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Mighty New Brunswick athletes set hefty goals


Breaking the world record for a one arm dumbbell press was a goal that Sam Belliveau has had her eye on for quite sometime.

Last month, that goal became a reality when the Shediac, N.B., pro-athlete took over the world record title.

“I was able to lift 185lbs, which is my body weight, for two repetitions from the floor. Not having any other women lifting it once so it felt good,” she said.

She lifted her own body weight, not once, but twice, at the Arnold Strongwoman Classic in Ohio.

“That was a moment that will be stapled into my life forever,” she said.

However, the world record title is just the start of what’s to come for Belliveau.

“It seems like what else, right? You’ve reached the top of the world,” laughed Belliveau.

Alongside her fiancé, Max Boudreault, the duo hopes to bring the world of strongman competitions to more New Brunswickers.

“We always strive to grow the sport, to grow the strength community, to get people involved in strength and fitness, so for us, it’s about changing people’s lives and inspiring others, so the work isn’t done,” she said.

The pair has a gym in Shediac called Maximum Strength Performance.

Belliveau started training and competing back in 2017 in the Maritimes. Today, she competes in the middle and heavy weight strong woman categories and is currently in the top 10 rankings in the world.

“Growing up, my parents always told me to do whatever you do with full intentions, and love what you do, and do it with a passion,” she said.

Boudreault started back in 2011 after switching his focus from body building.

“One of my friends said ‘hey you should try and come do strongman training every Saturday at our gym’ so I tried, we did a farmers walk, log press and some sled push and pull and every week when I was going I was getting stronger and stronger and after a year I switched sports for sure,” he said.

However, he says it was in 2018 in Santa Monica that he really made his “big crack” into the scene.

“I went to Worlds Strongest Man in 2020, 2021, 2022, up to 2023. I’ve placed third in 2021 at Worlds, and it just made you realize that even with the size of those guys that they’re actually beatable. Like they’re 6’9, 440lbs, it’s a big difference, but I just realized if you have belief in yourself, anything is possible,” he said.

For the pair, it’s about more than just a workout, it’s a lifestyle and it involves a lot of hard work, support and dedication, but it pays off.

“This sport gave me everything,” said Boudreault.

“It gave us the gym, it gave me Sam, and just to be able to give back to the community and just build the sport, we even own the strongman federation throughout Canada for the amateur scene, it’s a lot of work, but we’re grateful to be the ambassador for Canada for the sport.”

He also compares the strongman community to a big brotherhood and says everyone believes in one another, helps each other, and supports everyone.

Right now, both Belliveau and Boudreault plan to return to the stage at the end of July for the North Americans in Quebec, and while Belliveau’s record is still brand new, if she has her way, it will be beaten soon enough.

“I think the bar can only be raised from here,” she said.

“I’m hoping to get to be the first women to get to press a 200-pound dumb bell over her head and then just go on from there.”

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