Senior’s Powerlifting Prowess Puts Him in a Class Above the Rest

Brandon Dubie is not your typical high school athlete, instead of spending hours on the court or the field, this senior devotes his time to the gym, and it’s paying off.


Brandon Dubie

Eighteen year old Brandon Dubie ‘21 deadlifts in his home gym. “I did bodybuilding, and it was fun,” he said. “But to me it was too repetitive and I wasn’t seeing progress with it. Then I started throwing heavier weights in and I saw progress with my strength so I started to strive for that.”

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

It’s a cold winter afternoon, senior Brandon Dubie has just gotten home after a long day of school. But now, here in this moment, the school day is nothing more than a blur.

Currently in the middle of a deadlift session, every muscle in his body screams as he musters the strength to raise the 525 lbs of weight off of a pair of six inch blocks. For most, that might seem like an unachievable feat, but this is just a normal evening for Brandon. At 18 years old, he is well on his way to becoming a successful powerlifter.

“I started in November of eighth grade,” he said. “My father was a big bodybuilder back in the day with a very heavy bench, so I strove to want that and that’s what kind of started my whole journey.”

While he says that he does receive a lot of outward support, it’s clear that Dubie has become a self motivated person along the way. “My dad is my biggest supporter with this, but the person who’s helped me the most is probably myself,” he said. “I’m my biggest motivation. When I first started I videoed myself a lot and watched a lot of videos to learn how to do this, so I’m probably the biggest reason for where I am.”

Though he has been in the sport for over four years, Dubie says that it took time for him to fully embrace it. “It was definitely a gradual process, because when I started, I didn’t know too much, and I was kind of off and on with it, but then eventually I fell in love with it.”

As the world shut down last spring, he was able to use the time at home to take his powerlifting game to the next level. “The biggest thing that quarantine did for me was that my dad hooked me up with one of his friends who used to be a competitive powerlifter,” he said. “Now he’s my coach and he’s been coaching me since the end of March.”

Dubie says that his favorite lift is the deadlift because “You feel huge after.” But as he looks towards the future, there are major goals in sight in every aspect of the sport. “My big goals are to break 700 on the deadlift [currently 480 without blocks] and hopefully get close to that on the squat [currently 375 high barred], to hit 300 on the log press [currently 175 strict press for two reps] and to beat my father’s 400 double (two reps) on the bench [currently 245].”

Barring any conflict, he will be able to showcase his strength within the coming months. “Hopefully if everything goes right I have a competition in May,” said Dubie. “It’s going to be on the border of New Hampshire, I can’t remember the town exactly, but it’s only about an eight hour drive from here.”

While he bides his time in anticipation, Dubie is still looking to make improvements in his lifting before he competes, none of which will be done in a professional facility. “I have a home gym, mostly in my basement,” he said. “And if I go to my coach’s house he lives up in Fort Fairfield.”

“My dad had equipment when we lived downstate and when we moved he sold it all,” he continued. “So I had to start from scratch. My parents bought cardio equipment, (but) I’m not really a big cardio guy, obviously. I had to buy the weights, the barbell, all the other stuff there. The only thing that I was gifted was my squat rack.”

Although Dubie says that he isn’t big on cardio, he does also happen to be a cross country runner for Presque Isle High School, which is a sport that happens to entail a whole lot of it. “It was definitely counterproductive, that’s for sure,” he said. “For powerlifting you want to be heavy, you don’t want to be too lean. I lost 8-10 pounds from cross county [this year]. I already gained that and some more back since the season ended, but they’re definitely conflicting sports because I lost strength and size because of cross country.”

Despite the differences in the sports, on a rudimentary level, they are similar. Both are contests where success is regulated by the individual, but the fuel for success is often found by working to beat those around you, and perhaps that’s what drew him in. “It’s the competitiveness with it, even in training I’ll be competitive with people,” said Dubie. “You’ve got to push each other.”

Another major aspect of the sport for him is the eating, which he listed as one of the most crucial parts, as well as one of his favorites. “I would not be as strong or as big as I am if I didn’t eat as much as I do,” he said. “I bounce between meals that I’ll do, but I’ll meal prep for at least three days (at a time). When I cook, it’s four cups of uncooked rice and two cups of cooked rice per meal, which is a lot of food for the average person. Then it’s half a sweet potato and like a four inch by four inch piece of meatloaf or chicken or something like that. So it’s a lot of food that you have to put down.”

Food Breakdown

Click on a food item for more information

Food Breakdown
Sweet Potato Chicken Rice

Sweet Potato

A serving of sweet potato is roughly 110 calories, but the superfood provides much more than that. It is a nutrient rich root that contains vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as at least seven different minerals including iron, zinc and potassium.


One cup of chicken is roughly 350 calories, a portion for Brandon would likely be several servings.


The entirety of the rice amounts to about 14 cups when cooked, totaling to 3000 calories, or 1000 per meal in this case.

As he graduates from high school and looks ahead with his life and his lifting, Dubie says that he would love to see the sport continue to grow, possibly even at the high school level, where it exists in many other states. “I’d love to have a powerlifting team,” he said. “Honestly I think if we had a team here, we’d have a good team. I mean there’s some good people in our grade and in our school that I think could put up some good numbers. It would be a different competition and a good life starter and good skills for kids to learn, definitely a fun activity.”

For Dubie, powerlifting is more than just a sport, and that’s what makes it so important to him. “For me, working out is an emotional output,” he said. “When people have bad days, they do certain things, maybe yoga, stuff like that, for me it’s powerlifting. After that I’ll feel ten times better and have a good time.”

The traditional bread and butter competitions that everyone recalls when they think of high school sports don’t suit everyone. Once you explore the world that is athletics in its entirety, you may find that there is actually much more than meets the eye. As you’ve read, they can serve to better both your physical and emotional health, you, like Brandon, just have to find the right niche.

Check out Brandon’s continued journey on his powerlifting instagram: