HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A team of local powerlifters at Arsenal Fitness are gearing up for their biggest competition yet — the U.S. Powerlifting Association Alabama State Championship.

The event, held in February, requires a lifter to manage a strict, yet strategic program that breaks down meal plans and workouts.

Powerlifter Anthony Casillas told News 19 about the commitment required for that training.

“It’s more than just coming into the gym,” Casillas said. “It’s balancing work, it’s balancing relationships, it’s coming to the gym even when you’re tired, as the rest of the team knows… and just coming in and doing the work when you can, and following the program. That’s a big thing.”

Courtney Thompson, co-owner of Arsenal Fitness and powerlifting coach, says proper training for a meet can take up to three months.

“That includes proper programming, meals on point, [unloading] the week prior to the actual competition and just everything that actually goes into that meet day,” Thompson said.

The championship will be held on February 18 and 19. Each lifter will compete in their respective weight class in the hopes of qualifying for the national championship.

In order to qualify, they must lift a designated combined weight among three categories: bench, squat, and deadlift.

Despite the weight on each lifter’s shoulders to qualify for nationals, it’s the support from fellow teammates that helps keep the confidence up and the nerves down.

“I love lifting with everyone who uplifts me,” said Adena Malone, another local lifter. “It makes it a lot easier because they want to see you reach your goals too.”

Win or lose, it’s the team support that gives each member strength to lift another day.

“Whenever you think about this being therapeutic, it’s like this is by far probably the best part of most people’s day,” Thompson added. “Coming here, go hard on the weights and all of their stresses kind of disappear.”