Do you even lift?

It all started when he picked up his first weights and started lifting. Now, he’s the strongest kid in school.

Marquez has a power clean maximum of 280 pounds, benches 315 pounds and can squat a whopping 425 pounds, totaling to 1,020 pounds. Marquez is the first person in 10 years to have reached the 1,000 lb. Club, a result of the two hours he spends five days a week lifting weights. The 1,000 lb. Club is a status achieved by having the sum of the maximum lift on power clean, bench press and squat equal to or greater than 1,000 pounds.

“Reaching [the 1,000 lb. Club] has been no different. I’ve been the strongest person in school since last year,” Marquez said. Even last year, I was a lot stronger than all the seniors in sports.”

Following his accomplishment, Marquez was not rewarded with any medals or certificates, but was instead given a t-shirt that displayed his achievement — and for Marquez, that was good enough.

“I’m not in it for the recognition or the praise. I just stay humble because it’s how I am,” Marquez said. “I keep it to myself really.”

Throughout freshman year, Marquez had been the weakest of all his friends. But, that all changed when he joined football and began weightlifting at the end of his freshman year as a way to increase his strength. Since then, Marquez has devoted much of his time to weightlifting, and thus, it has become an integral part of his life.

“I remember being made fun of by all my friends because I was really weak as a freshman compared to them because I didn’t play sports. I was the weakest. I was bad,” Marquez said. “Then I just kept working and working and now I’m a lot stronger than all of them.”

Marquez’s biggest motivation is his dad, who had also done weightlifting in high school. Along with his persistence and dedication, Marquez attributes some of his strength to genetics.

“My father in high school lifted also. As a senior, he bench pressed 365 pounds which is a lot more than I can do,” Marquez said. “He didn’t get the 1000 lb. Club, but he wanted me to, so that’s nice.”

After high school, he hopes to further his passion for weightlifting by competing professionally.

“I want to be like those guys on tv [who] get all the spotlight. They’re really good at what they do,” Marquez said. “I lift weights because I love the workout. It gives me something to do. It’s become a routine doing it every single day.”

By Sophia Ding, Staff writer

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