Hercules would like to introduce our very first original sponsored lifter, Marcus Morris. Marcus is a powerlifter in the 181 lb bodyweight class. He competes primarily in multiply equipment (squat/deadlift suit and bench shirt) but does focus on raw training as well. He plans to compete raw also at some point just to get the numbers officially in. Because as any powerlifter knows, you don't have a total until you get it on a platform!

Q: What sports did you play in school?
A: I graduated from East-Syracuse Minoa highschool where I played football and wrestled as well. It was during these years that the weight room became my home, and I found my passion for training. While I was a good athlete, I was certainly not genetically gifted by any means. Every snap I was able to take on a football field, as well as any win I claimed on a wrestling mat was a direct result of the effort I put in outside the line. I am very grateful for those early experiences.

Marcus also had some early dabblings in bodybuilding. Though impressive for a young 20 year old guy, he definitely found his love in powerlifting. Short term, long term, Marcus's goal is one and the same. To become the all time world historical best equipped 181 lifter. He is well on his way. By day he works full time as a Detail Manager at Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems. At night (and sometimes by morning) he is a dedicated athlete working to be the best on the planet.

Currently Marcus is #8 in squat. Now ladies and gentlemen, we are talking out of everyone in the state, country, continent .... everyone in the world. In the entire history of powerlifting. Out of everyone lifting in the 181 weight class in all of the world, only SEVEN people squat more than Marcus right now. And his total (sum of squat, bench and deadlift) is ranked #10. This is an accomplishment you may want to take a few seconds to really digest.

Then & Now
He thought he looked good .... Really??? haha

Q: What made you start competing?
A: My high-school football coach Michael Eschbacher is probably the greatest contributing factor in terms of my initial interest in powerlifting. He was very active in the weightroom with our team, and entered us in a few bench and deadlift meets against other teams. I vividly remember him telling me that he could see me becoming one of the best lifters in the country down the road if I pursued powerlifting seriously. I never forgot that. Fast forward to 2012 and I found Hercules Gym, but mainly, I found Rheta. I was just starting to get my act together with school and life, and for some reason I kept thinking back to what my football coach had said a few years before. At the time I had been training, but only out of a local YMCA, and I had no real guidance. I started doing some research and I kept coming across this crazy, red headed, monster of a female lifter that trained out of Hercules. I decided that is where I needed to go, and she is who I needed to train with. I remember walking into the gym for the first time after breifly messaging her before hand, to the humbling sight of a 148lb female shrugging more than I squatted, wondering what I was getting myself into. From day one, Rheta was nothing but an exemplary role model, and everything that I aspire to be not only as a competitor, but as a representative of the sport. I owe more than I could ever give back to her.

Q: Tell us about your family
A: I am lucky to have had a strong family up-brining, which certainly shaped the person I am today. I am son to Kevin and Susan, as well as a brother to Kevin Jr, Sophia, and Leeann. I am especially lucky to have three grandparents, Olga on one side, Richard and Clo on the other, all of whom have had a monumental impact on how I perceive and attack the world around me.

Marcus also has a better half! Marcus and Alaina have been together for a few years now. It's a little weird (they even have the same birthday!), but definitely cute, these two are made for each other in every way. They are Hercules' star power couple (besides the owners of course) with Alaina on the World Historical All-time ranking lists herself!!


Q: Least favorite type of training?
A: Accessory work. Everybody wants to hit the big three. And why not? It’s fun to go heavy. However more squatting doesn’t make you a better squatter, and more pulling won’t make you a better deadlifter. That’s where accessory work comes in. It’s not so much that I dislike the training itself, but it’s the extra time it adds onto training that can be tough to enjoy. Life is busy, and when you have to spend an extra 1-2 hours in the gym after taking a heavy squat, it sucks. BUT, nothing worth having comes easy, OR without sacrifice.

"Luck is the last dying wish of those who believe that winning can happen by accident"
-Marcus Morris's belt

Q: Favorite type of training?
A: Nothing beats a Max-Effort Squat day. Squatting big weights is life.

When asked if there was anything else he would like to say to the viewers, Marcus said, "A huge thank you to Hercules Gym, you are my home and it means everything to represent you and what you stand for!"

A note from Rheta:
Marcus has always been a perfect member of the Hercules family. He is good hearted, good spirited, an excellent athlete, always willing to help everyone, with a great honest personality that makes him able to give honest, needed criticism as well. I always knew that Marcus would excel because he sought out anything better than himself, learned from it, and drove to surpass it. Marcus can attest that I have been harder on him than some that have come through our family. I will admit I was! I held him to a higher standard because he was someone others looked up to. He was not just an excellent athlete but he was a leader as well. I wanted him not to just lift big numbers but to also bleed excellence, grace and character. I could see someone who would shape future lifters so he had to be better, had to be more moral, have more understanding of what it meant to be a good lifter because it is NOT just about the numbers. I told him once, "I am harder on you because I believe in you. When I stop riding you, I don't care about you anymore." I have never been more proud of all that one of our lifters has taken upon themselves or how it shaped the athlete they became. Marcus is truly the heart and soul of what Hercules represents and we could not be more proud that he chooses to let us be a part of his journey.