The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 22, 2001 · Page 26
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 26

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 22, 2001
Page 26
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D4 SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Reps / Lifting helps witli other sports FROM PAGE D1 When Espinosa, who also works for United Parcel Service, opened Reps and Sets in 1988, his goal was to train to be a "competitive weightlifter. But now his focus is to coach others and give back something to the community that's given so much to him. "If someday I can help someone from Salina get qualified for the Olympics, that would be the ultimate thrill for me," he said. Looking for a coach Reps and Sets Team Salina was founded last year when Christian Linenberger's older brother, Jason Augustine, wandered into Espinosa's gym looking for someone to coach him in weightlifting. "I was looking for a place to lift and get stronger for football," said Jason, 16, a student at Salina Central High School. "From there, I eventually got other people into it." This included his younger brother Nathan, 13, who has been lifting for two months, and half brother Christian, who is in his ninth month. Sandy Linenberger, mother of the three boys, is confident weightlifting is a good program and a safe sport. At first, she was worried that lifting heavy weights would be unsafe for someone as young as Christian. "I asked a doctor's advice, and he said Olympic weightlifting is OK, because there's less strain involved," she said. "Most people don't know there's a difference between regular and Olympic weightlifting." Olympic weightlifting stresses speed and agility rather than the brute strength (and strain) of power lifting. There are two kinds of lifts in Olympic: snatch and clean-and-jerk. Snatch is considered the more technical and explosive of the two. It is performed in a continuous movement: The bar is lifted to the chest, and the lifter descends into a squat position under the bar, securing it overhead with arms held straight. Then, with a burst of energy he stands erect. In clean-and-jerk, the lifter pulls the weight to his shoulders in a single motion. He then jerks the bar above his head while splitting his legs, one front and one back, and brings his legs together, standing erect. Both lifts are accomplished through bursts of explosive movements, which is the main appeal for Jason Augustine. JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Members of Reps and Sets Team Salina (from front) Zacit Taylor, Andrew Miller and Joshua Alley work on their form. "That kind of explosiveness helps speed and agility," he said. "You have to move fast to get the bar lifted. Once you get it off the ground, you have to move fast to get it underneath you so you can lift it overhead. "I play football and tennis, and now I'm not only stronger, I have faster reactions." Good sports training Josh Perez, 11, has been part of the team for four months. He said he's lifting a lot more now than when he started. His personal best is about 60 pounds. "This helps me in other sports, and that's what I want, because I'm going to play football for K-State someday," he said. Josh's father, Tom, said the deep squats required by Olympic weightlifting are good training for future football linemen, K-State or otherwise. "(Weightlifting) helps shoulders, backs, legs and increases your balance. It utilizes aU the muscle groups," he said. "It's a very addictive sport. Once these kids get hit by the iron bug, it's hard to get them away from it. They set high goals for themselves and strive to achieve." Espinosa stressed weightlifting is not the same as body­ building. Bodybuilders generally concentrate on isolated movements with weights to build big muscles and washboard stomachs. Most kids on the Reps and Sets team don't have large muscles — in fact, many are slight and skinny — but they will develop enormous strength over time, Espinosa , said. "It's important to have proper training from an early age and build slowly," he said. "For example. Christian, at 7, is an exceptional athlete. By the time he's 15 (the qualifying age for Olympic athletes), he could well be in the Olympics. But if I had started him out at 14, he'd never make it." Another misconception is weightlifting is dangerous and injury-inducing. Espinosa said weightlifters have fewer injuries than those who participate in other sports, such as football, baseball and track. "It's all about progressive repetition, not throwing a bunch of heavy weights at people," he said. "You do it over and over again, increasing the weight by increments as you get stronger. My job as a coach is to give these guys feedback and make sure they're lifting appropriately. It's amazing what a human being can accomplish with the right training." Mission statement From the beginning, Espinosa has given his team a mission statenient: to compete in the Olympics, Pan-American games and other international competitions. Earlier this year, the team competed in events in Richardson, Texas; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Onaga. On Feb. 3 at St. Joseph, team members Josh Perez and Jacob Chambers, 13, placed first in their weight class. Christian Linenberger and Grant Smith, 12, placed second. Junior member Zack Taylor, 19, won first place in two meets, Jan. 27 in Richardson and March 31 at Onaga. Other members of Espinosa's team are Jason Chambers, 15, Joshua AUey, 15, Andrew Miller, 15, and Steve Coup, 52. All team members are from the Salina area. Taylor, a Salina South High School graduate, has been lifting only since November, but he said he's come a long way "I liked to play sports in high school, and this is almost the same thing," he said. "I like to go to the different meets and meet a lot of people. It boosts my ego to win matches. But I lift because I like it — it's a great workout." Espinosa said the goal for his school-age team this year is to participate in the school-age nationals beginning June 23 at Shreveport, La. "They have a good cliance to place," he said. Watching his team improve each week and seeing their faces light up when they win matches or beat old records keeps Espinosa excited and motivated. "This is what I feel I was meant to do," he said. "The way I see it, on one side you have your birthdate, and on the other side there's the day you die. There's a line in between that's your life. I ask myself, 'Dennis, what do you want on that line?' "I've been blessed with a wonderful job and a happy home. Now I want to give something back. I want to give these guys an opportunity to lift themselves to the top." • Reporter Gary Demuth can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 109, or by e-mail at sjgdemuth® WIFE WANTED Midwest Sewing Center has purchased Bernina Bernette sewing machines with slight enamel blemishes to be sold to the public. 2000 Heavy-Duty Free Arm Zig-Zag sewing machines. The Bernina Bernette sews on all type fabrics: Levi's,, Canvas, Upholstery, Nylon, Stretch, Vinyl, Silk, even sews on Leather. 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