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For Jon Moore, lifting titles is light work
Jon Moore
Jon Moore on the podium at the state powerlifting tournament held in Atlanta. Photo provided.

An athlete often performs at his or her best when they have not placed any expectations on themselves.

That was the case when Jon Moore entered the USA Powerlifting Championships for Georgia. The plan was to compete, of course, but relax, have fun and enjoy the moment.

And what a moment it became. Moore wound up coming away with the championship and title of best male lifter in Georgia.

“It was pretty awesome,” said Moore, who works as a trainer at the Richmond Hill YMCA. “The state championships were held in Atlanta where the best of the best came to compete. We went up there and came home with the championship… I won best male lifter and best overall.

“I wasn’t looking for that. It was pretty cool.”

Next up for Moore is the Southeast Regional tournament on June 8-9, also in Atlanta, and he will be making the trip along with Michelle Rutan and Justin Walker who Moore trains and who also qualified for the regionals.

While the trio will be competing, much of the stress associated with events such as this, mainly financial, will be less of a burden thanks to Richmond Hill Y members who have been generous in their support.

Lee Ergle and Lisa Gaines headed up a drive that raised $1,000 to help cover expenses which was capped by a reception held last week at the Y for Moore, Rutan and Walker.

“I was approached about finding a corporate sponsor to send Jon to the regional competition,” Ergle said. “I decided Y members should sponsor Jon since he is so well liked and our donations would be more meaningful if we generated enthusiasm within our gym family.

“I asked Lisa to help lead this effort since she is in the ladies’ group that has been trained by Jon for several years and she knows a lot of members. We collected $1,000 from members’ donations to help send them to regionals.”

Ergle and Gaines also provided the funding for the banner which hangs in the Y showing Moore as the state champion and best male lifter.

“The people here, oh my gosh, there has been an unimaginable level of support,” Moore said. “I didn’t necessarily fully know or intend on going to win the championship but when I did and I got back here I mean everybody was thrilled about the news.

“I’ve had crazy support all the way through. I can’t thank the people in the gym. This gym in particular is one giant family. It’s special. A bunch of people have come together and made going to the regional a lot less stressful. They took care of room, board, food, gas… everything.”

Moore has been at the Richmond Hill Y for six years after relocating to the area from his native Missouri.

“I grew up in small town USA in Southeast Missouri,” Moore said. “I grew up training horses and working cattle of all things. I kind of took a leap of faith and moved here with my daughter and then girlfriend.

“Things just kind of flourished and took off and here we are.”

Moore’s rise in powerlifting has come about quickly as he only took up the sport three years ago. Prior to that he was into cross fit training.

“A good friend saw me squatting and said, ‘Man, you gotta try powerlifting and I was, ah, I’m not doing that,’’ Moore recalled. “Then lo and behold I started doing it and quickly fell in love with it. There’s less running involved in it.”

Unlike weight lifting, there are only three movements in powerlifting, Moore said, and that’s the squat, the bench and the deadlift.

“That’s literally all you do,” said the 6-foot-2 Moore who competed at 247 pounds. “You’re trying to eke out as many pounds total as you can on each of those lifts whereas weightlifting in general is staying in good shape and moving weights more in the bodybuilding realm.

“Powerlifting is just like it sounds: it’s all about power, one big giant lift, one rep.”

While Moore works as a personal trainer for a limited number of clients he is also available for advice, assistance and classes for Y members. He estimated about 700 people a day come through the Y gym for different levels of workouts.

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