By Kyle LoJacono
Olympic weightlifter Brad Bouthot had quite a pair of weekends to close out November.
The Wesley Chapel resident and 2007 Zephyrhills High graduate went out and won the Florida State Championships on Nov. 12 at Altamonte Springs and backed up that title with another on Nov. 20 in Miami at the Soul Open.
Bouthot put up 265 kilograms, 584 pounds, combined at the state championships. His total was matched by another lifter, but Bouthot weighed less and was therefore declared the overall champion.
Bouthot, who competes in the 187-pound weight class, posted 264 pounds in the power snatch and 320 in the clean and jerk. He was named the men’s Best Overall Lifter at the state championships, given to the best pound-for-pound athlete.
Bouthot was also named the top lifter in Miami by posting 606 total pounds, 276 snatch and 330 clean, the following week. The amounts were not only new personal bests for him, but also totaled the most of any lifter at the event. He did not have to sweat out the final outcome at the Soul Open.
“The way the meets are structured is that the athletes lifting the lighter weights go first and the barbell slowly increases in weight as each athlete takes their attempts,” Bouthot said. “Each athlete gets three attempts, so the strongest athletes will be the last ones lifting. Well I hadn’t even taken my first attempt and all the other men had already completed all their attempts. This was the case on both the snatch and the clean and jerk.”
Eric Auciello has been Bouthot’s coach since he picked up the sport less than two years ago and said it was a proud couple of weeks for him watching his pupil excel.
“Almost two years ago a young man walked into my gym and told me he wanted to be a champion,” Auciello said. “He possessed certain physical attributes that made him a natural weightlifter, but it was the intangible qualities that impressed me the most. He exuded a quiet confidence. He was driven, passionate, dedicated and hungry.”
Auciello added Bouthot is a very self-motivated person. They only see each other at Crossfit Revolution in Brandon about once every other week to make sure Bouthot is using correct form. The rest of the time the east Pasco County resident is lifting on his own.
The pair of titles for Bouthot came in a lighter weight class than he had previously competed in. He shed 9 kilograms, about 20 pounds, to get down to 187.
“It was really just a personal choice,” Bouthot said. “I felt I had extra weight that wasn’t benefiting me as an athlete that I could afford to lose. The extra baby fat wasn’t what was moving the weights. So I figured I’d clean up the diet even more than it already was and slowly see if I could lose the useless weight. Certainly I thought also that it would be beneficial to be in a lighter class as I try and move up the national ladder as well.”
Bouthot said it was pretty easy for him to lose the weight.
“The hardest part was staying away from the fridge late night,” Bouthot said. “The easiest way to lose weight like that is to eat your biggest meal earlier in the day. The worst thing you can do when trying to lose weight is load up on food within the last hours before bed. Other than that my diet didn’t really change too much in terms of the things that I ate, it was just the timing of when I ate them.”
Besides keeping up his high lift totals with his new slimmed-down frame, Bouthot is planning to compete in the Arnold Classic in March. His long-term goal is to eventually make the U.S. Olympic team.
“I’m not among that top five elite in the country yet that will have a real shot to go to the London Olympics next summer, but I won’t let anyone outwork me, and I’ll be busting mine to get to Rio, Brazil in 2016,” Bouthot said. “For 2012, I’d like to total 300 kilograms (661 pounds) in competition. Going up by 25 kilograms (55 pounds) in competition won’t be easy, but I think I can do it by the next Christmas.”
The videos of Bouthot’s lifts in Miami can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylxn_lnOfpA and www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWiNtz-Dm7s.