A Nova Scotia powerlifter heading to the provincial championships for a dead weight competition this weekend says the sport turned his life around.  

Tyler Griffin, 18, started powerlifting — a form of competitive weightlifting in which athletes squat, bench press and deadlift in a set sequence — at a school for at-risk youth.

Griffin

Griffin will compete in the provincial championships Saturday. (CBC)

He said it's given him the structure and stability he needed to overcome his own issues.

Griffin and his coach Jim Nickerson spent Friday at a competition at the Sackville Sports Stadium preparing for the provincial championships. Griffin's first lift of the day was 405 pounds of dead weight.

He started powerlifting as an extra-curricular at Centre 24-7 in Coldbrook about a year ago. 

Centre 24-7 is a school for at-risk youth and some students serving sentences at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility.

Griffin has already overcome some trouble, including problems with drugs. 

The Nova Scotia Provincial Championships are held Saturday May 24 in Lower Sackville. 

“When he first came to the school he was a little bit scattered, a little bit all over the place,” said Nickerson. “But with a little bit of time and a little bit of support he finally found somewhere that he belonged.”

“Every time we're down at the gym like when I’m in there training it feels like home,” said Griffin.

He said structure and support have helped him make better choices in other areas of his life. 

“I'm all in or I'm all out,” he said. “There's not really an in between.”