by Deborah Silliman/College of Engineering
Meet Faithful Alabi. This junior electrical engineering major is doing some heavy lifting in the classroom and in the gym.
Alabi, who is originally from Nigeria, holds the Raw Teen III American deadlift record. He lifted 677 pounds. He set the record last year at the USA Powerlifting Texas Strength Classic, a memory he calls his proudest moment.
“I had been chasing this record for about a year. I had tried so many times at this weight or more and failed, but I never gave up or lost hope,” Alabi said. “I always knew I would get it and I kept my mind on that goal.”
This past fall, Alabi competed in the Raw National in Scranton, Pa., where he earned second place in his age division and weight class. He squatted 562 pounds, benched 370 pounds and deadlifted 633 pounds. He plans to compete again with the rest of the UTSA Powerlifting Team at the Collegiate Nationals in Providence, R.I., in April.
Alabi thinks powerlifting and engineering have a lot in common.
“Engineering and lifting are similar in many ways,” he said. “They are both competitive and require hard work and dedication. Plus, engineering and powerlifting are both more technical than they seem; they both require a lot of your time.”
Alabi says that his lessons in the classroom help him in powerlifting and vice versa.
“The classroom experience has taught me to not just think of myself, but to think of my team,” Alabi said. “Being an engineer, we have a lot of team projects that help us work as a team. Likewise, in powerlifting it’s not just an individual sport. It requires a team effort to be successful.”
Alabi says his proudest moment was his induction into Eta Kappa Nu.
“This had always been my dream. I worked so hard for it and I was excited to see my hard work pay off.”
Paul Alabi, Faithful’s older brother, is among his UTSA teammates.
“I joined the powerlifting team my freshman year of college because my older brother, who also goes to UTSA, was part of the team and he thought I would enjoy it,” he said. “I have not always followed in his footsteps, but we have a lot of things in common. Him being a part of the team keeps me motivated.”
Alabi has set his sights on two things: getting an internship with Boeing, his dream employer, and being the best powerlifter in the country.
“I would love to become a collegiate national champion before I graduate,” he said.