SJCC students take home big wins at weightlifting championship

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SJCC students take home big wins at weightlifting championship

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Sibling power lifters triumph in national competition

Alex Nguyen, a student at San Jose City College, won the weightlifting championship in the United States Power Lifting Association 2015 raw collegiate nationals hosted by San Jose State University on Jan. 24. His sister, Jennifer Nguyen, also broke four state records and four American records, taking second place in the women’s competition. They took time out to answer the following questions from the Times:

SJCC Times: When did you become interested in weightlifting?
Alex Nguyen: I was into weightlifting my junior year in high school, but it really never picked up until after I graduated high school. Since I had a lot of free time on my hands during the summer, that is all I ever did and never stopped since then.
Jennifer Nguyen: It was last year on New Year’s. My brother wanted to show me how to lift weights, which was pretty fun at first. I have been lifting weights for a year now.

SJCC Times: What sacrifices did you make to be an athlete?
Alex Nguyen: One of the things that is sacrificed is time. Because of power lifting I had to change my priorities. My three main priorities are school, work and training. Just like a lot of my time, it’s put into the sport. I have a couple of rest days a week during school session, but when I am nearing a competition the rest of the days are nonexistent and I do not have a social life. It just consists of school work and training. There were a lot of times where I canceled plans with friends just so I could train at the gym.

Because of the gym sometimes I can’t hang out with friends and family. I also don’t have a lot of time to actually study for my nursing major. For example, right now I am taking science classes, like chemistry and physics, and calculus and all these classes are really hard to do on top of also going to the gym, but I go anyways because I am committed to it.

SJCC Times:
How much time do you spend a week in the gym?
Alex Nguyen: I train two to three hours a day, five to seven days a week; it could range from 10 to 21 hours.
Jennifer Nguyen: I usually go five to six times a week, and I train two to three hours each day.

SJCC Times: Do you expect to continue weight lifting?
Alex Nguyen: I think it is something that I won’t and cannot stop doing after putting thousands of hours into it. It is hard to just let it go. Also it becomes an addiction. Once I started seeing progress I kept wanting more and more to the point where I’m never satisfied with myself. It is a good stress reliever when I feel down or super stressed I always find solace from just exercising.
Jennifer Nguyen: Yes, I will continue lifting weights. It is like a stress reliever for me because I take hard classes, so coming to the gym helps me take out my stress. Also, I have seen that I improved my strength

SJCC Times: What is your next goal as a weight lifting champion?
Alex Nguyen: At the next competition, which is in May, I’m hoping to reach a 1,300 pounds total, which is the combined total of my squat bench and dead lift at 165 pounds body weight. The winning or losing doesn’t really signify much to me. What really matters most to me is that I end up hitting personal records for every lift, and I was able to have a good time doing my best regardless of the overall turnout.
Jennifer Nguyen: My next goal will hopefully be to break more records in my weight class and age class coming up in Vegas during July.