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I started lifting at a young age. But what really got the fire going was in 7th grade. I had to have a surgery on my right leg. I was born with problems with my ankles and hips. At first doctors said I would never walk. Of course once I started to walk then I was told I would never run. After my first basketball game the doctors quit telling me what I couldn’t do. Back to 7th grade, so I was in a cast and wheel chair. I could not participate in P.E. class. The school I went to had weight training / gymnastics. I was enrolled into weight training 3 days a week in replace of P.E. My first day a fellow student dared me to go as heavy as I could on the smith machine bench press. I didn’t do anything impressive. But the teacher saw my one rep max. Later, after the class he pulled me aside and told me if I ever do something so stupid like a one rep max I would be kicked out of his class. He explained to me theirs no benefit to lifting to your one rep max. He also made it clear what I was doing wasn’t impressive and I would never lift as much as him. This is coming from an overweight teacher that couldn’t bench his bodyweight. But at the time he was around 265lbs bench. This was a lot for us 7th grade kids.
I went home that night and talked to my parents about what had happened. This is where I got the best advice I have ever received. My parents told me to just go to class and train as hard as you can. I went to every class and kicked my butt everyday. About three quarters of the way through the year I was noticeable stronger and in better shape. At this point I was out of the wheel chair and beginning to walk on my own again. I waited for the teacher to leave the gym and I set the smith machine up to 275lbs. I laid down and repped it out for a double. Everyone was impressed. Of course once the teacher returned someone told on me. The teacher didn’t believe the rumors and dared me to try and out bench him. After I doubled 275lbs again there never was a question I would always be stronger than him. The rest of my 7th and 8th grade years he spent time looking over my workouts and helping me get stronger.
When I started High School I met Joaquin Diaz Deleon who mentored me into powerlifting. He helped me build my bench up to 440lbs in high school, breaking just about every teenage record available. Including my high school bench press record. Learning different styles and training methods has really helped increase my bench to date. Now I am close to breaking 800lbs in single ply Titan gear, while on my Road to a GRAND.