Pumping Iron for Pleasure

Every day, Garrett Huff makes diet and lifestyle sacrifices to train for powerlifting and his future career.


Photo by Desiree Huff

Junior Evan Cantu and Senior Garrett Huff show off their medals at the state powerlifting meet at Larned on Saturday, Feb. 6. Huff took 1st place in bench, squat and clean and 1st overall in his weight class of 181 pounds.

Cevin Montgomery, Bullseye Staff Reporter

For many people, lifting more than 500 pounds off the ground is a far-fetched dream of strength they most likely will never achieve.

For senior Garret Huff, it’s a part of his daily life as he powerlifts every weekend around Kansas at various powerlifting meets. Huff started powerlifting his sophomore year of high school after noticing a sign-up form on the wall and signing up for it on a whim.

Shortly after, he decided to piece together his own Maize South team of personal friends and athletes.

“I just saw that form for it on the wall and decided to sign up for it,” said Huff. “I was just lifting weights in school and I thought I might be good at it because I was pretty strong. So I decided to go to state, see how I did.”

Powerlifters such as Huff have to make many sacrifices and train their hardest in order to be at their top game for powerlifting, often cutting their weight by 10 or more pounds within a couple weeks to make a weight class that gives them the best odds of winning.

Maize South powerlifting team won 2nd place overall at Larned Powerlifting Meet on Saturday, Feb 6. The team had several personal and meet records broken including three lifters that won 1st overall in their weight division. (Twitter post by Athletic Director Curt Klein)

“For this last cut, I had to cut 16 pounds for state. So for two weeks, I was eating like carrots, spinach,” said Huff. “I had to drink like protein shakes instead of meals, a cream of rice. Stuff like that super low calorie stuff to cut weight and then cut food two days before weigh-ins and then I had to cut water the day before weigh-ins.”

Another way he gets ready for lifting is by exercising at the gym every day, and making sure he’s able to lift the most that he can at meets. This includes bench press, dead lifts, heavy squats and power clean. These strength building lifts help improve his overall strength.

Garrett’s mom, Desiree, helps with travel costs, books hotel rooms in advance and plans the schedule each weekend for the team.  She also takes photos and videos of the team regularly.

“Garrett spends several hours a day at the gym,” said Huff.  “He works hard on his goals and he helps train his teammates. Garrett is always ready for the next meet. He has shown great leadership in starting the team at Maize South.”

Although the sacrifices and training he needs to make may seem harsh, the pros outweigh the cons for Huff’s future as an athlete.

“Everybody is getting stronger, everybody’s getting healthier,” said Huff. “Worst case you just get high goals for yourself to go work at. There aren’t many downsides to it really. I’ve never gotten any big injuries from powerlifting, but I’ve gotten small tweaks, like a pulled muscle or something, but usually you can just stretch or get a massage or something and then fix it.”

The optimal future for Huff includes lifting in college and to try to make money doing it; he already has one scholarship that was earned off of his powerlifting efforts.

“I got a scholarship off of it. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done,” said Huff. “I’m going off to college next year to do powerlifting. Eventually make it into a job. That’d be ideal or see if I can get into coaching.”