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A new club for powerlifting comes to SHS

Pictured left to right: Club founder Eli O’Keefe and club member Mike Fry

Solon High School offers many clubs to its students, and for many students there is a lot of consideration that goes into choosing which ones to join. The relatively new Powerlifting Club offers one standout thing for its members: gain strength through consistent work. The club meets at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

The sport of powerlifting is not overly complex. To put it simply, it is lifting the heaviest amount of weight you can in three movements: deadlift, squat and bench press. Powerlifting is a competition of lifting the heaviest weight in your weight class (measured in Kg). In the public eye, however, the sport is not always recognized that well–something club founder junior Eli O’Keefe is looking to change.

“I got really into powerlifting about a year ago, and I found a very good group of people who taught me how to get good at it,” O’Keefe said. “The group of people that powerlifters are, the energy, the support group it is is very much a family, and I wanted to bring that aspect to a larger audience.”

Sophomore club member Mike Fry also thinks that there should be more recognition and participation in the sport.

“Powerlifting is honestly an easy sport to get into, anybody at really any size can get into the sport, and it’s also something that’s a health benefit for you,” Fry said. “Honestly, everybody and anybody that can, that has the time to join in the club should.”

O’Keefe has claimed the goal of the club is, overall, to get stronger to compete as the end goal. Club advisor John Dunn, the strength coach for Solon’s sports teams, would like to see all who join benefit in multiple ways.

“Learning to compete, and learning to PR, and do the best they can, competing against yourself in a lot of local meets, those are the biggest benefits you can have,” Dunn said.

There are other benefits to joining the club as well.

“Self discipline is a very important benefit, and that doesn’t mean you have to go hard all the time, or be an overly serious individual, but being able to work towards a goal without requiring motivation or requiring someone else to push you through it is a very important quality,” O’Keefe said.

Being embarrassed or afraid of joining should not be a concern either according to Fry.

“People might get scared to join because they think that they’re not big enough or that they’re not strong enough,” Fry said. “But all you need is yourself, to come in, push yourself. It’s not a team sport, it’s just you competing against yourself.”

O’Keefe said that learning how to use your body and train is one of the most important things you can learn.

“In the end, the goal is to learn how to properly train,” O’Keefe said. “How to properly use your body and implement these same ideals into the rest of your training because as athletes and general individuals in training, we all want to be able to get better and without knowing how your body works it’s really hard to get there.”

Fry said gaining more confidence is something many people need, and this club can help with that.

“Helping people feel more comfortable with themselves is a big benefit, because if you’re surrounded by a bunch of people who support you and help push you to be better, you can and will become more comfortable with yourself,” Fry said. “Even at competitions once you’re out on that platform performing your lift, the entire crowd is cheering for you.”

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