but when the pandemic first hit in March and shut everything down, they had to get creative.
“We just kind of thought ‘what do we have?'” Sinoski said.
“We filled up water jugs. I sat on the couch and my husband was bench pressing me on the couch, and he was leg pressing me so we just kind of grabbed things and made whatever we could use.”
They are now loving the convenience of working out at home. They say they still have plenty of competitive years ahead of them, and hopefully some new world records. Until then, they will train together in their garage gym.
“My wife has to come spot me on the heavy weights,” Martin said.
“I want to be extra nice to her, before she turns around and leaves and I am going to be on the ground, so it does help.”