For some people, weightlifting is just an activity to become stronger. For others, it is an important component of how they live their everyday lives.
What started out as five men wanting to teach students about Olympic weightlifting turned into a club.
The founders of the Weightlifting Club wanted to put the university on the map as a top school for Olympic weightlifting. A few competitions later, the club has finished in the top three at every local meet and was recognized by Fringe, Barbell Revolution, Texas Barbell Club, Lower weightlifting, Back Rifle Coffee and Article 15 apparel, according to the club’s website.
The weightlifting club currently has 12 members and experienced a lot of success within the past year. Members compete in many different tournaments and events at every weightlifting level throughout the year. The team has competed in Junior Nationals, University Nationals and USA nationals.
Courtney Royster, president of the weightlifting club and exercise sports science sophomore, said they have sent five members to Nationals this past year.
Last year three male members were sent to University Nationals and one of them placed third. In January, three members including Royster, Brandon Settle, biology sophomore, and Rayanne Garcia, exercise sports science junior, were sent to compete in the Texas Weightlifting Championship. Royster and Garcia qualified for Junior Nationals in Spokane, Washington.
Royster said the club mostly competes locally against people who sign up for certain events that are USA weightlifting sanctioned.
Noel Miramontes, coach of the club and exercise sports science junior, said the club has been filled with growing and learning experiences with having a new president, coach and board.
“We want all our athletes, new and old, to be completely immersed in the culture,” Miramontes said. “I want everyone to enjoy lifting but understand that the time they are investing in this sport needs to have a payoff, whether personal or competitive.”
The club is open to for people of all skill levels. Their focus is to improve themselves, push their limits and support one another.
Settle is also the treasurer of the club and said he does not feel as if he is necessarily talented or have the right body for the sport, but continues to put in the work and compete in events.
“Personally, I do it for the challenge,” Settle said. “I’ve always loved the grind of going to the gym and pushing myself.”
Miramontes said competition prep is simple. As a coach, Miramontes said he believes lifting is only one half of the sport. The other half is performing under pressure during meets.
“I ask everyone to treat days in the gym like work,” Miromontes said. “Be attentive, coachable and approach your lifts like you would any task at your job. Approach practices as work so that when competition day comes it’s just another day in the office.”
Club practices are held from 5-9 p.m Monday-Thursday at the Aqua Sports Center.