Over in Belarus, the IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships are well underway and Jon “Deuce” Gruden II has earned himself a gold medal in the 183-pound weight class with a total of 752.5kg.
In an Instagram post, he wrote,
A lot of great lifters from all over the world competed here in Minsk today. To walk away with the world title is a humbling experience and the greatest accomplishment of my life. This one’s for the boys back at Powerhouse in North Tampa! #grudengrinder
Gruden’s father is Jon Gruden, an influential American football coach and commentator who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2002. According to Deuce, his father was instrumental in introducing him to strength training and showed him his first squat rack in the Buccaneers’ training facility.
In a pretty cool interview with a Fox News affiliate in Tampa Bay, Deuce said that his last name gets him in the door, but it’s always been his job to earn his keep.
“I fell in love with strength training in college, and once I discovered powerlifting it was like, game over,” he explained. “I had something to compete in after football.”
In another interview with the LA Times, he spoke in more depth about why he finds lifting to be such an enjoyable sport.
There were weights I couldn’t come close to budging when I was in college. now I’m ripping off five sets at a time. It’s one of those things where you get to see how far you’ve come.
Jon Gruden senior, meanwhile, appears to be in awe of his son’s strength, saying,
(As a quarterback) I took pride in trying to be as strong as I could (but) I never got anywhere in the same ZIP code as this guy (…) Weight lifting to Deuce is like football to me.
The 23-year-old was hired as an assistant strength coach with his uncle Jay Gruden, who coaches the Washington Redskins, and his current PRs are a squat of 282kg (622 pounds), a bench of 200kg (440 pounds), and a deadlift of 302kg (666 pounds). The 666-pound deadlift PR came just a couple of weeks ago at a bodyweight of 183.6 pounds (83.3kg), and you can watch it below.
It looks like Gruden didn’t hit any of those PRs at the championship in Minsk — he made a 272.5kg (600lb) squat, 190kg (418.9lb) bench, and 290kg (639lb) deadlift. But it was enough to earn him the total for first place by just 2.5 kilograms ahead of fellow American Sean Noriega.
Congratulations to Deuce — we’re looking forward to seeing the numbers he’ll put up in the future.
Featured image via @deucegruden on Instagram.