October 2014 Lifter of the Month
USAPL NJ's lifter of the month for October 2014 is Justin Gardner. He placed 1st in the 165lb raw open division with an impressive 446lb squat, 320lb bench and a 518lb deadlift. Justin was the Men's Champion of Champions with a incredible 431 wilks score.
Justin is just getting started in his powerlifting career at the young age of 22. Before stepping out on the platform at his first powerlifting meet at the age of 21, he was stepping out on stage competing in bodybuilding. Justin's first meet was the 2013 USAPL NJ State Championship in New Brunswick. He chose to lift in the USAPL because he said it's the best organization for any drug-free highly competitive powerlifter. When Justin is not training he's busy with being a first year physical therapist student at Arcadia University in PA. He's the oldest of three brothers, has a great mom and a lovely girlfriend who are all strong supporters. When he's not at school he trains at Pure Focus Sports Club in Brick. Justin is coached by his truly good friend, John Garafano. John is the coach for Team Strength is Life. "It has been a truly great experience being part of his team for the past two and a half years. Without John's coaching I would not be half the lifter I am today" says Justin.
Justin's greatest powerlifting achievement is winning the 2014 USAPL NJ States and qualifying for Raw Nationals. " it was truly memorable because I never thought I would have the opportunity to be able to compete in a meet where I could watch and compete with most of my idols who had gotten me started in the sport". The squat is his favorite lift. Justin says that there's no better feeling than having a bar on your back that is bending around you. Nothing is more exhilarating than completing that lift and getting those white lights. Although the squat may be his favorite, it looks like he has some fun with the deadlift.
Justin's advice for new lifters is to learn the basics and make sure that you learn them from a reputable person.
Stay tuned to follow Justin as he prepares for the 2015 USAPL Raw Nationals in Scranton PA. I'm sure when he hits the platform we're going to see some impressive numbers!
Written By John Dalessio