Senior Derek Han Finds Outlet in Weightlifting

Calvin Cai, Copy Editor

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In April 2017, senior Derek Han found a new passion that changed his life: weightlifting. Since then, Han has worked hard to become stronger and surpass his goals. When he first started weightlifting, he wasn’t too serious about it and just wanted to see how it went. “[I started lifting] out of boredom,” Han said. “I didn’t really have any hobbies at the time, and I thought it would be a good thing to pick up. I had a good introduction because my dad is an avid weightlifter, or at least he was back in the day.”

After starting to lift, Han created an Instagram account to track his progress and let his friends and followers motivate him to keep working hard and stay consistent with his workouts. The account was started almost a year ago, and has now reached over 250 followers. “Honestly, the Instagram account is just for myself to hold myself accountable for achieving goals because if I don’t record myself, I just have. . . to keep myself accountable, but if I create an account where people follow it, I have more reason to pursue my goals,” he said.

For Han, weightlifting became more than just a hobby when he began competing. Han was extremely successful in the one competition he attended, where he set the state record for squats and tied the record for deadlifts. He will attend his second competition this November.

Han can now lift amounts that most people can only dream of lifting. “For bench, I benched 315 [pounds], squats should be around 480 [pounds]; last time [for deadlift] I pulled around 500 [pounds],” he said.

Keeping a consistent workout schedule has been key to Han’s weightlifting journey, as it has allowed him to incorporate bulking up into his lifestyle. “Lifting has become a habit,” he said. “At the beginning I had to motivate myself more because it was less of a habit.” Lifting became easier for him as time went on. “Now that I’m in the groove of lifting, it’s easier to get myself to the gym,” he said.

In addition to a consistent workout schedule, maintaining a healthy diet also has a big effect on his weightlifting lifestyle. “Nowadays, I just make sure I’m getting adequate food for recovery and enough protein,” he said.

For newcomers to weightlifting, Han recommends maintaining physical health and sticking with a constant weightlifting regimen. “I would say eating and sleeping are the most important,” he said. “And just make sure you’re sticking to a good program.”