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Byron Monster - Dedicated Athlete

Local athletic hero, Byron Monster of Fortune, has only been actively involved in powerlifting since 1997, but he has racked up an impressive array of awards. He is a Master I Lifter who has worked in both the 100kg and 90kg classes. In his short career, he has competed in a total of 20 meets and qualified for world meets, but says that 'I am looking forward to more meets in the future.'

Byron has always had an interest in powerlifting and has been training for more than 20 years. However, it was not until he reached his late 20's that he started training seriously.

He trains alone, in a small 10-by-10 foot shed beside his house. Working alone is not always easy and requires an unshakeable dedication. In past years he tried, unsuccessfully, to interest others into working out with him. Byron's training regime is rigorous and shows a determined effort to succeed in his chosen athletic field. Even when working, he manages to train several days a week.

His first equipment included a bench, a set of squat racks and a 210-pound weight set. He did some body-building and Olympic lifting and then switched to powerlifting. Now he has the best equipment available - the Joe Wieder line. Powerlifting also requires a special suit to reduce the risk of serious injury and Byron has a top-of-the-line model.

In the early years, Byron participated in occasional competitions, mostly as part of the learning process. He says he was nervous at those meets, more self-conscious and less confident in his abilities than he is today. Now he finds the cheering and chanting of fans and well-wishers to be a real confidence booster. He doesn't smoke or drink and considers drug use as similar to cheating. 'It's just for the moment,' he says, 'but it doesn't last. It's not the right way to do it.'

Story © Fay Herridge 2003

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