Veteran set for the Worlds
A few months ago now I wrote a blog entry entitled ‘The Wodfather’. It described one of our members, Des Irvine Snr, who competes regularly in the Masters and Veterans division in competitions as he is in his fifties. Apart from his jolly character, majestic beard and barbaric strength, the crux of the post was about age being no barrier to performance training and sports. Whether it be weightlifting, football, endurance pursuits or CrossFit, people of all ages can excel and perform to a high standard.
The article shed some light on someone who had spent years trying various methods of training but had finally found a training methodology which tested him physically and mentally on a regular basis; a methodology which put mundane, routine workouts out and incorporated varied workouts aimed at exposing your weaknesses and putting you in a place called ‘humbled’.
Of course, Des is not old by any means. We all know people who are into their forties or even thirties who begin making excuses about their age when it comes to training and that post was more to address that nonsense. Around the forty age mark, bone density begins to decrease, but one way to ward that off is through weight-bearing exercise.
One man who has become a regular addition to life at 57 North is Davie Hearn. At 75 years of age, Davie makes Des look like a young pup.
Davie doesn’t actually do CrossFit but competes internationally at powerlifting through the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association. Hailing from Portree in the misty Isle of Skye, he uses his free bus pass to hop aboard the Citylink to Inverness for his training sessions. Here at the box we keep regular tabs on his progress and provide programming to ensure he keeps going in the right direction.
When he isn’t down here training, he uses his garage which he has converted into a gym. Complete with a squat rack, bench, Olympic bar, dumbbells and gymnast rings, it provides the basics for him to keep going.
It was only just over a year ago now that Davie got into powerlifting. Having always led an active life after a background in the Parachute Regiment and Strathclyde Fire Service, he has kept busy through all kinds of pursuits. Until recently he was taking part in hill walking (as he was a guide on the Cuillins and surrounding Skye hills) and endurance events like ultra-running. He also makes regular trips abroad on cycling holidays and can be seen on many an afternoon, paddling around Portree bay on his kayak.
It was at the local gym in Portree when he deadlifted a barbell and one of the other gym goers exclaimed he should think of competing. Davie however was oblivious to the fact that the weight he shifted was substantial for a senior citizen.
In the past year Davie has picked up three Scottish records in his age and weight category and, most recently, qualified for the World Championships in June at Woverhampton as a member of the Scotland squad. He qualified by lifting a 80kg Bench press and a 140kg deadlift in the 90kg 75-80 year old age category at the British – an impressive feat for someone just having begun lifting a year ago at that age. But as he says, “I’ve got a long way to go before I hit any world records in my category, John Gallacher is 83 and can deadlift 200kg!”.
He is hoping next year to qualify for the world championships again but this time hitting the squat qualifier.