Daniel Gustafson Joins The 800 Club

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Daniel Gustafson Joins The 800 Club

Gabe Baird, Reporter

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For the past three years Daniel Gustafson ’21 has been weightlifting everyday before and after school. Gustafson has been weightlifting since he was 12 years old and has wanted to join the 800 club since he found out about it last summer. Before the lift on the morning of October 16th, Gustafson was noticeably nervous as he had come up just five pounds short of 800 previously.

“I was motivated not only by making the club, but making history by being the first freshman ever,” Gustafson said.

The 800 club is based off of three lifts: the hang clean, back squat, and bench press.

I am very proud about this accomplishment and am really proud that not only am I only 13th athlete to achieve this but I am the first freshman to do it.”

— Daniel Gustafson '21


“We call it ‘The Great 800’ because you have to have great technique in order to qualify,” said Dan Sabers, varsity football coach and mentor of Gustafson.

In addition to preparing for the big lift in the weight room, Gustafson also needed to prepare his body by monitoring what foods he ate.

“To keep my body where I want it to be, I have a diet that has moderate amounts of protein and low fat.

This diet helps Gustafson build the energy to lift these enormous amounts of weight without him gaining very much weight.

Gustafson’s greatest motivation was knowing that he could possibly make history for what he loves doing. He described the lift as one the best moments of his life.

“The hardest part was right before I made the club, being stressed about being 5 pounds off and not seeing any results in my training.”

The 800 club is no easy feat to accomplish. All of the lifts have to add up to 800 pounds. Gustafson back squatted 340 pounds, bench pressed 260, and for his hang clean 235 pounds.

“I am very proud about this accomplishment and am really proud that not only am I only 13th athlete to achieve this but I am the first freshman to do it.”

The end product required gradual progress, and didn’t happen in a day.

“At the beginning of the summer I found out I couldn’t spend much time in the gym, [but] at the end of the summer I was 30 lbs away from making the club, and then about midway through the season I was 5 pounds away from making the club.”

When asked about Gustafson, Dan Sabers said, “I’ve known him since seventh grade at South East. I could tell that he was dedicated to working hard and honestly, it wouldn’t be hard for him to do it. I knew that he could probably do it over the summer and of course I knew that he was committed to lifting.”