Last Updated on July 10, 2024

Regie Ramirez, a 31-year-old powerlifter from Ormoc, Leyte, has just set a new record. To be precise, he broke the Asian and World Equipped Open Powerlifting Championships deadlift in his weight class (59 kg) by lifting an astonishing 265.5 kg. Equipped powerlifting means he was using special equipment, such as a deadlift singlet, to aid his lift.

While the world record stands at 275 kg—a weight Ramirez has already lifted during his training—he modestly admits that May 6, 2024, just wasn’t his day. Instead, he settled for the Asian record and a gold medal. Alongside this, he also secured a bronze medal and a National Open record in the squat with 242.5 kg, and another bronze in the bench press with 145 kg.

The Journey to the Record

Ramirez, a champion powerlifter, coach, referee, former PE teacher, and ex-ballet dancer, exudes a casual confidence about his achievements. When asked about his record-breaking performance, he simply shrugs it off, attributing his less-than-perfect day to the travel disruptions he faced before the competition.

“Two days before the competition, our flight was canceled, and we had to go back home. Then we got moved to a later date, and we arrived in Hong Kong and only got to rest at midnight,” Ramirez explains. Anyone who frequents the gym knows that various factors—energy, sleep, food, hydration, and overall vibes—can significantly impact performance. For a powerlifter, these factors can make or break the ability to hit the technique and move the weight on cue.

Confidence Rooted in Preparation

But for Ramirez, the records and medals are just another day on the stage. When asked about his confidence in achieving his goals, he responds with a calm assurance, stating that he knew he would nail it. In his mind, the achievement was already earned; it just had to unfold in reality at the Asian Men’s Equipped Powerlifting Championships.

“You can be so focused, but don’t let your guard down. If anything, don’t be cocky because confidence is different from being cocky,” he advises. “It’s nothing. I feel nothing. Every day, I knew it. I felt it every time I woke up. Not to brag, but in my mind, ganito talaga siya—I can always do it anytime, anywhere,” Ramirez says. “I’m happy and I’m supposed to be thankful, because you should be thankful. But personally, if you ask me now, I’m only in it for the world record.”

Aiming High and Staying Focused

Ramirez is quick to clarify that aiming high is not a bad mindset. “You have to aim high. It’s not like you’re being overconfident. You can fail, and everybody can say bad things about you—I was overconfident about this and that. But only you know and understand what you really want. Do not be derailed and be distracted by what you hear. You only have to focus on the people who help you and what you really want to do. I think that’s what separates you from good and great. And I wanna be great.”

Competing Against Himself

Ramirez’s competitive spirit is directed inward. It’s just him and his goals on the same road, with only the preparation standing in the way. “My confidence comes from the preparation. I tried so hard, I even hit it in my training. Na-lift ko talaga siya,” he says. “If I went 10 tries, I hit the lift once in 10 tries, I only need one and I’ll forever say ‘I did it, I did it.’

Then you think that I’ll stop there? I’m not stopping there. I go more and more and more.”He emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between confidence and cockiness. “You can be so focused, but don’t let your guard down. If anything, don’t be cocky because confidence is different from being cocky.” For Ramirez, confidence is about doing all the work.

What’s Next for Regie Ramirez?

So, what’s next for this powerlifter now that he’s set a new Asian record? The answer is simple: the world record he didn’t get to hit in Hong Kong, 275 kg. Like he said, if he’s hit it once, then the moment’s forever immortalized. And with Ramirez, because it’s already happened before, it’s as good as done; it just needs to happen when it finally counts.

Regie Ramirez Deadlift

From Ballet to Powerlifting

Ramirez’s journey in powerlifting began unexpectedly. He used to be a ballet dancer, but since male ballet dancers are required to lift their partners, he needed to be trained in lifting. That was when his strength and potential in lifting were discovered by his uncle, Tony Koykka, a former six-time World Powerlifting Champion. Since then, Ramirez left ballet and shifted to weightlifting.

The Secret to Success

His secret to success? “Good training, good rest, and a good coach,” he says. Ramirez also advises other athletes to avoid using performance-enhancing drugs and go with the “slow but sure” way of accomplishing feats. “If you want to achieve something, set goals and then do your best,” he says. “Sports is not all about winning all the time; it’s about beating your old self.”

An Inspirational Journey

Ramirez’s achievements are a testament to his dedication and hard work. He has represented the Philippines in various international competitions, earning numerous medals and setting records along the way. His journey is a source of inspiration for many aspiring athletes.

Regie Ramirez wins the 2023 Southern Philippines Powerlifting Championships.
Regie Ramirez wins the 2023 Southern Philippines Powerlifting Championships.

Breaking Records with Casual Confidence

As Ramirez continues to train and aim for the world record, his story serves as a reminder that with the right mindset, preparation, and determination, anything is possible. His unshakeable confidence and relentless pursuit of greatness make him a true champion in the world of powerlifting.