Joseph Whittaker gearing up for national weightlifting competition

By Tamati Tiananga

Weightlifter Joseph Whittaker is looking to better the current New Zealand deadlift record that currently stands at 342kg and is gearing up for the national competition in Dunedin.  

He is looking to lift his way into record breaking contention.

Whittaker says, "The numbers I should be chasing down in Dunedin, I'll be looking to squat around 375kg, which will bump my own squat record up by 10kg.

I'm hoping to change the bench set that's been sitting there since 2011. It got set by my mentor himself, Rueben Te Manu. That sits at 340.

I'm looking to go around 340.5. Deadlift wise, the record sits at 340, so I'll look at opening around 340 and a half and pull something close around the 360 mark".

In his Facebook video clip, the New Zealand champion is showcasing his skills. This was his first seminar, which has attracted many first timers.  

"I had to dial off the numbers, dial the weight down and focus on my form a bit more to be able to get through the workout. But as soon I could take some load again, I stacked it back on very, very quickly", says Whittaker.

After a club member accidentally dropped a 25kg steel plate across the top of his right foot, the current New Zealand champion was forced to take four weeks off from training.  

Whittaker says, "What I found in Sydney is that I hadn't rested enough so my body was still tired, everything was still tired. I woke up Sunday morning, competition day, and I was still tired. This time around, I'll set my programming and weight to dial off two weeks out. Normally, I'm about six to seven days out, but I'll dial everything off 14 plus days out now and allow my body to rest. With the rest, it should be a hell of a lot better". 

He's back to full training and hopes to chase a personal best in Dunedin next month.