top of page

2016 HNHS Alumni Looks to Break own Weightlifting Records

Updated: Jul 20

J.J. Whisenhunt prepares for Chicago on a mission

Hat tip Dani Clark

Jerry Allen Whisenhunt Junior, known as J.J. grew up in Huntington, Indiana with his parents Jerry and Penney Whisenhunt and brother Pryce. He graduated from Huntington North High School in 2016 and continued his education at Ivy Tech Community College where he graduated in 2018.

Throughout high school, J.J. was active in baseball, wrestling, and football.

His love for being active didn't stop there. In 2020 he received his certification for personal training through Ace and nutrition coach certification through Precision Nutrition.

One of J.J. 's favorite memories from high school was that he, “was the only kid there with a motorcycle,” which seemed very fitting considering his childhood dream was to be a Moto Grand Prix racer and a mechanic. He also was the kid that rode his longboard through the school. Although his high school years seemed like they were all fun and lighthearted , J.J., unfortunately, did not have that luxury.

Throughout his high school years, J.J. had struggled with drug use. His parents were always very against it and never raised him to be a part of that lifestyle.

“Looking back now he said, “I think drugs are more used because of boredom. You’re bored so you sit there and think what else can I do.” He dabbled into pills at one point but mainly struggled with using psychedelics, weed, and cocaine.

J.J. started smoking weed around the age of 12 and the harder

stuff became an issue when he was a freshman.

One day while longboarding down the road during his senior year and shortly after turning 18, J.J. was stopped by a police officer. He was asked if he could search his bag and after obtaining a search warrant, the bag was searched. They only found weed, wax, and papers in the bag and had taken him into the police station.

They searched the backpack pockets again where they found a small bag that contained less than a gram of cocaine. He had genuinely forgotten

that it was in there. J.J. was hit with possession of everything and intent to sell cocaine, even though he, “had absolutely no intent to sell it,” he said. He was potentially looking at ten years in prison.

Thankfully, since it was his first offense and he was just a good kid caught up in bad things, the charges were heavily lightened compared to what they could have been. J.J. was given two and a half years of house arrest and 2 years probation and it was mandatory that he got a college education. After his arrest, J.J. quit drug use immediately because he realized the reality

of the outcome was not worth it to him. If not given the grace that he was, J.J. would still be setting in prison for another few years.

In early 2017, J.J. was going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings but, “I didn’t like going to meetings or talking about why I did drugs because then I’d have to go back home and be expected to not do drugs.” Eventually, he stopped going to the meetings and turned to working out again as a better form of therapy for him. J.J took his passions and ran with them.

He currently holds multiple weightlifting records through the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) in his 165-pound weight class for the state of Indiana.

“I have the squat, bench, and deadlift, and I have beat my own record in the squat, bench and total weight,” he said.

He hopes to one day hold national records.

To this day, J.J. gives thanks to both of his parents for influencing who he is today. “We never had much growing up. They always took care of us. We were always put first and they made sure we didn’t realize we didn't have much. We went on family vacations and all of these

family things together. Figuring out now how it was growing up made me realize that you can still do your best with what you have even if it is very little.”

Lifting weights helped give J.J. a second chance at life and “turned a negative into a positive,” he said. “This was helping me. I am staying sober. If this helped me so much, if I can help others, maybe not with the same problems, but in the same capacity, why wouldn’t I do

that?” he continued.

J.J. began his personal training career at the Huntington YMCA, but is now branching out on his own, you can find him at IN Strong in Huntington where he is a personal trainer.

Online programs will be coming soon, be sure to inquire about them.

If you are interested in having J.J. as your personal trainer these are the ways to contact him.


884 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page