Clark County strong: Former GRC student recently set a powerlifting record

Published 8:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

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To classmates during his days at GRC, Blake Embry always seemed strong, and now he has the record to prove it.

Embry, who competes in the junior division of the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA), recently set a state record for Mississippi by powerlifting 343 lbs. during a recent competition at HQ Fitness in Hernando.

“I’ve always loved lifting heavy weights and just body-building in general,” said Embry. “It’s my favorite thing to do.”

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The junior division consists of competitors between the ages of 18-19.

As a result of setting the state record and winning the competition, Embry qualified for the USPA National Powerlifting Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama, on July 18-23.

Up to 120 lifters per day from around the country will be able to partake in the championship tournament.“Hopefully, I’ll get accepted to be able to go,” Embry said. “You have to qualify and then apply.”

Embry – a student at the University of Kentucky – became interested in powerlifting during his days at GRC when there was yet to be a wrestling program in place.

As a member of the school’s ROTC program, his primary focus was CrossFit training.

Only recently, while at the University of Kentucky as an ROTC program member, he started competing.

“They had just told us during [physical training] here that they would take care of endurance, so whenever we go to the gym to focus on strength training,” Embry said. “With that, I was like, ‘Well, now, I can go back to powerlifting and get into it.’”

Though the Wildcats do not have an NCAA powerlifting program, it has a club team.

Not only that, but it positively impacts Embry’s education as a kinesiology major.

Plus, it helps during any time of stress.

“The gym, in general, for me, I always say it’s like a therapy session,” Embry said. “You can go to the gym and forget about things.”

Though powerlifting may be an individual competition, Embry – who has been competing for only approximately six months – emphasizes plenty of camaraderie among competitors.

When asked what he enjoyed about the experience, Embry had this to say: “Training and seeing other people’s accomplishments too…especially being able to help each other and cheer each other on with their goals. There are quite a few powerlifters here, so we all talk to each other.”

For the future, his goals are both personal and professional.

“The ultimate goal is to just be the best I can be, [and] hopefully set national records if not world records,” Embry said. “I’d love to compete for Team USA. That’s the big goal!”