Wilsonville native seeking to break record

Published 1:21 pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

No one can ever accuse Lee Parsons of doing anything halfway.

The soft-spoken 2010 graduate of Cornerstone Christian School took a win in an American Powerlifting Committee regional competition held in Phenix City on Nov. 2. Parsons captured the 182-198-pound weight class by bench-pressing 375 pounds, setting a new Alabama state record for the class. In the process, Parsons came within 10 pounds of setting a new national record as well.

Some athletes are led into sports like football, softball or gymnastics at an early age. For Parsons, weightlifting has always been a part of his life, beginning with training for football when he attended Shelby Academy.

“I started lifting for football,” he said. “(I was) surrounded by family members who did bodybuilding.”

While weightlifting is a full-time endeavor for some, for Parsons it tends to be a pastime. His full-time job is serving as a SPC Combat Medic in the U.S. Army with the 3rd Infantry Division, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion. The 23-year-old returned to the United States in March after spending nine months in Kuwait.

He said lifting was a constructive way to spend down time, and continued to work out when he returned to his current station of Fort Benning, Ga.

“In Kuwait, (I) pretty much trained every day,” he said.

While at Fort Benning, Parsons said he got wind of the competition in nearby Phenix City, which served as a qualifying round for a national competition. He said he didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but made the most of the time he had. Within just three weeks of training, he was bench-pressing 375 pounds.

Parsons said he had no doubt his training with the Army helped him in his quest, as he fine-tuned a balance of diet with exercise that helped him get the most out of his body. He went on to say that a key part of successful lifting is knowing the proper moves to get the most from your body.

“I do physical training every morning to keep weight down,” he said. “It comes down to a lot of technique. Bench pressing seems simple, but there’s a lot of proper training involved. Technique is key.”

A busy man, he re-enlisted with the Army for three more years and will deploy to Germany next October.

With his win at the Phenix City competition, Parsons qualified for the APC national championship tournament in June, and will compete in another competition in Birmingham in February. He said his main goal was to break the APC 182-19 weight class national bench press record of 385 pounds and the world bench press record of 405 pounds in his next outing.