Fitness

'Heart of a lion': Powerlifter with special needs hits personal best

More than 403,000 viewers have tuned in online to see amateur powerlifter “Andrew” reach his personal best of 185 pounds. With his sights now set on competing in the Special Olympics, his trainer, Nathan Lawrence, said he has “a heart of a lion.”

“About a year ago Andrew came up to me and told me he wanted to start working out with me in the gym,” Lawrence posted on the Love What Matters Facebook page. “He said he wanted to be a powerlifter. My first question was ‘Why?’ He said he wanted to be like me.”

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Lawrence shared that Andrew has already competed in the Track and Skiing events at the Special Olympics but wants to enter Powerlifting next.

“I obviously couldn’t say no!” Lawrence wrote. “I realized that it could be a great experience for the both of us. After a year of consistency and dedication, it’s been nothing less.”

Lawrence does not share what Andrew's disability is but said he struggles to grasp the form of his exercises. After dedicated practice and training, the pair increased Lawrence’s weights from 90 pounds to his personal best of 185 pounds.

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“Kid has a heart of a lion,” Lawrence wrote. “Chase your dreams people. Be whoever you want to be. And in the words of Andrew, ‘Come on, don’t be shy.’”

The video has been shared more than 1,500 times and has garnered 19,000 likes since being posted on May 17.