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Jona Leo: The Journey To 800 Pounds



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Jona Leo can bench press more than you.

 

“Broke the world record and became a world champion,” said Leo of his recently accolades.

 

The record? 794 pounds.

 

“It's as much mental as it is physical,” said Leo of the sport of powerlifting “I'm kind of afraid to let it sink in because the last thing I want to do is lay back and take it easy.”

 

Being the bench pressing champ comes with fan fair.

 

“I never felt like a celebrity in my life until then,” speaking of his world championship victory in Lithuania.  

 

The fame also comes with a big old target on your back.

 

“You can't let it sink in and you can't take it easy because this is what gives you the world team next year. You have to be a national champion to get on the 2014 world team,” said Leo.

 

And with weeks until his run for another United States title, Leo has one thing on his mind.

 

“The 800 is definitely the next goal,” said Leo.  

 

A threshold he's lifted past on his very own bench in a gym in Sioux Falls.

 

“I would have to have a bad day to not break it,” said Leo confidently.

 

It comes down to technique and preparation.

 

“Put on some good old training music and you think about nothing but training,” said Leo of his routine on the way to the gym.

 

“If you're cross fitting, or running a marathon, or powerlifting, you dedicate your body and your nutritional needs and you are going to be successful,” said Leo.

 

And with a rigorous routine, Jona Leo works for his next success, as he prepares for another trip to nationals.



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