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Ready for lift off

By Staff Sgt. Beth Del Vecchio | 12th FTW Public Affairs | Dec. 14, 2006

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — It is like lifting the weight of two refrigerators. For Jason Deeb, a Randolph Fitness Center employee, squatting 556 pounds took some work, but will not be the most he will lift. As far as he is concerned, it was just the beginning.

The 17-year-old has been power lifting for only a year. He started training to help him with football, but soon discovered his natural talent in the sport would take him further than he thought.

"I started playing around with heavier weights, seeing how much I could lift," he said. "I surprised myself and decided to train more seriously."

Deeb has been involved in sports ever since he was a kid. He was also involved in martial arts.

At a martial arts training event, about five years ago, he met Gene Bell, a power lifter who has earned numerous world records and is in the Air Force Hall of Fame for power lifting, whose son was also at the event.

The two met again earlier this year, in the Randolph Fitness Center, and the topic of power lifting came up.

"He asked if I had ever considered competing in power lifting," Jason said. "That's when he started helping me train."

Deeb said he had not considered power lifting as something to train and compete in, but once he gave it a shot he developed passion for the sport.

He started to train in June, but stepped up his training in Sept. when he found out he was invited to compete in the World Power Lifting Congress competition in New York on Nov. 2.

All of his hard work paid off.

Jason not only won the competition in his age group, he broke two WPC records by bench-pressing 380 pounds and squatting 556.

He completed the dead-lift, as his last lift, and although he lifted 512 lbs, it was not a record.

"I did my best," he said. "But, I know with more training and dedication to the sport I can do better next time."

Deeb doesn't carry any long-term goals in power lifting. He said he aims to win whatever competition for which he's training.

He plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy at the University of Texas.
"It would be nice to get a lifting scholarship," he said. "But, I'm not sure if they are offered."

Jason is training now to compete in the United States of America Power Lifting high school nationals in March. He hopes to qualify for the International Power Lifting World Championship.

"I've learned through all of this that if you stay consistent with your training, anything is possible," he said.