When a friend approached Brook McCluskey trying to get her into powerlifting, she wasn’t too thrilled with the prospects of lifting heavy weights in front of other people.

In her first competitive action, a Nebraska state tournament ran by USA Powerlifting (USAPL), McCluskey experienced immediate success and set a pair of state records.

“I really loved it and I was like, ‘Okay, that’s probably it, I don’t need to do any more [meets],’ now here we are 10 meets later,” she said.

Since that first meet in 2016, McCluskey has found great value in using lifting as a stress relief and coping mechanism. She has also been wildly successful, with between 20-30 USAPL records at the state level.

At raw nationals in 2017, McCluskey placed eighth in the entire country in the age 20-23 division and finished seventh at collegiate nationals not long after. According to the USAPL rankings, she is currently the second-best female lifter in all of Nebraska’s weight classes.

Meanwhile, McCluskey has also made fitness a priority in her professional life. She is currently double-majoring in nutrition and dietetics and exercise science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has plans to attend physical therapy school in the future.

As a certified personal trainer, she also runs her online business, Built by Brook. All of her work is online, as she and her clients work together on motivation, goal-setting and self-discipline, as she checks in on a weekly basis to evaluate progress. McCluskey hopes the online experience will help her down the line for in-person training.

“By the time I’m 30, I do want to open my own business and use physical therapy and personal training very heavily in an actual facility and not just online,” she said.

For now, the focus is still on powerlifting as McCluskey prepares for USA Powerlifting’s raw nationals in October. After coaching other athletes in the Cornhusker State Games, she decided to compete this year as a prelude to her national competition.

Just three years ago, McCluskey would have never thought she’d be a powerlifting guru. However, her performances speak for themselves, and they’re not stopping soon.

Registration is currently open for the 2019 Cornhusker State Games. Featuring competition in 70 sports, participants can find more information and register online at our 2019 Sport Listing