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Ouachita Stories


From the "Ouachitonian": Wyatt House

Wyatt HouseOctober 17, 2022 - Angela Webb

Leaving all other sports behind, Wyatt House decided to pursue powerlifting. House, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Little Rock, Ark., achieved first place in the 90kg USPA for his junior class in April 2021. He held the state record deadlift of 507 lbs. His current personal records include 430 pounds in squats, 245 pounds in bench press and 585 pounds in deadlifts.

“I played sports through the beginning of high school, and while I did enjoy each sport in its own regard, my favorite aspect of athletics was resistance training that emphasized improvement in strength,” House said. “I quit all sports my sophomore year of high school and made the gym my main hobby. I have met some of my best friends in the gym, and it has morphed into a haven for me when life is crazy. I try not to take it for granted because my body will only hold on so long, and I look forward to the years to come. I live by one motto: Work harder.”

Powerlifting competitions cultivate some of the most intense environments in weightlifting. Everyone is seeking to improve on personal records and beat the next guy ahead; at the same time, everyone has each other’s back and supports each other until the last rep. It has an atmosphere of intense focus as most powerlifters only compete two times per year. There is no room for failure when you prepped for 16 weeks.

A-Town Fitness in Arkadelphia provided an amazing environment and made House’s transition from his home gym seamless. He had been preparing for a competition in December and hoped to qualify for USPA National last February.

“Weightlifting has influenced me to be a better person through teaching me both discipline and the importance of consistency,” House said. “If you want to increase your maxes you must be disciplined in the day-in-and-day-out grind. You are not going to progress after one workout, but continuing to put yourself in the gym will build long-term results that cannot be taken away from you.”

Weightlifting has grown House spiritually, not in the sport itself, but in the community that has come from immersing himself in this environment. He has met people from a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds, and through their shared love for the gym they have grown close as a community. It taught him to love and not judge people at first sight. Some of the most intimidating gym-goers are the most compassionate people you will meet.

“Giving up is not an option, and it will never leave you happy with your decision to quit,” House said. “Not every day is going to be glorious, and you won’t always find success, but it is these days that build you the most. Always find a way to work harder and remember that we are stronger together.”

Photo by Levi Dade

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