URI pharmacy student power lifts his
way to championships
KINGSTON, R.I. -- June 1, 1999--Jason Oliveira
has the chiseled body of an athlete, but at 5-feet, 6-inches tall, he isn't
what one would consider an imposing figure. It's
what the 160-pound University of Rhode student does with that body that
The Assonet, Mass. resident, who just completed
his freshman year at URI, can lift three times his own weight. Or in simple
terms, he can deadlift (hoisting the weights from the ground to the waist),
512.5 pounds, bench press 248 pounds and squat with 413.25 pounds on the
Lifting at those levels earned him first place
in the recent USA Powerlifting New England Powerlifting Championships, in
the 165-pound Collegiate Division. The Taunton, Mass. event attracted 70
competitors, including five in Oliveira's weight class, two of them West
Point cadets. Oliveira is a three-time national champion and two-time world
He will be competing in the USA Powerlifting National
Powerlifting Championship in Omaha, Neb. June 19 and 20.
A pharmacy major who joined the Phi Gamma Delta
fraternity this past semester, Oliveira also has brain power. He notched
a 3.1 grade point average for the spring semester.
What's his secret to success? "I train, train,
train, train. I always trained harder than anyone else in my high school."
Plus, he's been at it awhile. His brother got him
started in the eighth over grade, and he has been a serious lifter since
"I was body building initially, but then switched
to power lifting since my freshman year in Coyle Cassidy High School,"
he said. "All four years in high school, I played football. Our power
lifting coach was also the freshman football coach.
"I'm still a big football fan, but I didn't
consider playing football at URI, because I am not really big enough and
I don't have the time. When I came here, I weighed only 148 pounds."
Oliveira described body building as a sport that
seeks body symmetry, no body fat, and muscle tone. Power lifting simply
focuses on how much the athletes can lift, and it's more about power.
When he is at URI, he lifts four days a week at
Steve's Gym in Bonnet Shores, Narragansett, putting in two hours each time.
"When I started power lifting, it was a big adrenaline rush to try
to see how much I could lift."
Oliveira said the frequent and demanding workouts
leave him time and energy only for the essentials--his schoolwork and life
in the fraternity. "It takes a lot out of you when you go to the gym,"
he said. "I go from class to the gym, and then do homework. It's definitely
tough working out four days a week."
He said he enjoys life in the fraternity house
and at URI in general. "I love it here. I just have fun here, and it's
a nice campus," he said.
A National Honor Society student in high school,
he considered going to Boston University for its pre-med program, but changed
his mind to pursue pharmacy at URI.
"I definitely love school, and my parents
like URI," Oliveira said. "They just keep telling me to get the
For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116