by Steve Peterson
West Sioux students and staff cheered on weight lifter Jared Enderton with each attempt as he continued to add weights totals to his workout.
Enderton cleared the 200 pounds and moved into the more challenging 300 pounds as he showed his Olympic style weight lifting talents to the Falcons Grades 6-12 on Feb. 6.
Next week, Enderton, who is a 24-year-old native of Graettinger, begins intense training, hoping to qualify for a USA team spot and then compete in the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil.
Last year he qualified for a brief time but later had a power lift overturned and was told he did not make the team.
“In nine days I’ll be in intense lock down training at the National U.S. Olympics Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. After almost making the Olympics last year, I went back to Graettinger and thought about if I wanted to make the commitment for 2016,” said Enderton.
His visit was arranged in part by West Sioux alum Logen Bonnema, who met Enderton at Iowa Lakes Community College and works out at his gym, Enderton Strength. Bonnema attended the school last fall for wrestling but a re-injured shoulder ended those plans.
Enderton won a state title in wrestling and finished third in the state finals twice for the Graettinger-Terrill/Ruthven-Ayrshire High School team. He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he completed his bachelor of arts degree in Exercise Science in three years.
His certifications include: American Council on Exercise (ACE), Crossfit Level No. 1 and USA Weight-lifting Sports Performance. Enderton qualified for the 2011 World University Games in China. He has been published online for his articles on nutrition. His work experiences include Strength Specific Seminar Instructor, California Strength, General Nutrition Center, and Strive Sports Supplements.
“In wrestling you are only as good as your training partner. For example, if you’re a heavyweight and there is no one to wrestle with, you will never get the real push you need,” said Enderton.
“I started wrestling in sixth grade but I did not fully commit until freshmen year,” he said. “After high school I did have some good college wrestling offers.”
“I won the title at 189 pounds as a senior (2006-2007) and qualified as a freshman at 160 pounds then finished third place twice,” said Enderton. “My sophomore year at 170 pounds I was 41-1 record and lost in the quarterfinals and came back for third. Junior year I lost in overtime. My senior year I said, ‘no way. I was so developed from lifting. I changed my lifting style, more hips, legs and back and that set me apart.”
“My senior year I did not want to just win in but to dominate,” he said. “My goal was not to give up a point on offense and I did not.”
“My senior year I decided to do something different. I went 90 minutes to see a new strength coach and it changed my life. My hip strength and development was so good. I didn’t work harder but worked smarter.”
“Hopefully I can snatch about 340 pounds,” said Enderton in his pre-demonstration workout. “If you know the technique and know how to bail out, it is pretty safe. One day my floor at the gym suffered some damage, though.”
Enderton offered students a chance to work out with him after his talk.
“I’ve been to 25 to 30 states this year. It’s fun,” he said of traveling with such seminars as the one in Hawarden on a Wednesday afternoon.
“In college I was 5-foot, 6-inches and 300 pounds. I dropped 100 pounds and in eight months decided to pursue weigh lifting full-time. In eight months I was back to my high school weight. I dove right into it and tried to get to the Olympics in two-and-one-half years training in Colorado Springs, Colo. I had done all the sports you could think of for mental toughness, football, wrestling, baseball, golf, so I trained in San Francisco for six months, in Las Vegas for a year-and-a-half before the big meet, the national qualifying meet trials.”
“I made the spot of eight, like one minute later they overturned my lift. For a minute I thought I was an Olympian,” said Enderton. “It’s been a wild ride.”
“It is very important in life to have goals, write them down and strive for them,” said Enderton.
“My goal in high school wrestling was never to give up an offensive point and I did that,” he said with a smile.
“Goals are so important to be successful in sports, academics, anything you have going on,” said Enderton. “You’re not going anywhere without goals.”
“In my high school, weight lifting was completely optional. I was lucky to have my brother be a workout fanatic,” he said.
Enderton favors other exercises than just bench pressing, using such techniques as squats and clean-and-jerks. He showed the snatch technique often.
“It’s great for flexibility, being fast and more explosive,” said Enderton of his sport’s advantages.
He has met with many professional sports teams and athletes interested in his training methods.
“They all said, ‘you have to snatch and squat more,’” said Enderton.
“Within a year-and-one-half, from 260 pounds, I was the second-best snatcher in America,” said Enderton. “My overall best is 430 pounds. “It’s great for athleticism. You are actually moving your entire body. It’s running faster, jumping higher, putting more force into the ground, and you have to learn to use your hips to lift.”
“When you’re in-season, you still have to be as strong. Most of you guys do three or four sports. You have to have the mind set of being stronger,” said Enderton.
Before the demonstration, Enderton said he was impressed with West Sioux’s new work out facilities.
“I have given demonstrations and talks on power lifting in 25 to 30 states in gyms and schools,” said Enderton.