By Leo L.
Looking to continue his athletic career, All City Varsity football offensive lineman, senior Thomas Santos, has been pushing himself to his physical limit, in the weight room. While one day Thomas hopes to use his strength as a firefighter, for now, he is in the gym almost every day as he plans on competing as a competitive weightlifter in college.
Working out since the age of 12, Thomas was first introduced to lifting weights by his father who started working out with Thomas so Thomas could lose weight and improve himself and his body.
When Thomas got to high school, his goals with weight lifting changed from losing weight to using weights to help him become a better football player. Weightlifting has not only helped him with athletics though, but it has also taught him how to focus in the classroom and to also finish what he starts. Thomas on how weightlifting has helped him in his studies. He said, “Lifting helped strengthen me mentally and physically, helping me focus more and overcome academic struggles.”
A strong desire to become a better and stronger person every day pushes Thomas in the weight room. His favorite workouts are shield carries, deadlifts, and log cleans. The worst part about it all is how much his hands get messed up. Thomas works out 6 times a week for 1-2 hours. He starts his week off with legs on Monday, conditioning on Tuesday, arms and shoulders on Wednesday, back and lats on Thursday, chest on Friday, and finishes his week with strongman lifts on Saturday. Thomas’ personal bests right now is a 225 lbs bench press, 365 lbs squat, 505 lbs deadlift, and his clean and press 200 lbs. Thomas said, “Working out makes me feel awesome, kind of like a runner’s high. It feels great to wake up every morning sore, which leaves me with the feeling of accomplishment.”
Thomas started to practice for strong man competitions in the summer of 2018 at the World’s Gym, but he hasn’t been able to compete in any yet because he is about 50 pounds too light, only weighing 256 lbs. To gain those extra 50 pounds, Thomas plans to integrate more protein shakes into his meals and diet.
Despite not being able to compete yet in the competitions, Thomas is often at most of them, volunteering to rack weights and refereeing for some of the events.
Thomas will be attending Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria next semester and hopes to start competing by the beginning of summer.