Wilson Blackbird looks to break records (Daniel Zuniga/for the Observer)


If I can continue to trust the process, I can get that record and more — Wilson Blackbird



Rio Rancho USPA powerlifter Wilson Blackbird holds three New Mexico state records in powerlifting.

Now, he  has his eyes on the bench-press record for the 220-pound weight class.

According to the United States Powerlifting Association, powerlifter Thomas Vargas holds the top spot in the 220-pound weight class with a 374.8 pound bench press set on Jan. 30, 2022.

“Definitely gotta push more weight [this next competition],” Blackbird said. “I bench 405 now. I just got to get to a meet.”

Blackbird lifts out of Elite Physique gym in Rio Rancho, and does both bodybuilding and powerlifting.

“In the beginning, I was strictly into bodybuilding, but one of my good friends, who is a powerlifter, he’s about 300 pounds and I was around 200 pounds,” Blackbird said. “I was pushing more weight than he was, and he told me ’dude, you should really think about doing some of these powerlifting shows.’”

On Oct. 16, 2021, Blackbird broke the state records in both bench and deadlift at the Drug Tested New Mexico State Championships. Blackbird recorded a 352.7 pound bench press, and a 512.5 pound deadlift, both state records for the 198-pound weight class.

“Did that first one [competition], and I kinda just fell in love with it because I did not have to be on a strict diet, I could just go to the competition and lift,” Blackbird said.

In February 2021, Blackbird lost his father, which made everything difficult, including diet/prep for bodybuilding shows.

“I was actually supposed to compete in a bodybuilding competition in 2021, but my Dad passed away in February 2021 and he was my gym partner and best friend,” Blackbird said. “ I wanted to keep that promise to my father that I’d compete [in 2021] so I competed in my first powerlifting competition and took two state records.”

Since then, Blackbird has moved up to the 220-pound weight class, and set another state record with a 584.2 pound deadlift.

Now, he’s eyeing powerlifting competitions in 2023 to climb the mountain top once again.

So far in his career, Blackbird has competed in five bodybuilding shows, and three powerlifting competitions.

“If I can continue to trust the process, I can get that record and more,” he said.