Feature Athlete: Coby Rhodes

At age 15, Coby Rhodes of Deland, Florida, is a three-time national weightlifting champion and recently qualified to represent the United States at the International Weightlifting Federation’s Youth World Championship in March 2019.  Coby (61 kg) is dedicated to learning all elements of weightlifting and is on track to achieve great things within the sport.

When did you get started in this sport? I started Olympic Weightlifting in November of 2014. 

What got you started? I took up CrossFit from my parents, and one day at the gym, Olympic weightlifting classes were offered. Since then I’ve been hooked. 

What do you enjoy most about weightlifting? I enjoy the constant thirst for perfection the sport offers. The mental battle between the lifter and the barbell is like no other. Second to this would be developing a bulging vastus medialis oblique.

What does your current training routine look like? I train four days a week for around two and a half hours each training session. My team’s gym is not conveniently located to my house, so I’m usually either working out at CrossFit Deland or in my garage with my sister while FaceTiming my coach.


What one or two things do you currently do in your training that has been impactful? Everything my training consists of is impactful. 

What are your proudest weightlifting achievements? So far, my proudest weightlifting achievements have been qualifying for a Youth International Team and being a three-time national champion. I’m also proud that I have fully embraced wearing a singlet due to the reason that it was quite difficult for me to even wear one with the undershirt at first. 

What is your diet like? I eat healthy for the most part, but I do not currently keep track of my macros or anything. I do drink a lot of water though. 

Who do you look up to in the sport? Why? I look up to many weightlifters such as Li Dayin, Rebeka Koha, Harrison Maurus, Luis Mosquera, and Lu Xiaojun of course. Honestly, I look up to all international champions because I can only imagine the work they put into their craft, and I am going to be one in the future. 

What friendships has this sport brought your way? This sport has brought more friendships than I would’ve ever imagined on both a local and national level. There’s always a level of respect between each other, and quite honestly weightlifters are just cool. 

What qualities do great coaches possess? For me, a great coach is judged by how much passion they have for the sport and the athlete. If a coach has passion permeating off them, it’s infectious. 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? At a young age, my stepfather told me to become a student of the sport. 

What characteristics do you strive for? I strive to be a patient and open-minded person who doesn’t abuse the environment, limits his time using technology, and is constantly educating himself. 

When you have random free time, how do you spend it? I’m usually playing PS4, watching YouTube, listening to a podcast, or riding my bike. 

If you could master anything besides weightlifting, what would it be? Memorization. Or maybe meditation. 

What have you learned from weightlifting that helps you in other parts of your life? I’ve learned how much I can endure if I’m in the right place mentally. I learned how much I enjoy anatomy as well. 

The last time you were discouraged in this sport, how did you get back up? I always remember when my stepdad told me, “when it doesn’t feel as if you are progressing physically, you are growing mentally.” This gives me the motivation to persevere through anything. 

Where does your strength come from? Immense levels of hard work. 

What are your weightlifting goals? I’m going to continue to make international teams and consistently progress higher in rankings each competition. Ultimately, I will make it to the Olympics and become an Olympic champion. I want my highlights to be on a big screen behind the platforms at national meets in 25 years.  That would be cool as well. You could also throw in a 250 kg back squat give or take a few depending on my bodyweight.