Five years ago, any Cal State Fullerton student interested in weightlifting would have found that Cal State Fullerton didn’t have such a club.
One year later, four young women changed all that. Now the Titan Weightlifting Club has 50 active members who meet regularly to network, work out and share experiences.
Alumnus Eddie Meza, one of the early members, remains active in the club. “I had never really been involved with anything in school, at least not as much as I would have liked. This club gave me a chance to join and to help out. The focus is on teaching people about weightlifting but the environment is fun. Students from all over campus can and do take part.”
“It’s very much like a team but at the same time it’s not,” says kinesiology graduate student Gynnae Romo, who joined the club this year. “At the meets it’s all about you … so you get aspects of both being a part of a group, a team, and yet competing on your own. I love it.”
“One of the club coaches was in a class with me and told me about the club,” explains club president Alana Hodge, an undergraduate kinesiology major. “I had played soccer and lifted weights as part of a routine to stay healthy but I found weightlifting exciting. In our club, we train individuals at all experience levels, even those who have no exercise experience. With the sport gaining popularity, that’s helped the club.”
Earlier this year, four club members attended their first-ever University National Championships at Weber State University in Utah. Competitors compete in two types of lifts: snatch and clean and jerk. The goal is to lift more weight than competitors in the same weight class. Competitors have three tries in each type of lift.
The competition “brings out lots of people — a really high level of athletes. It was great for our club to have multiple people competing,” says Hodge, who weighs 115 pounds and lifted a total of 126 kg (275 pounds) in her four out of six successful lifts.
“To compete is really exciting,” agrees graduate student Ryan Byrnes. “I’m always anxious to start but once I’m standing on the platform and ready for my first lift, the nerves disappear. It’s all fun after that.”
“The biggest benefit of the club is the friendships,” says Romo, who hit two personal bests during the competition. “Being with people who love what you do.”