Athlete of the Month: Thomas Seniuk

Ever since joining the Rx Weightlifting competitive team, Tom’s accomplishments as an athlete has been too numerous to name. He started working with Coach Cheng at the beginning of 2019 in preparation for a competitive season as a Master’s athlete. Within two months of training, Tom was able to qualify for both the Pan American Master’s Championship in Orlando as well as the World Master’s Championship in Montreal.
In Orlando, Tom had what can only be described as an epic snatch battle for the Pan American Master record and came up just shy. However, his gumption and fortitude earned him the respect of his opponents as well as the audience in Orlando. Tom finished as an overall silver medalist and went right into his preparation for the World Master’s Championships 2 months later. In Montreal, Tom’s preparations payed off and he represented Canada to become the World Master’s Champion in the M45 89kg category. Not only that, but Tom is also the Canadian record holder for the snatch, clean and jerk, and total in his age and weight category.

During this last season, Tom also had some incredible training highlights including a lifetime snatch PR of 121kg/266lb. Currently, Tom is taking a well deserved rest and recovery period during the lockdown in order to ramp up for the World Master Games in Kansai, Japan in 2021.

– Written by Coach Cheng

What is one thing people may be surprised to learn about you?

I was a gymnast as a kid.

Why did you start weightlifting?

Like so many people, I had joined CrossFit and was really enjoying it but was struggling with the
Olympic lifts from a technical standpoint and my WODs were suffering as a result (using too much muscle vs efficient movement).
Much like our gym there was an Olympic lifting program so I joined for one month to focus on learning and by day two I was hooked. Great sport and great people.

What’s your favorite music to workout to?
I’ll dance to anything! Dave’s metal or Julia’s ABBA (that was only the one time but it was great haha)!

What’s your biggest weightlifting goal right now? How close are you?
The goal by nature is PR’s but as you gain more experience you realize to get there its all about movement technique so that’s my goal. Once you max out using strength you have to face the real sport of weightlifting which is humbling and a grind but that is where you find the true love for the sport. So, am I close to a goal? No but its about the journey. That said I guess I do have the ongoing goal of increased positional flexibility and injury prevention.

What book are you reading right now?
Tai-Pan by James Clavell.

What was your favorite TV show growing up? Why?
Pretty big Seinfeld fan. Great characters.

Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
“Guy walks into a bar….”

What’s the strangest talent you have?
I used to be able to do the Human Flag really well.


 What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Like most, more travel. Study watchmaking. Walk the Camino.

What do you do for a living?
I work for myself and my family in Finance.

Who inspires you?
I do have external figures that I admire in life, family and sport, but I would rather talk closer to home and more in the context of the gym. I have participated in all three sport at Crossfit6s – CrossFit, Hank’s Powerhouse and RX Weightlifting which I take some pride in and so I want to mention a few names:

Cheng Xu – not only is Cheng a great weightlifting coach (and national level weightlifter), he is incredible come competition time. I don’t particularly like competing and get very nervous but he has a way to put you on autopilot as he handles the day. I’m sure others would agree. He inspires both physically and cerebrally (incredible writer).

Coach Whit – what can I say? I want to lift like her. Would love to have just a part of her tenacity and character.

RX Team – tonnes of support for each other and incredible dedication. Inspired by all.

Hank’s – Benny and Adam and the whole group. Again, very dedicated and seriously fun crew! Watching Eddie lift just makes me smile.

CrossFit – so many dedicated athletes but I will point out two. While I did a few weeks of CrossFit last year, AJ was in a bunch of the same classes with a big smile and made me feel welcome (and she crushed the workouts), and Arjun (Ravi) who was one of the first athletes I met at Crossfit6s and who from day one inspired me with how hard he worked and what a pleasure he was to train alongside.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
I had a weightlifting coach that used to say “weightlifting isn’t just about the physical, but it actually makes you a better person because you never truly finish, you always work, it’s full of failure, it makes you humble, and you really appreciate the small wins”. I always liked that.
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