Stout strength competition sends strong message

By Garrett Aleckson —

University of Wisconsin–Stout held their 16th annual strength competition at the Health and Fitness Center Wednesday, April 8. The competition is divided among different weightlifting categories, consisting of the men’s overall winner, which is determined after doing three separate lifts. The lifts include: bench press, squat, and deadlift. The other men’s event is again bench, but you press your own body weight.

There was also a women’s event. The event is to bench 65 pounds as many times as you can.

The strength competition is not just for the sake of lifting, however. It is also meant to encourage strength training throughout the UW–Stout campus. Jacob Guyer (So, Stratford, Wis.) competed, and won the bench your own body weight event. But he wasn’t always big. He had to work for it.

“I started lifting weights regularly when I was in 7th grade. I was just a scrawny kid who didn’t know much about weight lifting, but I liked hanging out there and liked the results I saw. I took advice from all the big guys in there and eventually got to where I am today,” said Guyer.

You do not need to aspire to be a bodybuilder to get into weight lifting; it’s all about improving your life. Guyer says it improves his life in ways other than just being in good shape.

“Weightlifting has been a great stress reliever. I have a very busy life just like any other college student trying to balance a job, classes and personal affairs. During the 60 to 90 minutes I’m in the gym, I forget about all of that and let everything out. Each of my workouts is fueled by the indignation bottled up inside of me. When I’m done, I go back to being a normal, happy person,” said Guyer.

Guyer also says that weightlifting has taught him not to worry about what other people think, and to focus on improving oneself, saying:

“Weightlifting has taught me that in order to be happy. You need to disregard what other people think if your choices have no deviant impact on them. Always remember, ‘Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.’”

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