Mario D'amico's love for training started where it does for many lifters: high school sports. The intensity of training as part of the football team—and the respected gained from being known as a hard-worker—appealed to him. It wasn't long before he graduated, went to the University of Akron, and met Joe Schillero. It was Joe who introduced him to powerlifting, 5/3/1, and Seven months later, he was on the platform for the first time. Since then, he hasn't stopped and he hasn't slowed down.

Mario has spent the last several years competing multi-ply (and posting personal best lifts of an 826-pound squat, 562-pound bench, 650-pound deadlift, and 2038-pound total), and is now making a return to raw competition. Due mostly to time constraints (he begins paramedic school in January), Mario is making the switch so that he can spend less total time in the gym and to be able to train alone if necessary. This period of time training raw also gives an opportunity to build a stronger training base before going back to multi-ply, he says.

In this video, Mario talks about how he first began training, starting from the very beginning in that high school weight room. He speaks about his current training, the changes he's making, and how he's adjusting due to his schedule.

Mario's next meet is the Winter Rack Attack, December 17, at Old School Iron Gym in Brook Park, Ohio.

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