The Special Olympics says powerlifting is more than deadlifts, squats, or bench presses. Athletes must train every week and be persistent if they want to stay in shape.

Every Tuesday evening, you’ll see Gabriel Homes residents powerlifting at IMP Fitness in Fairfax. Two residents, Patrick and Chris, are best friends who always warm up together on the treadmill. Chris says powerlifting is easier when he can train with his friends. 

“I feel stronger after every training session,” Chris says. “The trainers doubled my weights from the ones I used on my first day, so I'm proud that I’ve grown from where I started.” 

For Patrick, lifting is the hard part, so his equipment prevents him from getting injured and missing training. 

When you’re powerlifting, safety is everything,” Patrick says. “My gloves protect my hands and make it easier to hold the weights. The belt protects my waist and supports my back so I don't fall over when I lift.

After their workouts, Patrick and Chris reflect on their training session. Both find powerlifting rewarding because they enjoy empowering each other and their friends every week. 

“Everyone should try powerlifting,” Chris says. “Start with lighter weights and try heavier ones once lifting feels easy. You don’t need to compete in the Olympics to get strong and have fun at the gym!” 

Read more from the trainers at IMP Fitness and see why they volunteer their time with Gabriel Homes.