The Gym is a Blessing! #BlessTheGym

I think people seriously underestimate how much participating in a local Gym can be a Blessing….Here is another amazing story from a personal friend that can attest to that point!  I have known Dennis since he was a (very active, haha) little boy and when I met him I was a pupil in one of his mother’s physical education classes.  His mother instilled the same concept in me….that the gym provides a huge opportunity to better yourself not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well….and for that I am eternally grateful and consider myself blessed. I hope you all get a little inspiration from Dennis’s story and begin to feel the same! 🙂


My name is Dennis Forrest, and I was born and raised in Danville, IL. I attended college in Pella, IA, at a small school called Central College, where I studied Exercise Science and played soccer. Although, I worked out and lifted weights consistently throughout my high school years, my Powerlifting and Weightlifting journey didn’t truly begin until my junior year of college (I am #20).
During my junior year of college, I tore my ACL, LCL, and Meniscus during soccer season. At that point in my life, it seemed like the absolute worst thing that could have happened. It was a devastating injury and I never believed I would be the same again. I realized there were two ways to go about this rehabilitation process: to give it my all or nothing at all. Looking back to the day of my injury, it was actually a blessing in disguise because it led me to my passion and something I will be able to do for the rest of my life, weightlifting.
Fast-forward to today, I’m currently an avid power lifter and weightlifter. I’ve competed in multiple local competitions in both sports. My best numbers to this date are a 430lb Bench Press, 584.2lb Deadlift (Yes, every little bit counts!) and a 565lb Squat for Powerlifting. For Weightlifting, 260lb Snatch and a 330lb Clean and Jerk. My future goals are a 450lb Bench Press, 600lb Squat and Deadlift, 300lb Snatch, and 380lb Clean and Jerk. I also want to compete at a National level for both sports.
One big thing that motivates me is the people around me. My family, girlfriend, and best friends push me everyday to be better than I was the day before; I have an amazing support system. Another thing that motivates me and is a struggle all at the same time is Anxiety/Depression. I’ve never openly talked about this, but its something I’ve been struggling with since about my sophomore year of college. I’ve learned this is a real thing and experiencing it motivates me to get in the gym every day. When I enter the gym, I enter a whole new world without any of the everyday stresses life brings. I’m so grateful that I have found something I love and am able to do it every single day.
Further down the road, I’m hoping to have a career in the Sports Performance, Strength & Conditioning realm, and eventually open up my own Barbell Club/Sports Performance facility. Here in the present, I’ll keep working hard and bettering myself to achieve these goals I have laid out and with perseverance and hard work, these things will come. I hope to be able to use my personal experiences to guide people down this same path that has brought me so much joy.

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