A bearded powerlifter shattered the women’s bench press record by mocking the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s rules that permit biological men to compete as females, smashing a mark previously set by a man claiming to be transgender.
Avi Silverberg, the head coach for Team Canada Powerlifting since 2012, has competed three times in the World Bench Press, winning a bronze medal in 2010. Co-founder of MyStrengthBook, he also writes on his nutrition blog.
🏋️♂️ Team Canada powerlifting coach, Avi Silverberg just broke the Alberta WOMEN's bench press record in the 84+ kg category at the "Heroes Classic."
Former record holder, trans-identifying male, Anne Andres had a front row view as Silverberg mocked the discriminatory CPU policy… pic.twitter.com/ajhUJPB4gc
— ICONS Women (@icons_women) March 27, 2023
Last Saturday, at the Heroes Classic tournament in Lethbridge, Alberta, Silverberg broke the record set by transgender powerlifter Anne Andres, who is recognized as a female on the Open Powerlifting ranking site.
“Why is women’s bench so bad?” Andres said. “I mean not compared to me, we all know that I’m a tranny freak, so that doesn’t count. … I mean, standard bench in powerlifting competitions for women. I literally don’t understand why it’s so bad.”
Swimmer Riley Gaines, who has harshly criticized transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, fired at Andres, “Anne Andres (male who identifies and competes as a woman) doesn’t understand why female powerlifters are so ‘bad’ at bench press. … Well I don’t know Anne, but maybe it’s because you have 20 times more testosterone than them. Just a thought …”
Anne Andres (male who identifies and competes as a woman) doesn't understand why female powerlifters are so "bad" at bench press….well idk Anne, but maybe it's because you have 20 times more testosterone than them. Just a thought…. pic.twitter.com/klxd4WaoYc
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) February 17, 2023
Silverberg bench-pressed 501 pounds back in 2016 under the strict “raw” rules that require an approved weight belt, an approved singlet, approved wrist wraps, and chalk. Conversely, an equipped bench press permits the additional use of knee wraps, a squat suit, and a compression shirt.
The Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) states in a section regarding transgender competition that it “supports the recommendations outlined in Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport, the guidance document developed by the Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group and published by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).”
The CPU writes, “Individuals participating in development and recreational sport (LTAD stages Active Start, FUNdamental, Learn to Train, Train to Train, Train to Compete (until international federation rules apply) and Active for Life) should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify and not be subject to requirements for disclosure of personal information beyond those required of cisgender athletes. Nor should there be any requirement for hormonal therapy or surgery.”
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“Individuals should not be required to disclose their trans identity or history to the sport organization in order to participate in high-performance sport … unless there is a justified reason requiring them to do so,” the CPU adds.