Local Power Lifter Headed to National Competition

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Cheyenne, WY (KGWN)- "Power lifting is a good base of strength for all sports."

The words of 52-year-old Jon Briggs, a man who has spent the last 40 years dedicated to the sport of weight lifting; more specifically, power lifting.

"It [the sport] has changed quite a bit, over the past, even 20 years," Briggs said.

Power lifting competitions involve three main lifts, completed in the same order at each event.

First, squats, then bench press, and finally the dead lift.

"You get nine attempts total for the three lifts," Briggs said.

Winners are decided by taking the top performance from each lift and adding up the total weight.

Briggs holds the American raw record for total weight lifted at 1,499 lbs. in the master division (ages 50-54). A raw record just means a lifter did not use any type of support equipment, that may aid the lifter.

The 2014 U.S. Masters National Championship will take place on May 3rd and May 4th in Killeen, Texas, where Briggs will try and win a second consecutive national championship.

Briggs won in 2013, lifting a total of 770kg or 1697.56 lbs. Competitors are allowed to wear support equipment at these events.

Power lifting is a truly American sport, Briggs said, and one that continues to evolve, and Briggs would like to see it continue to grow.

"Our national organization, the USAPL has said if we're not involved with crossfit, we're gonna miss out on a huge segment of the new athletes coming out," Briggs said.

His efforts to recruit new athletes to the sport isn't limited to adults. Briggs would like to see young people take an interest in the sport as well.

"It's not to sell my organization, in the long run yes it would be, but right now, no," Briggs said. "I just want more involvement with our kids."

Expect to see a power lifting competition soon, in Cheyenne, because Briggs is planning one with a targeted date of June, which will be open to youths and adults.

"That's the thing to do, is to make our athletes that wanna compete, just make them better physically," Briggs said. "That's my goal."

Goals lead to results, but dreams lead to emotions.

Briggs grew emotional when speaking about the possibility of appearing in a power lifting showcase in the future, at the Olympics.

"There is a possibility that we will exhibition Power Lifting in the next two or three Olympics," Briggs said. "I don't know if they're gonna run any Masters or not, but there's a possibility that I could go to the Olympics as a Master and that would be quite a dream."

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