MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT --
As United States Marines, physical fitness is a ritual in which we are expected to practice. However you choose to do so, one of the pillars to building strength and tighter sleeves is weight training. The smell of iron, the taste of pre-workout, and the pulsing feeling in your limbs after pushing out “one more” repetition is the trinity of a time well spent at the gym. Weight training is not only a means of building and maintaining physical health and muscle physique, it’s also a means for competition to showcase one’s physical and mental strength and stamina.
Cpl. Sean Nguyen, a supply and fiscal noncommissioned officer with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 271, put his strength to the test when he competed in the 2021 USPA Drug Tested Feeding Frenzy, a national qualifying powerlifting competition held by the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA), a premier powerlifting federation. Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The competition was held in Norfolk, Virginia and hosted 45 elite athletes competing to showcase their strength.
Weighing in at 171 pounds, Nguyen boasted an impressive max weight of 529.1 pounds on squat, 336.2 pounds on bench press, and a whopping 600.7 pound deadlift. He finished out the day with a total combined weight of 1,466 pounds. These numbers propelled Nguyen to the top of the competition, earning him the title of Junior Class Champion and the competition’s overall strongest powerlifter. Following his triumphant performance, Nguyen said, “I feel very honored and privileged. It’s not every day I can take wins like that. This definitely speaks to the value of the work my coach has put in, as well as my team.”
Nguyen began his powerlifting journey four years ago, “after throwing shotput for a season, my wonderful coach, Maryann Freitas, signed up my former teammates and I for a powerlifting meet. At my first meet I was able to take Overall Teen’s, and I placed first in my weight class.” Since then Nguyen has competed in numerous powerlifting competitions and has earned multiple titles. “My next step, following this competition, is to sustain my training, nutrition, and recovery as much as I possibly can. I’ve definitely been able to use a lot of my past preparations as momentum, all while not sustaining any injuries.” Now a Powerlifting World Qualifier, Nguyen is preparing to compete on a world stage at the 2021 International Powerlifting League Worlds in Costa Mesa, California, in hopes to win the 81-kilogram Juniors this November.