As his former high school football teammates hit the gym to prepare for the jump from 3A to 5A this season, Luke Musselman drives 50 minutes to work out at American Raw Fitness where he needs to know the pass code to let himself in.
He works on mastering three lifts: the bench press, the squat, the dead lift.
Next week, the Queen Creek Casteel senior will be in Las Vegas, competing in the USPA National Powerliftng Championships.
He holds age-group (16-17) state records and plans to beat everybody at nationals by at least 400 pounds in the 198-pound weight class. His bests are 315 pounds on the the bench (there is a pause once the bar hits the chest), 555 in the squat and 651 in the dead. He is poised to go much heavier in Las Vegas in all three lifts.
He has already qualified for the world championships in October in Las Vegas.
“I kind of got serious in the eighth grade,” he said. “We had tackle football in middle school. Being involved in powerlifting, I was already a bigger kid. That’s when I fell in love with it. That’s where I got my confidence, through lifting and it carried onto the field.”
But setting powerlifting records before he ended high school wasn’t the dream coming in.
The youngest of five, including two brothers who paved the football way, a new school ahead to leave his mark, Luke Musselman had big football dreams as an inside linebacker entering Casteel.
Leader of the weight room, his work ethic and popularity led to being named team captain.
But it wasn’t meant to be.