Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 26, 2012

World class powerlifter

Christian to compete in Las Vegas meet

BLUEFIELD — Dalton Christian has been lifting weights since he was a youngster. In the time since then he has claimed some state records, some national records, and enjoyed participating in an activity he began with his father and older brother. In just over a month Christian will take another step in his power lifting journey as he heads to Las Vegas for the World Championships.

“I started lifting about in the fifth grade when my dad got me started down in the basement at the house,” Christian said. “I lifted with him and my brother and those two really got me started lifting in general.

“I started lifting competitively in the 10th grade, in high school with Barry Karnes. We started going to South Charleston, going to meets like that.”

After the meets in South Charleston, Christian began going to other meets including one in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech.

“I overheard some people talking there about some of these other meets, WABDL (World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters), the weight lifting federation, they started talking about a meet in Lynchburg, Va., and I went down there and I did pretty well. I won first and broke a couple of West Virginia state records and that’s how I was invited to the World Championships in Las Vegas in November.”

In a recent competition in Concord, N.C., Christian claimed six first place trophies and broke four national records. Weighing in at 198 pounds, Christian lifts in a class based on his age, 19, and weight. He also competes in the open class which is based on weight alone with lifters of all ages.

“The previous record in the 18-19 bench was in the mid 200s,” Christian said. “I beat that record by like 200 pounds. In the open, which was any age, I believe the record was 430 (pounds). I beat it by like 15 pounds.”

A criminal justice major at Bluefield State College, Christian would like to some day work for a government agency such as the FBI, or DEA, but for the next two years he will complete his work in the classroom and continue his lifting which requires discipline.

“There is so much that goes into it, it’s not all about lifting weight,” Christian pointed out. “There is so much time and commitment. Right now, for example, I could probably be about 210 (pounds) weight wise, but to lift in the class I want to be in, I have to eat all the right foods, work out -- I work out about six days a week, two hours a day, and I am trying to keep my weight down below 198. I’m about 195 right now. It’s a struggle, it really is, because my body is trying to grow and I’m just not going to let it. I’m in a lower weight class which helps me excel in my compeititon.”

Christian said he could not be where he is today without the support of his family.

“My whole family has been so supportive. I’m really thankful, I couldn’t have a better family and I am really blessed in that aspect,” Christian said.

“My dad started with me in the fifth grade. He played football and lifted in high school and I guess it became a lifestyle to him. It transferred to me and my brother. My brother and I, we are real competitive with each other and he’s as strong as an ox too.

“My mother, she’s the wind beneath my wings. She’s always supporting me and giving me advice. She doesn’t really know much about it (lifting), but she’s real supportive no matter the situation.

There is also another part of Christian’s life that gives him guidance in his endeavors.

“I’ve got to thank God. He has really blessed me with a gift,” Christian said. “I just try to take full advantage of that every day, go out there and bust my tail in the gym every day to take full advantage of it.

“It’s really sad, there’s a lot of athleticism around this area that is just going to waste and I hate to see that being thrown away.”

Christian believes he will fare well in the competition in Las Vegas the second week of November.

“I’m pretty confident about it, I stay pretty confident about my lifting,” Christian said.

“The only thing I’m really nervous about is flying. I’ve never flown before so I am kind of nervous about that. But lifting, I just take it day-by-day and try not to think too much about it.”

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com

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