Conquering The Platform-Tyler McClanahan

Tyler’s story is uplifting and shows us all that no matter what perceived disadvantages we might have, you can overcome them with the right frame of mind and work ethic.  Tyler shares his story in his own words and be sure and check out his custom design


I never played sports growing up.  I was born missing two fingers on my right hand, and my right arm grew a little abnormally, and my parents were worried that if it was broken playing sports it wouldn’t heal correctly.  I got into lifting about 3 years ago to get healthy and lose a little weight. I was very interested in lifting heavy, and I was obsessed with pushing myself beyond my limits. This obsession led me to powerlifting. Once I started getting stronger, my right hand began to become an obstacle: because I’m missing my pointer and pinky finger, grip was a serious issue. I switched to using hook grip, and it became my best friend very quickly; hence, the nickname Cpt. Hook was born! 

Lifting is a big part of my life and I have an immense passion for it, but my passion outside the gym belongs to my family and my two children. My family has dealt with a lot of mental illness, and so it has always held a place near and dear to my heart.  My son was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and at first my wife and I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it, but with a lot of research, it quickly turned from something scary.. to something we are both big advocates for.  When my son was born, he also had no use of his left side. Through physical therapy, he gained full use of his left side and today you would never know the difference. He was also non-verbal for several years, and we thought he would never speak, and now we find ourselves asking him to please be quiet more often than not!  He is an absolutely amazing young man, and an inspiration to me and everyone who meets him. His work ethic and determination to push beyond everyone’s expectations is amazing.  He continues to grow and exceed our expectations every day. As far as me and my future goals, competing in Drug-Tested Nationals next year is the goal, and from there sky is the limit!