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Leland teen lifts for his health

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LELAND — Three years ago, when Austin Leggett, 16, started lifting weights, he tipped the scales at 115 pounds. As a result of working out for at least two hours, six days a week, the North Brunswick High School junior gained 80 pounds since his first workout.

"I started so I could get bigger and I like the feeling you get after working out." said Leggett.

In May, Leggett won the teenage division at a local weightlifting competition by bench pressing 230 pounds, curling 130 pounds and posting a 400 pound dead lift.

"When you get into a competition like that, it's all adrenaline. Those are my new maxes, so that gives me a sense of accomplishment,” said Leggett.

Leggett's passion for power lifting grows with each workout. However the activity plays an important role of helping him control his diabetes. The 16-year-old was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in September.

"When I found, I was scared. But lifting helps regulate everything," said Leggett.

Leggett checks his blood sugar at least three times during his workouts and makes sure protein and Gatorade bars are nearby to keep his blood sugar at the correct level.  Despite being a diabetic, Leggett remains determined to keep taking his body to the limits while working out.

"This just shows me that I can do anything regardless of the situation." said Leggett.

Leggett aims to be a well-known powerlifter as an adult, so he can be a role model for other diabetics who share his passion for lifting weights.

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