Q&A: UTSA Powerlifting Team

Alex Hanks

UTSA’s powerlifting team has reached amazing heights over the years, being five time USA Powerlifting Collegiate National Champions, as well as winning the 2018 Men’s National Championship. The comradery this team possesses is led by sponsor and coach Wes Zunker. A UTSA alumni himself, Zunker started the team in 2006 and has cemented his legacy through such an uplifting and proactive organization. I got to sit down with members Juany Gomez, a junior engineering major; Jared Carter, a junior biomedical engineering major; Maddi Curry, a junior kinesiology major; Miranda Garcia, a senior pre-nursing major; Phoebe Fairbairn, a masters student in anthropology and Gabby Martinez, a junior kinesiology major; to discuss the team with them and see firsthand the work they put in on a daily basis.

Q: What is it about powerlifting that sets it apart from other sports and activities?
A: There’s this big misconception that people think powerlifting isn’t necessarily a real sport but it most definitely is. We spot each other, encourage each other and compete in competitions using a team point system. It has everything other team sports have to offer.

Q: Is the powerlifting team open to beginners?
A:The power lifting team is open to those of any level. We have people who have never lifted a weight in their life and people who have walked in who have already placed in championships and competitions. We even have special olympians involved with the team as well as military service members too! We aim to maintain a very open and accepting environment of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. It is definitely a melting pot.

Q:What advice would you give to someone just starting out and who may be intimidated by the gym?
A: It’s difficult but don’t worry about what other people are doing, we strive to have an open and accepting atmosphere, the door is always open and we are always here to help you out if you aren’t sure exactly where to start.

Q: Powerlifting is a physically demanding activity. What precautions do you take to ensure the safety of yourself and others?
A: Start slow and work your way up gradually, stretching before and after your workouts is extremely important when it comes to preventing injury, spotting each other (spotters save lives), warming up properly. Work to put more emphasis on technique rather than weight, don’t overshoot. Maintain a good training environment and equipment that is in good shape.

Q: What is something you would like the campus to know about your organization?
A: We are always accepting new members, we are open to anyone. A lot of people don’t know about us but we do in fact exist. We train over at Texas Strength Systems located at 2418 Boardwalk Stin San Antonio. Feel free to stop by!

Q: What is one quote that you all live by?
A: “No excuses just improve.”