Conquering The Platform-Martin Hsieh

Intense Attire sponsored athlete Martin Hsieh tells his story, in his own words of a Physical Therapist who found a love for gaining strength while juggling twins and more on the way!  Check out Martin's shirt design "Needles & Deadlifts" in the Intense Attire store!

I started “lifting” in high school and continued to do so throughout college. It was always to get stronger, faster, and to jump higher for basketball. My thinking was always that “I can’t be short and slow”. This thinking and love for basketball kept me in the weight room all these years.

In 2009 I was accepted into the University of MD Eastern Shore Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. Went through PT school learning about anatomy, exercises, and treatments. I thought I knew all there is to know about exercises, cause why wouldn’t I? I’m a freaking PT student!

I graduated in 2012 and started treating at an outpatient facility. An ex-coworker/powerlifter introduced me to powerlifting in 2013. I still remember training with him for the first time at the naval academy dungeon gym. He tore my squat and deadlift apart. Here I was, a practicing PT, and I just got my ass handed to me on the one thing I was supposed to be good at: exercises. I signed me up for my first meet in May of 2014, 2 months before my twins were born. It was an eye opener. I was truly humbled by the experience. It was amazing to see some really strong people executing precision technique on the big 3 lifts.

I dove head first into powerlifting, I just wanted to know how strong I could potentially be. For me, it was a good way to stay in shape, get strong, and the least time consuming hobby for a dad of twins. Little did I know learning about powerlifting was going to change the way I practice as a PT. Powerlifting has made me into a better clinician. It forced me to learn more about the mechanics of fundamental movements, the intricacies of programming, and that strength trumps all. Along the way I also picked up the technique of trigger point dry needling. Combined with some powerlifting fundamentals, I have been needling and teaching deadlifts for the past 5 years. I met my coach/good friend through PL, rekindled some friendship through PL, and mentored some future clinicians through PL.

If it wasn’t for powerlifting, I wouldn’t be the PT I am today. My goal is to help the weekend warriors get back into action, teach some deadlifts along the way, and maybe stick needles in a few people when necessary.

As a father of 3, and soon to be 5, I think it’s important to show my patients that I practice what I preach. I’m not sitting here telling you how good I am (let’s be honest, my wife is the true hero for carrying 2 sets of twins in a 5 year span, the lady deserves a medal), but no one deserves to see a PT that’s out of shape. At the end of the day just remember... needles and deadlifts make the world go round.

~Martin Hsieh