lease let us introduce you to our July 2017 featured athlete: Kyle Martin, Jr. Kyle is ten years old youth weightlifter competing in the 44 kg weight class and is from Oley, PA.
When did you get started in this sport?
At age 8
What (or who) got you started?
I would go to the gym with my dad and climb the rope until I watched Dane Miller’s niece compete online at youth nationals in 2015. The next day I started training Olympic lifting to get ready for the 2016 youth nationals.
What do you enjoy most about weightlifting?
I like the competitions and hanging out with my teammates at Garage Strength.
What does your current training routine look like?
I train 1-2 hours per day when I am not playing baseball or wrestling. I train at Garage Strength under the supervision of my coaches Dane Miller, Jacob Horst, and DJ Shuttleworth.
What one or two things do you currently do in your training that has been impactful?
I always listen to my coaches and do lot of squats to help improve my clean and jerk.
What do you carry around with you in your gym bag that has nothing to do with weightlifting?
Nothing. Dane Miller will not let me bring iPads or toys into the gym.
What is your diet like?
Cereal in the morning, protein and pasta for lunch, and chicken or PB&J for dinner. Dane does not like it when I eat a lot of sugar.
Who do you look up to in the sport?
I have meet Jenny a couple times during training. She has always been inspiring and helpful when we have meet. I like watching her and other weightlifters compete online.
What friendships has this sport brought your way?
At meets I see a lot of familiar faces and we get to support each other. I also train with Connor Pennington, 12u lifter, we help push each other to new PRs.
Are you coachable?
Yes. I learned how to take direction from my coaches at a young age when I was in Karate.
What are your long term weightlifting goals?
I want to make a world team and represent the United States! I also want to continue to train to improve my performance in other sports like baseball and wrestling.
What qualities do great coaches possess?
Patience. My coaches are patient and teach me how to lift with good technique even when I am not having my best day on the platform.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Learn how to lose.
Did you take it?
Yes. I’ve learned winning is fun but not the most important thing about training and competing. My main focus is on learning good form and technique first before winning. Learning how to lose is just as important as winning.
What characteristics do you strive for (on and off the platform)?
I always try to do my best and focus on my form and technique.
When you have random free time, how do you spend it?
Most of my time is spent at school, training at Garage Strength, or playing baseball or wrestling. My free time is spent catching up on homework and playing Minecraft.
If you could master anything (besides weightlifting), what would it be?
To be a great baseball player.
What have you learned from weightlifting that helps you in other parts of your life?
Weightlifting helps me become a better athlete and to do better in other sports. My strength training has help me with wrestling.
What are you most grateful for?
My family for supporting me with weightlifting and taking me to my meets.
Where does your strength come from?
From the awesome programming of my coach Dane Miller and not my Dad 😊