NORTHPORT, Ala. — Almost one year ago, 23-year-old Nico Uribe told his father he wanted to start working out, but where did this sudden inspiration come from?
“I want to be like a Ninja Warrior,” Nico said.
“He started watching American Ninja Warrior on cable and wanted to start coming to the gym with me,” his father David Uribe said. “I thought sure, play a little bit with the weights, got Ron to work with him as his trainer and suddenly he took off.”
After playing around with the weights, Nico ventured into the power room where he learned three basic powerlifting exercises: the bench press, squat and deadlift.
“This is my first client with Down Syndrome,” trainer Ron Wedgeworth said. “I’ve had a great time with Nico. I come in and he’s usually my first or second client of the morning. He comes in at 7:30 a.m. two days a week, and there no way you can be in a bad mood around Nico because he walks in the door and it doesn’t matter where I’m at in here. When he comes in, I hear him scream ‘Ron’ when he walks in.”
He hasn’t let Down Syndrome get in the way. He can now lift a total of 685 pounds. Since he began training, he put on 30 pounds and went from never having done any of the three lifts to a 150-pound bench, a 215-pound squat, and a 220-pound deadlift.
“A couple minor injuries but most of the problems are psychological,” David said. “When he decides he can do it, he can.”
His training will be put to the test on Saturday at the APA Raw War powerlifting meet. Nico is excited to compete and continue training for more competitions in the future.
“You going to blow it up?” David asked.
“Yep, I blow it up,” Nico responded.
APA Raw War 2017 begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Bryant Conference Center.