Raising the bar

Seniors share what brought them to the weight room and what keeps them there


Maxed Out: Senior Subhranshu Banerjee deadlifts 495 pounds. On average, Banerjee lifts five times a week.

Lifting weights may not seem like a sport, but with the growth of CrossFit gyms and popularity of shows like American Ninja Warrior, the sport of simply being in shape has grown in popularity. For seniors Jackson Ebeling and Subhranshu Banerjee, lifting heavy weights and steel is what keeps them motivated, helps them get through their day, and gives them the boost of confidence to succeed.

Powerlifting is much more than just trying to put as much weight as possible on a bar and lift it. Weightlifting involves different sets and repetitions.

“If you are trying to gain weight, then you’re going to lift heavier and do lower sets, and if you’re trying to get in shape and leaner, then you are going to do higher sets with lower weight,” Ebeling said.

When it comes to powerlifting, Banerjee takes several different supplements to enhance his strength.

“Creatine, protein powder, and sometimes pre-workout if I am feeling tired or not focused,” Banerjee said.

Ebeling stressed the importance of eating right-foods like chicken and steak.

“You have to stay with lean protein because if you eat anything outside of that, you are just going to be going backwards and make it worse for yourself,” Ebeling said.

Although eating healthy foods is very important, when they are eaten is just as important.

“I eat before and after because the more you eat the better it is and you won’t lose weight. If you do not eat enough, then you will lose weight and lose strength,” Ebeling said.

Beginner powerlifters also need to establish a good workout routine that works for them.

“I do upper and lower body splits so two times a week it will be lower body and three days a week are upper body,” Subhranshu said.

The three main exercises in powerlifting are bench press, deadlift, and squat. But is cardio necessary?

“I do not do cardio because I don’t want to lose strength and weight,” Ebeling said.

In addition, many people think powerlifting is dangerous and bad for your joints because of the heavy weight.

“Powerlifting is only dangerous if you are stupid, don’t do the exercise correctly, and are not balanced,” said Subhranshu.

Ebeling suggests beginners get a trainer in order to learn how to properly do the exercises right the first time.

Powerlifting means commitment and achievement to its performers.

“People take notice now, I relate it to success, and it has helped me become disciplined. Finding something that you can stick with and keep you going really helps your life,” Banerjee said.