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A Powerlifter's Advice To His Younger Self

Life will be a whirlwind of ups and downs. Although it will take you some time to find your niche, you will embrace the roller coaster and flourish when the spotlight shines upon you. In a perfect world, you could go through life without making any mistakes and get to your goals without any hiccups. Unfortunately, it isn’t a perfect world...but, life does give you the potential to grow and learn.

You’ll dabble in some bodybuilding, but you’ll find your true calling to be powerlifting. Listen closely, and I hope these words always linger in your mind. When you follow your passion and become fully alive, your choices will feel threatening to anyone who abides in the dominant story of what is perceived to be normal.

Powerlifting is an enigma to you. You’re intrigued with the possibilities and eager to learn. Your first meet will light a fire in you that will continue to burn for years and years to come.

Always look and listen with intent. You’ll learn from legends and work with one of the most respected coaches in the sport. You’ll deal with some adversity, but always keep your sights on the bigger picture. At the end of the day, all of your obstacles will help propel you to the top.

After a few years in the sport, you will hit your stride, yet remain hyper self-critical. Learn to be easier on yourself throughout this journey. Control what is in your power.

Your squat will improve tremendously—you’ll hit a PR squat of 854lb. You will learn a lot about your body and your training through trial and error. Things like adding volume to your squats will help that lift tenfold.

Bench is a solid lift for you. You smash a 589lb bench in a meet. Your technique never wavers, but you discover a narrower grip is more ideal for you after experiencing some nagging shoulder pain when using a wider grip.

Deadlift-wise, stop overthinking and dial that intensity down during training. Save it for the meet. You don’t need to lift heavy every week. Let your body recover and stop overexerting yourself. Rest is essential; you will learn to appreciate deload weeks. Your deadlift technique continues to evolve and, although you are a conventional lifter, you also have fun adding sumo deadlifts to your repertoire. Always work on improving your craft.

Through it all, continue to learn and live without regrets. Sometimes change is necessary and you’ll only succeed by adapting. Remember that things take time, but always keep your focus. Never quit when things get difficult. You’ve only got one shot at life, so make sure you’re making the best of that time.

I’ll conclude with these words from Vince Lombardi that are part of the blueprint for the future: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”

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