Editors Note: Henry Hsu is a graduating Senior at Northeastern University. He has been with the team since Fall of 2013 and has been it’s President since Spring of 2015. At the most recent Collegiate Nationals he placed 2nd.Henry is the standard when it comes to dedication and drive to succeed and promote the sport of Powerlifting here in New England. With young individuals like Henry, the future of powerlifting in the Northeast is strong.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, where you are now, what you do for a living, etc.
I grew up in Lexington, MA before moving to Boston to attend Northeastern University. After graduating in May, I will be attending Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Currently I work as a dental surgical assistant in various practices, and will be travelling across Europe and Asia this summer.
Tell us how you got into the sport of powerlifting? How did this change your life?
I was a wrestler in high school, and have always been drawn to competitive activities and strength sports. After watching videos of NUPL’s members (Joe Cappellino, Tony Grimaldi, Luis Jaimes, etc.) at past national tournaments and attending the NUPL informational meeting, I was sold on the team and have been a part of it ever since. The sport gave me purpose and structure in a hectic college environment, and allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself. I have met some of the hardest working and genuine people in the sport and made some life long friends along the way. I’m proud to have been able to help shape NUPL into what it is today, and I hope it continues to develop in a positive direction.
What weight class do you compete in?
I started in the 66 kg class 2013 to 2015. I currently compete in the 74kg class.
What is your favorite lift? What are your best lift?
My favorite lift is the squat, which is also my best lift.
You’ve done a bunch of meets, some National level. Which one sticks out as your favorite and why?
It’s difficult for me to choose any meet in particular, but my favorite meets have always been the Collegiate National meets. They offer a truly unique atmosphere full of energy, excitement, and camaraderie. My hope is that on day the Collegiate Nationals Raw and Equipped divisions are split up so that each meet is more focused and competition does not get diluted. These meets also provide an opportunity for NUPL to showcase our hard work and conclude the year.
Tell us where you train. What’s your training routine like? Does your classes interfere with your lifting or vice versa?
I train five times a week in a variety of locations – typically I’m at the Northeastern University Cabot Varsity Weight room or Marino Center, but occasionally I’ll go to Baystate (Scituate, MA) or TPS (Malden, MA). I train raw in the fall, and in equipment in the spring (the best time of the year). I do a lot of accessory exercises to strengthen my weak points on my off days. This includes a lot of ab work and glute activation exercises. In addition to lifting, I place a lot of emphasis on stretching and mobility, spending an hour working on staying limber each day during competition season. Juggling a full course load with training requires time management, but it’s absolutely possible with enough discipline.
I’ve seen you do a lot of great things on the Platform, but tell us about what you consider is your greatest moment in powerlifting?
My greatest moment in powerlifting was when I got elected as NUPL President in 2015. The team and sport have given so much to me and helped me grow so much as a student, athlete, and person, and it has been my utmost pleasure and honor to give back and help the next generation of NUPL lifters reach their highest potential.
Who are your mentors? Who would you say you look up to as far as a coach, opponent, or fellow USAPL lifter. Any role models in the field of Strength sports?
I am extremely fortunate to have had many mentors and role models throughout my powerlifting career. Many of them are the old dogs of NUPL, like Tony Grimaldi, Matt Cassista, Joe Capp, Big Mike, Roy Apostle, and Stephen King, just to name a few. These guys set the bar high when it came to sacrifice and lifting heavy weight.
What inspires you to keep training? Do you have any tips that could help other lifters who are just starting out be motivated to achieve?
My biggest tip is very cliché, but set your goals very high and go forward with pursuing them relentlessly. I made sure to watch my diet and stretch each day to stay healthy/flexible for Nationals, and think this discipline to a more bland part of the sport is a strong reason for my success. Surrounding yourself with quality people is another important choice – I had a great team backing me up for my entire lifting career and they really made a difference.
Now that you are done with Collegiate Powerlifting, what is next?
Now that I’m done with undergrad, I plan on exploring Europe and Asia before starting dental school in the fall. I still plan on lifting equipped throughout my future and compete occasionally. I also plan on continuing to volunteer in the sport at local events here and there.