Powerlifting, weightlifting and motivation

Wednesday, Feb 22 FIU WRC hosted its first Powerlifting Competition. The winner was Jonathan Marrero and achieved the title  of ¨Strongest Panther.”  Jonathan, a south Florida native and senior, majoring in business administration.

Powerlifting is a fascinating form of weight lifting. The movements are considered natural for your body and incorporates more than your primary muscle. For example, when bench pressing we all believe it only engages our pectoral muscle. But with proper form, a bench press will engage your core, shoulders, arms and quads.

Powerlifting consists of 3 basic lifts that incorporates the majority of the human body. These three lifts include: bench press, squat lift and deadlift. The progress that takes place in powerlifting is relatively easy to monitor as there are only a few sets of standardized workouts.

Marrero won the title of, ¨Strongest Panther” in the FIU Powerlifting competition because he established a plan. He maintained a daily discipline leading up to the day of the lift. He knew what maximum weights he could lift and concentrated on performing those workouts in proper form.

While weightlifting it is important to remember that form is the most important aspect. Without proper form we will not engage the muscle for maximum benefit and our body is also subject to major injury.

Marrero´s fitness lifestyle began at John A. Ferguson High School as a team player on the football team. The team did various types of speed workouts and some crossfit style exercises to build stamina and speed. In the year 2009 and 2010 their team won the title of being the fastest team in the district.

After sometime away from the fitness world due to severe knee injury, Marrero was unhappy with his lifestyle. Due to his unfortunate injuries, he knew, he was no longer able to play football or run track and field. Nonetheless, he wanted to renew his healthy and fit lifestyle.

His father, then introduced him to bodybuilding and weightlifting. Marrero began to visit the gym daily where his father taught him the basics of weightlifting.

Marrero had found his way back to fitness! As he was not that knowledgeable in this subject, he started following different workout programs and also began following the gurus of the bodybuilding world. It is a common mistake that novice bodybuilders overdose on pre workouts and various supplements. Unfortunately the same happened to Marrero; his left lung collapsed due to excessive supplements.

Another drawback in his life, previously it was injury in action but this time a medical damage, lungs collapsed. Marrero learned from his mistakes, took an oath to eat “real” food instead of supplements. He did a make over to his kitchen, not the interior design but the foods in it. He started changing his diet habits, which is what I recommend to everyone who is dieting. He changed his carbohydrates to whole grains and milks to fat free milk and ate as many raw foods as possible, i.e. fruits and vegetables.

Marrero started to follow specific routines of the bodybuilders who had been in powerlifting competitions for a long period of time. He asked for help from FIU Alumni, Dustin Elliot who is also a power lifter. Elliot helped Marrero with specific techniques that included breathing repetitions. Believe it or not, while lifting weights, your breathing cycle is extremely important.
After a  blown knee, one collapsed lung and a handful of other injuries, Marrero did not give up. “What is all this hard work in education and degree worth, if I do not live a long and healthy life to enjoy it?,” Marrero said.

So many times we find ourselves with petty excuses for not going to the gym or working out. We are all studying to become educated individuals, but if we do not live a healthy life, we will not enjoy our success.

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