Dawid Kawka is a Polish powerlifter who made his mark on the 2020 National Championships with some enormous lifts.
Competing at 74kg with the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), Dawid squatted more than three times his bodyweight at the Championships to break the national Polish record with a 250 kg squat. He followed this with a double bodyweight benchpress of 165 kg, and then deadlifted 265 kg. The total of 680 kg was also a Polish record, classed as raw lifts.
The incredible performance earned him second place overall across all weight categories just a few points behind the winner, and all this was achieved while working full time in a demanding job. He was also selected for a drug test, which of course he passed.
“My greatest achievement in powerlifting now is the win in the Poland championships” he says.“and also breaking the squat national record.” He also believes greater successes are to come.
“I won some smaller competitions, but I started going to competitions seriously in 2018/2019 year, so everything is ahead of me.”
Dawid competed at the Championships as a vegan of six years, having made the change in April 2014. He went vegan in about one week after reading about veganism and watching videos, and says he feels better, especially mentally.
His food now includes lots of apples, bananas, rice, red lentils and quinoa. A favourite is rice and red lentils with vegetables “and some sort of good sauce”.
Dawid’s training has been developed from research he has made into books written by athletes, coaches and doctors, and he also retains an interest in calisthenics, which he trained in before powerlifting.
Currently (in 2020) he trains in a garage gym he built quickly during lockdown, and he releases videos coving his training and veganism. Previously he trained at a gym and found that most people were not positive about veganism.
“Some of them still don’t believe that I eat a full plant diet” he explains. “I was the strongest guy in the gym, so they were a little confused.”
“Good coaches who are more driven by science than strange beliefs know that people can get every substance and nutrient from plants.”
Plans for even bigger lifts!
Dawid’s lifts are already at an incredible standard; while many hope to record a total six times bodyweight, his lifts at the Polish Championships were over nine times his bodyweight. He plans to take them even further.
“My powerlifting plans are big, I want break 10 x bodyweight total (750kg1655lbs), so I train hard, and I love it. I have a small dream connected to powerlifting, to break 700lbs deadlift (317kg). I have a lot of other plans, but it’s a secret for now” he says with a cheeky laugh.
The future is a plant-based one for Dawid as long as there are plants to eat. “Only when all the plants are gone I will think about change!” he says. “I don’t want to convince anyone of anything by force, that’s not the way to go. People need to be interested in the topic. That’s my philosophy about veganism.”