February 2024 Athlete Of The Month

Name: Kohei Jason Takada

Age: 30

Occupation: Certified Athletic Trainer ( I work as a sports medicine staff at Towson University Baseball team.) 

Where are you from and how did you end up in Baltimore? I’m from Tokyo. I attended graduate school in Texas but ended up in Maryland to move closer to my mom’s side of the family. 

What brought you to Baltimore Built Barbell Club? When I first joined, I wasn’t expecting more than just learning weightlifting techniques. Looking back now, I also enjoy the competitive environment and the sense of camaraderie with other gym members.    

How long have you been a member at Baltimore Built? Since October of 2023. 

Were you athletic or involved in sports when growing up? If so, what sports and or activities did you participate in? I played soccer for 10 years up until high school. I competitively competed in water skiing in college. 

Were you lifting regularly prior to joining Baltimore Built? If so, what were you doing? Yes. I would structure a program for myself around the big 3 movements. I also ran. I believe a strong body cultivates a strong mind! 

Why Olympic Weightlifting? Olympic weightlifting is not just lifting heavy, it requires strength, power, mobility and coordination! How cool is that? 

What is your favorite lift and why? Squats. It’s a fundamental movement in weightlifting. I’m always trying to improve my squat technique. 

What have you accomplished as an athlete (big or small) during your time at Baltimore Built? I was barely power snatching a 15 lb bar when I started due to my poor upper body mobility. Now I can actually snatch with a 45 lb bar with some weights!

What weightlifting goals do you have for the next year? Just getting stronger and honing my technique. 

How has your strength and fitness influenced and/or impacted your life outside of the gym? The life of a college athletic trainer can be hectic, especially when I’m in-season. Staying strong and fit gives me the ability to stay healthy and focused when I have to.  

What hobbies and activities do you enjoy outside of the gym? I’m trying to learn more Spanish and at least become conversationally fluent in it. I also like to go on hikes.