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Bar(bells) and Brunch

Ethan is a competitive weightlifter and future physical therapist!

Ethan Schalekemp is truly the strongest and most multi-talented person I know! He is a Health Studies major at Boston University on a six year physical therapy track, and is also a competitive weightlifter. He can lift 255 lbs - so impressive!! - and also sings a capella and has been amazing as leads in Boston University On Broadway musicals!


“About 5 years ago, I took a break from rowing and started lifting weights on my own to improve my mindset. I discovered Crossfit, and through that, Olympic-style weightlifting, which I have been competing in for 4 years.

Weightlifting consists of two disciplines, the snatch and the clean & jerk, both involving moving a barbell from the ground to overhead. Latching onto the sport was critical for my career because I want to become a sports therapist, as well as in overcoming my difficulties with body image. In focusing not on the way I looked but instead on what I could do, my lifestyle became much more positive and healthy.

I begin my workouts with a solid warm up, some light cardio, dynamic stretches, rolling, and core stabilization. Then I focus on either the snatch or clean & jerk as well as squat variations. I do some bodyweight or smaller muscle exercises and static stretch to finish.

When it comes to food, I'm all about whole food. The fitness and supplement industry is worth about $20 billion and their one goal is to get you to pay for things you frankly don't need. You can get just about everything you need from fruits and vegetables, quality meat, and whole sources of starch, and save money!

My biggest tip for those interested in lifting would be to take it slow. Learn to be safe and to do exercises correctly before getting too excited about numbers. Spend lots of time on empty barbells; the strongest people in the world warm up with empty bars. Never neglect flexibility - the larger your range of motion, the better you'll move.

Lastly, recognize that your mental state has a massive impact on performance. If you're in a negative state mentally, you'll be less confident going after fitness goals and less likely to stay motivated and consistent. Always remember that there is no ‘bad workout’.”

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