Darshan Singh Gill

View Royal powerlifter keeps on rolling

Darshan Gill’s leg-press feat the talk of West Shore gym

An old advertising slogan used to claim, “you’re not getting older, you’re getting better.”

The same could be said for Darshan Singh Gill. The View Royal resident, who won world powerlifting gold in 2008 and owns multiple B.C. and national age group titles, just turned 77.

He indirectly marked the occasion in the weight room at West Shore Parks and Recreation by leg pressing 1,100 pounds, an all-time personal best.

The successful attempt, which saw Gill load up the machine with nine 45-pound plates on each side, had a somewhat theatrical flair, as a fellow lifting enthusiast sat atop the apparatus to add 235 pounds of weight. Gill pulled off five repetitions to show he could do it.

“Even 50-year-old guys can’t do that. Even young kids can’t do that,” the usually modest Gill said afterward in an interview.

Standing just under five-eight and carrying 206 well-toned pounds on his frame, the long-retired mill worker looks closer to 60 than 80. He’s been a regular at the Juan de Fuca gym for 20 years and works out five or six times a week, on average.

He doesn’t think much about age, he said, although some days his body tells him he’s overdone it a bit. A rotator cuff injury sustained a while back is healing nicely, but will keep him out of this month’s provincial championships in Vancouver. “You have to just think positive. I think when I’m 90 I’ll still be lifting.”

Gill has competed 30-plus years in powerlifting, which combines squats, bench press and deadlift, and usually includes a bench-press only competition. He broke his hip and knee in 1986 and was told at the time by his doctor he would be lucky to walk normally again, never mind powerlifting.

Having worked hard on his physical conditioning, he largely ignored the doctor’s dim prognosis and was back competing after a couple of years.

These days, fellow lifters marvel at Gill’s longevity and relative durability. “People ask me, ‘when you were young, were you stronger then?’ I say no,” he said. “In 1975, my squat was 350 pounds. When I was 65 (in 2002) my squat was over 500.”

With the help of regular leg presses, which work a similar muscle group, he still squats more than 400 pounds. He also deadlifts at least 400 and the other day bench pressed 275, the same amount he lifted in winning his category at the 2013 B.C. championships last June.

Gill, who hopes to be ready to compete again by the Fall Classic this November, enjoys the people he works out with at the rec centre and enjoys inspiring them to do more.

“I love it. When you go there and you meet people, and you’re lifting, then lifting more, you see them and they’re happy,” he said.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Government Street to be transformed into ‘people-priority’ zone

Victoria city council voted to limit traffic in the area by 2022

Central Saanich Fire Dept. now sun powered – good for budget and environment

Over production of power fed back to grid, results in credits over the winter

Concrete beams for McKenzie interchange set for installation this weekend

No lane closures expected during weekend work, says ministry

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read