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Powering her way to the pros

During her latest competition Dawson Creek power lifter April Baldassarre lifted a total of 887.4 lbs.
Dawson Creek power lifter April Baldassarre increased her total weight lifted by more than 40 lbs in a matter of months to take a gold medal during a recent Prince George competition.

During her latest competition, Dawson Creek power lifter April Baldassarre lifted a total of 887.4 lbs.

It’s been a little under three years since she started power lifting and discovered the sport when she was looking for inspiration for her fitness goals as she battles Meniere’s disease.

“Google it up and you will see the classic definition – and that’s what I’ve got,” Baldassarre said.

The disease includes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus,) hearing loss and the feeling of congestion in the ear.

She credits her level of fitness and nutrition to putting the disease into remission off and on for the last couple of years.

She’s been in cross fit in the past and then started looking for something else and when someone suggested power lifting where you compete in three categories including the deadlift, the squat and the bench press, she knew that was something she could get into.

Most recently Baldassarre, 36, competed at the 2023 WPCCP National Equipped and Raw/Classic Raw Invitational in Prince George and came first in her age and weight category.

Her squat was 352.5 lbs, bench was 181.5 lbs and deadlift was 352.5 lbs. That’s up from squat 330.6 lbs, bench 181.3 lbs and deadlift 336.2 lbs she lifted in September for a total increase of 40 lbs over a matter of months. She lifted that during the 2022 AWPC World Championships in Manchester, UK,  where she earned a silver medal.

So why the vast improvement?

Baldassarre credits her switch to a strength-training protocol, her protein-forward nutrition and a new training partner, Jessie Hall, who spurs her to always do her best.

“It’s been a long journey this one, to get where I am today,” Baldassarre said. “I have had many coaches and a steady nutritionist to guide me.”

For now, she’s going to take a bit of a break from competing and focus on training. Baldassarre trains six days a week, up to three hours a day.

“It feels like a full-time job,” she laughed.

Right now she competes as an amateur and she’d like to next compete on the pro circuit in 2024 as it’s a bit more hardcore, she added.

“I wish everybody knew about powerlifting and I wish more women would take it on,” Baldassarre said. “My inspiration and my goal is to create a power source for women to feed off of and to just learn and become stronger and know they are totally capable of amazing things.”