Evansville powerlifter ranked among best in Canada

Evansville powerlifter Robert Maxwell, who is 20th in Canada in his weight class, is shown at a competition held last August in Orangeville.

EVANSVILLE – While relatively new to competing in the sport of powerlifting, Robert Maxwell is already among the top 20 in Canada in his weight class.

“I’ve been training for strength for almost 14 years. But it wasn’t until 2019 that I was persuaded by a friend of mine, Malcolm Noland, about taking my interest to the next level,” Mr. Maxwell told The Expositor. “I was reluctant at first, nervous, and didn’t think I was ready to take part in a competition. But I decided to sign up for my first competitive powerlifting competition in the summer of 2019.” 

Mr. Maxwell explained that at a competition, each powerlifter lifts the barbell in the squat, bench press and dead lift. “At these competitions, you have nine attempts in total (three in each of the three exercises) and the judges take your best lift (weight) in each of the three, and the lifter who lifts the highest total weight wins the competition.”  

In the competition held in St. Catharines in 2019, Mr. Maxwell finished fifth in his weight class. “Since then, I have only taken part in one other official competition. I was supposed to compete at an event in 2020 but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.”

“The most recent competition I took part in was held in August (2021) in Orangeville,” continued Mr. Maxwell. “In that competition I was able to win in my weight class. My numbers included my best squat lift being 574 pounds, 365 pounds in the bench press and 628 pounds in the deadlift. Those results were good enough to win in my weight division and also in the Canada Powerlifting League in that federation.”

“As of last August, I was 20th in the country in my weight division (under 275 pounds),” he said. 

Mr. Maxwell has signed up for another competition, scheduled to take place in Orangeville, in May. “In this one I have trimmed my weight down to 240 pounds, so I will be competing in a lighter body weight division. My goal for this competition is to lift 600 pounds in the squat, 402 pounds in the bench press and 700 pounds in the deadlift.”

Decreasing body weight and competing in a lower body weight division while setting goals that are higher than he attained at a higher weight “is not easy. The two seem to be opposites. I feel a lot of athletic feats are lost due to an athletes’ mindset. Although I’ve decreased my body weight, I believe I can attain the weights I’ve set as a goal. I’ve done my training and will continue. I will do absolutely everything I can to attain these goals with belief in myself, my training, working on my mobility, proper nutrition and making sure I get proper sleep (the latter which is crucial to allow the body to recover from lifting weights of this size).”

All of Mr. Maxwell’s powerlifting training has taken place in his families’ home gym, in the basement of his parents’ home in Evansville. “Joseph, my younger brother, and I trained for many years together working with a regulation-sized deadlift platform in the basement of my parents’ home. We have accumulated quite a bit of equipment including many adjustable barbells, 1,500 pounds of weight plates, and squat rocks.”

“I have been lucky enough to have the permission of my parents to have the space and resources to set up this type of thing here on the property,” said Mr. Maxwell, who is 31 years old. 

With his passion for powerlifting and strength, Mr. Maxwell wants to share this with others. “I’ve recently started a service on the internet to coach people how to get stronger. I can train and help someone who wants to get in shape to enhance their quality of life and those who want to take part in competitions and everyone in between,” he explained.

Evansville powerlifter Robert Maxwell is shown taking part in a competition held last August in Orangeville where he took first place in his weight category.

“I already have several clients,” Mr. Maxwell told The Expositor. He provides custom workout programs, nutrition plans, weight loss plans and how to gain more muscle. “You don’t become good in this life without knowledge about nutrition,” he said.

“I have a deep passion, almost a deep obsession, with powerlifting and strength, and want to pass on my knowledge to other people,” said Mr. Maxwell.

As has been chronicled in The Expositor and the former Manitoulin West Recorder, the  accomplishments of Mr. Maxwell’s younger brother Joseph, in shotput, have been noteworthy. “My younger brother Jacob, who is studying to become a veterinarian, is also passionate about long distance running,” said Joseph Maxwell. “It seems all three of us have the drive to excel in physical activities and this goes beyond our generation. Our great great grandfather, Robert Maxwell, in the early 1900s ran 100 metre races and at the time was very close to attaining the world record. The record at that time was 10.1 seconds for 100 metres and he posted a mark of 10.3 seconds in a competition.”

For those who would like more information on the training programs Mr. Maxwell can provide, visit his website at