This article is written by Merat Tafreshi, Phd Nutrition sponsored athlete and champion natural powerlifter
Hi everyone, this is my first article for Fitmag so I thought I should introduce myself, and let the readers know about me, my history and the man behind the barbell.
I am a PhD Nutrition Athlete, I compete in Powerlifting (if you haven’t guessed already!). I compete in the 67.5kg class, and will be competing very soon at the WPC World Powerlifting Championships.
Contest history worth noting; I have won the British Championships twice in 2010 and 2011, and World Championships I won Gold in 2010, hoping to do the same this year!
My best competition lifts (Not gym lifts) as far at a bodyweight of 64kg
220kg Squat (British Record for teen) done at the UK Open 2011
120kg Bench done at Bodypower Push and Pull 2011
215kg Deadlift (British Record for teen) done at Bodypower Push and Pull 2011
Anyway enough of the stats! Here’s the juicy bit, why the hell I even started lifting in the first place.
15 years of age, and I was suffering from serious Anorexia, weighed at my lightest at 45kg...now at a height of 5’7 I did indeed look like Christian Bale from the Machinist, and Anorexia isn’t something that is easy to cure, it is a poisonous disease and if it wasn’t for the fact I found a reason to get better, I may have not even been alive to type this article.
It was Bodybuilding in fact that inspired me to start eating more meals, going to the gym and approach gaining weight in a healthy manner, not what the GPs prescribed which was donuts and pizza (they clearly spent their time in medical school well!) and managed to get to my current bodyweight of 64kg.
One day I was training Legs with a bodybuilder friend of mine (who competes in the UKBFF) and he noticed I was squatting pretty heavy for my bodyweight, he suggested I give Powerlifting a go, so from then, I joined a gym in Wembley owned by Powerlifting World Champion and Record Holder Dave “Bulldog” Beattie, now this guy knows his stuff! Was a matter of weeks I did my first comp and came away with a win, caught the Powerlifting bug, within the same year I won the British and qualified for worlds, had barely started competing and already was booking a flight to Mikelli Finland for the World Championships! Madness!
The icing on the cake, was when Jason Rickaby someone who ive known and respected since I started my recovery from anorexia through the PhD forums, noticed my accomplishments and made me a PhD athlete, I was very proud, to represent a brand I have used from the beginning, my first ever supplement I purchased was PhD Synergy iso-7, never did I think Id be helping the brand out by being part of the team, and for that Jason and Mark, I am ever so grateful, even to this day its hard to take in.
So where does the road lead now? After competing in 7 competitions, setting 2 british records and winning 1 world championships and 2 british championships, I am going to try and repeat my success this year at the World Powerlifting Championships in the 67.5kg Junior Division, hopefully with the support from PhD and Genesis gym and from my own drive and will, this will be achieved!
So that’s a brief background about me, hopefully will come with more articles, I do not claim to know everything, I’m still learning the ropes myself, but if something I write helps just a few people hit their PB’s, break through plateau’s and get stronger, well I will be a happy lad!
Would like to thank PhD Nutrition and Jason Rickaby for their support, appreciate it so much, Dave “Bulldog” Beattie for training me and making me realise my dreams, and being someone I inspire to in Powerlifting (don’t tell him I said that, haha!) and my brother, who started Powerlifting himself now, and has also qualified for Worlds for the Raw Division, extremely proud of him!
Keep lifting heavy and hard people!