UAlbany Weightlifting Club Liftoff

By Michael Lashley | April 11, 2022


Photo Credit: Stock Images


The Weightlifting Club has recently held their first meeting, where club officials announced their plans before the closing of the semester.

The club’s goal is to create a space for students interested in weightlifting, or who would like to improve their training by working with others.

“When I came to UAlbany, there was no weightlifting club, and that upset me,” said David Reilly, a Freshman at the University at Albany, and founder of the club. “I heard during orientation that there were a lot of clubs, and you could create your own if they didn’t have yours.”

Despite fitness centers located on campus with gyms laying the groundwork for weightlifters, no such club has existed prior to this semester. The 50 attendees at the club’s first meeting were students with whom club officials spoke to at the gyms.

“I have, somewhat, a passion for lifting. I go to the gym six days a week,” said Sterling Pagan, a student at the university. “Us gym bros have a reason why we started, so it’s nice to have a community.”

The Weightlifting Club encourages involvement, but members do not have to be consistent participants. The club is there for members to return to whenever they please. The club’s main goal is to bring people with similar interests together and decrease the aloof gym atmosphere.

“Our biggest goal for this club is just building up the gym community, getting everyone comfortable with talking with each other and being supportive,” said Reilly. “You see a lot of other people working out at the same time, and there is awkward eye contact and stuff with them. We really want people to talk to each other and get more support in the gym.”

To promote interactions, club officials have a series of activities planned for members. On Max-Out Mondays, for example, members lift the most weight they can to check their progress. Form days will have members go through the proper motions of exercises to reduce injuries. These activities will give newcomers a starting point, and seasoned lifters something new to try.

“For people who don’t have much in mind when they’re going to the gym, we can help them create plans,” said Justin Giordano, co-founder of the club. “Not just working out, [but] like switching nutrition. Anything you really need, we’re always here for you. We’re gonna help you reach your goals.”

The administration also plans to bring in guest speakers, such as nutritionists to speak on diet, as well as bodybuilders and powerlifters to discuss their experiences competing in shows and meets.

Club officials also intend on improving quality of life in campus gyms. They are working on scheduling time slots for sessions after hours. The administration also is seeking to repair broken equipment and add new dumbbell racks in the Indigenous Quad gym.

Attendees began conversing with each other before the start of the meeting, and club officials said that the vibe that night is what they hope to replicate in the gyms.

“[The vibe] right now, [is] really chill,” said Àngel Encarnacion, a student at the university. “The gym has to be a safe place, and if you’re around fun people, it makes the gym more fun.”

For more information, contact club officials at uaweightliftingclub@gmail.com, or check the Instagram page, @weightliftingclub.ua, to remain updated.

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