Today features Keith Banner.
If you try and find Banner on the internet, it's almost impossible. Unlike many lifters, Banner doesn't post videos or numbers to personal websites or blogs, nor does he engage with any social media networks. This is not to say Banner is a complete lone wolf in his powerlifting endeavors, as he has a local training group that supports him. Rather, Banner simply lets his performance speak for itself, and doesn't have the need to tell others. For him, powerlifting is a personal pursuit.
Banner has been competing in the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) since 1999. Now in his 50s, Banner continues to dominate the powerlifting platform and boasts the strongest raw squat in the history of Canada at 340k/748lb. As well, Banner holds the third highest raw Wilks score in Canada across all weight classes at 461.41 points, and won a bronze medal at the 2003 World Master Powerlifting Championships.
Banner conducts himself with complete humility. In fact, when I was trying to learn more about Banner, I asked him what some of his past lifts were, and he couldn't tell me without looking them up. In other words, he didn't know his personal records. It's not about numbers for Banner, it's just about doing the best you can do every time you step on the platform.
Outside of his incredible lifting career, not much is known about Banner. However, friends tell me that he lives in Devin, Alberta, and works for the City of Edmonton. He is also cat lover.
I was able to get a hold of Banner through email to ask him a few questions.
What motivates you to compete?
Adrenaline and endorphin addictions...just kidding but they are a factor. I’m not that competitive by nature, but I do challenge myself to do the best I can no matter what the task (perfectionist), therefore it is more of a personal challenge that motivates me.
What advice would you give to athletes just starting?
From a training standpoint: Learn proper lifting form and technique before adding weight. This is the biggest mistake I see in this sport and is crucial to big lifts and longevity in the sport. Also, If you are interested in the sport seek out other lifters and don’t be afraid to step onto the platform, it doesn’t matter what level of lifting you are currently at. From a philosophical standpoint: It is like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it.
What are you goals in powerlifting?
My goals change as I get older. Currently, I just try to bring my best performance to the platform every meet.
What has been your most memorable moment in powerlifting?
Probably my first meet, I was so overwhelmed I left the meet when it was over not realizing I had won my weight class, didn’t find out until someone told me the next day. Second most memorable would have to be representing Canada at Master World’s in Regina 2003.
Below is a video showcasing some of Banner's lifts. Most of Banner's heaviest lifts were never caught on video, and so the footage below is only what was retrievable through some of his training partners. Thank you Keith for being a great model of drug-free Canadian powerlifting.