Peric prepares for powerlifting competition


Courtesy of Mateo Peric

Junior Mateo Peric warms up for lifting by taking on the deadlift. Peric is competing in a powerlifting competition and hopes to place first where he will move onto states. "Gains happen overtime, not overnight," Peric said.

While most high school students lay in bed watching netflix and dreaming of what could be while they stuff their face with unhealthy foods,  junior Mateo Peric heads out to the gym, where he trains for an upcoming powerlifting competition.

“I first started off with just lifting to lose weight in the seventh grade because I was very overweight and wanted to play soccer in high school so I knew I had to lose weight for that. I started to go to the gym and slowly fell in love with the routine of going every day and waking up sore,” Peric said. “I transitioned from just trying to lose weight to powerlifting the start of my sophomore year and instantly fell in love with it. I just loved the feeling of being strong and lifting the max amount of weight I could. For me, it is the most satisfying feeling to hit a new personal record in the gym.”

Going into the competition, Peric prepares for training using a routine he created himself. Squat lift, bench lift and deadlift are just a few things peric has to work on in order to achieve his goal: first place.

“I train for the competition by following the program that I created for myself, which is a 12 week long program. I train each compound lift twice a week with different rep ranges and weights depending on the day of the week,” Peric said.

Like any sport, it takes time and dedication. For Peric, it’s seeing the results that keep him motivated to stay with the training.  

“I’d say I like working out so much because it correlates to dedication. The more dedicated you are the better results you get. The weights don’t lie. If you slack off then your numbers will show that. If you really go hard and put in the work then you will see results,” Peric said. “The results are really what push me to keep going. It also is my stress reliever. No matter what I’m going through the gym is always there. The way I stay motivated is just by keeping my goals in mind. I know that if I keep going in there and lifting the way I do every single day that the results will show.”

Not only does Peric have to maintain and work on his strength, he also has to focus on maintaining his diet. Finding a balance between losing weight while preserving strength is just one of the challenges that come with the preparation.

“The way I keep a healthy diet is by tracking my calories and macros each day through the My Fitness Pal app. I count the calories and macros of each of my meals. My daily goal is about 2,540 calories with 200-220 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of fat,” Peric said. “As of right now, I am slowly trying to cut down for the summer so I’m cutting about 100-200 calories off of my daily goal in order to lose some weight. I’m going really slow with my weight loss so I can maintain as much strength as possible.”

Peric has the goal of placing first in his powerlifting division. In hopes to qualify for national or states, he looks to get a combined 1,200lbs on his three lifts.  

“The main goal for my powerlifting competition is to get first in my division (Raw Junior 90 kg) and qualify for nationals or states. Individually, I want to hit a 315 bench, 450 squat and a 500 lb deadlift.”

Getting into the habit of working out isn’t easy. According to Peric, setting goals, following programs and focusing on yourself are keys to starting out in the gym for beginners.

“First off is to set a goal for yourself, whether that is doing five pushups or gaining 20 pounds. Having a goal that you are trying to achieve makes it 10 times easier. Following that is to follow a program. Following a program gives you a routine to follow and lets you know what numbers you have to hit each day in the gym,” Peric said. “Most importantly is to not ego lift. Do the weight that you can do with the right form and build off of that. Don’t worry about the weight that other people are lifting. Just worry about your lifts and your form. If you do that day in and day out you will see results.”

With hitting the gym as many times as he can, working out isn’t just a sport or fitness plan he does, it’s also a distraction he uses when trying to brighten up the dark moments of his life.

“I think that working out is important because it helps keep you healthy and strong,” Peric said. “It also teaches you that patience is key. Gains happen over time not overnight. You also become healthier from working out which is most people’s goal. It also is a very good stress reliever and get away from personal problems.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email