My name is Pierre Garcia, and I started a Powerlifting program 7 years ago in a small charter school in San Antonio, Texas. My dream was to provide character development for students, college opportunities and hope for the kids to become the best of the best which are world champions.
We started in a small portable building which was roughly 20 by 15 feet in length and width. Initially, I remember we didn’t have much equipment but like all things in life; we used what we had. I started with a handful of Powerlifters my first year and it was so tough starting out that I even used my coaching stipend to buy weight room equipment. To raise money to buy equipment, I also remember actually selling water on the streets numerous times! We would do anything we could, and we had many fundraisers to raise money so the kids could compete at competition meets. The program wasn’t funded by the school but I did have help by Titan Incorporated which graciously donated some weight training gear. They actually still sponsor some of my lifters when competing at IPF world competitions, so I really want to thank them for that help! We also had support from the Brooks Development Authority and community which gave us $6000, and we thank them as well.
To become world championships everyone knows you have to train harder, smarter and sometimes longer than your competitors, so we had Powerlifting practices at 5:30am-7:30 am, 4 days a week. I sincerely believe that was, and is one of the main reason why my Powerlifters are so successful and continue to be so successful. We train and compete all year round not just four days a week as most other programs do during the season. (Or off-season coach- not sure.)
Our parents were awesome as well because they totally understand what it takes to be successful in Powerlifting, and they were very supportive of our overall program efforts. We were a Powerlifting family and I think in looking back now, all great programs and even dynasties are somewhat of a family. Maybe that’s part of the main ingredients in a recipe for overall success but it just makes sense to always try to connect on a human being level first especially when training with this age of athletes.
Another great thing all champions know is to start carefully training as early as possible, so we actually started training our Powerlifters in 6th grade. This seems to allow lifters the ability to learn proper technique and experience the Powerlifting world altogether. All my lifters have their own tailored weight training programs and each student-athlete has their own profile folder for college opportunities which is a continued reminder to stay also focused on the long term goals. I record practices and competitions meets on a regular basis. We don’t create bad habits but rely on muscle memory through repetitive conditioning. We truly believe that hard work will beat talent and the BIGGEST bear always wins, so I guess that’s why I have the bear as my choice of animals on my company logo, Garcia Elites Powerlifting. We start at a very early age, so we call our young lifters cubs until they develop to grown Grizzly bears!
Building a program from scratch has been a remarkable experience but creating an empire is a true blessing only done through sweat and prayers! Giving out 1.7 million dollars in scholarships and holding over 500 records is proof that Garcia Elites Powerlifting is a powerhouse program that not only builds muscles but the strength of one’s own character as well! Our records speak for themselves, and we have championships and records in A.A.U. Jr. Olympics, THSWPA/THSPA/ World /USAPL State and Nationals. My program is not about the awards, medals, and recognition but mostly about preparing students and people for life. All of my Powerlifters understand you must have the same outstanding efforts in the weight room as they must have in their classrooms. A prime example is an outstanding athlete named Nallely because she graduated in the top 10% of her class. My lifters understand the sacrifices others have made to create opportunities to be a great person and powerlifter and that life is about going out and getting it! These girls have taught me that we don’t chase anyone in competitions, but we train to beat ourselves and setting personal records is another key to our greatness. Ironically, that philosophy works because we always came back with awards and team trophies.
Garcia Elites Powerlifting is officially the best girls team in the USA. Our phenomenal team has brought back 2 world championship gold medals and 1 silver medal. We also brought back a 2nd place world team award and best lifter award. The IPF World Bench Press Competition in June of this year was held at Potchefstroom (City) — Location North West of South Africa and just think, it all started in a little building on the south San Antonio Texas school site. It just goes to show everyone reading this, you can’t stop heart but you can do anything with faith and family and mostly prayers!
Moreover, in the recent world meet, the girls received 2nd place as a team with only 3 girls attending: Samantha (world champion) 84+kg weight class (age 18), Nallely (world champion) 72 kg weight class(age 18) and Liszette (silver world medal) 52 kg weight class (age 17). Nallely herself had amazing 275lbs bench press earning her the best lifter award, ranking her the 2nd best bencher in the world by a coefficient. Her best bench is 285lbs. Samantha attempted the world bench press record at 370lbs but came up a bit short, but she’s a fighter and winner to us anyways. She still holds the state of Texas bench press regional record at 370lbs so that amazing feat speaks for itself.
Liszette was the only powerlifter that qualified for both raw and equipped world bench press. Liszette traveled to Finland and became world champion a month later after South Africa IPF World Bench Press Competition. She also received the best raw bench press lifter award.
These girls have accomplished so much at such a young age and it almost choked me up inside as I write this I’m so proud! These 3 Titans of the girl’s athletic world have more than 140 records combined and that is beyond even my wildest dreams. Congratulations to all 3 girls and best wishes to Samantha and Nallely as they continue their powerlifting career at Midland University on scholarships. Liszette also is considering Midland University and I want to say, in conclusion, that every athlete I’ve ever worked with is forever in my heart. Life is about the journey and believing in yourself is the first step to becoming a true champion! At that point, everything else will fall in place.
— Pierre Garcia, 2018