By Andrea Lopez
When people think of powerlifting, a person with the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger comes to mind, but in reality, that is not always the case.
Powerlifting is a sport in which a person’s strength is tested according to the competitor’s gender, weight class, and age.
There are three different kinds of lifts: squat, bench, and deadlift. Per lift, each competitor gets three attempts which are then added together for a final score. Whoever has the highest score in their class or division wins a gold medal and the next two places receive silver and bronze, respectively.
Senior BryantJordan Fajardo has been powerlifting for two years. In his first competition, at 209 lbs. in the 16/17 division, he set the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) California state squat record at 462 lbs.
Fajardo is currently training for a meet in which he will attempt to break the USPA American record squat in the 198 lbs weight class which is currently at 518 lbs.
To prepare for meets, powerlifters strength-train at gyms and other locations in order to practice their lift techniques and increase their muscle power.
“As of now I squat 520 lbs, bench 275 lbs, and deadlift 500 lbs. In my next meet I hope to be classified as an elite powerlifter with a 1340 lbs total,” Fajardo said.
Beforehand, he had been going to the gym just for personal fitness but soon became inspired to become a powerlifter.
Fajardo started powerlifting after his cousin, Criselda Fajardo became a well known female powerlifter. He felt inspired by her motivation to keep getting better and he wanted to pursue the same sort of success.
With his cousin as a role model, Fajardo is motivated to continue powerlifting and become as strong as he could possibly be. He does not stop training until he hits all of his goals and once those have been achieved, he sets new, higher challenges.
He trains for five or six days a week at Crunch Fitness Gym for two to three hours per day. In addition to working hard at the gym, he also enjoys being with his friends while training.
“Fajardo has completed an amazing feat at such a young and he pushes me to make myself as strong as I can be too,” a friend of Fajardo, senior Lance Fabery said.
Not only do his friends support him powerlifting, but so does his family. Fajardo’s parents make sure that he feels well during and after training, cautioning him to slow down when they feel he is over-exercising.
Although Fajardo loves the sport, he does not see himself pursuing a career in powerlifting. He feels that he does powerlifting just for fun and to test his own abilities.
“Although I am passionate about the sport of powerlifting, there are better opportunities in my future,” Fajardo said.