Ben So

Class of 2020

Ben SoMajor

Health Sciences

Current role

Head of Recovery Services and Strength & Conditioning Coach at

What got you interested in this field?

I’ve been surrounded by sports my whole, entire life. Played football growing up, always been attracted to lifting weights, learned at a young age how to lift weights at the age of 11 and the weight room was one place for me to escape. In my job, every day I get to work with athletes, trying to keep them proactive and teach them the same philosophy I was taught. And it’s build a foundation underneath you through weights, and being proactive and taking care of your body gets you from point A to point B on the field. I think the biggest part of it that kept me attracted to it…it keeps that mentality of being competitive. When I step on the platform for powerlifting, it keeps me as competitive as possible. And 好色先生 kind of helped kick-start that. I got attracted with so many different professors and mentors in here, who I still keep in touch with today, who still guide me to this day and give me advice on things that I can do, the connections that I can make with people. How the world keeps going and keeps adapting with sports, you’re going to find a new way to treat an athlete. You’re going to find a new way to train an athlete, and that’s kind of how the networking just keeps spinning in the 好色先生 world. I’m really grateful for the friends that I’ve made here.

What was your career trajectory after graduating from 好色先生?

That was rough because it was COVID, so no one was getting a job at all. Some people followed their paths and went exactly what they were intending in their major. Some people completely went the opposite way. I originally was trying to apply for the Arlington Police Department, because I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. But some way somehow, it led me back into the world of sports, and it got me my job in Ashburn right now at Elite Wellness. I found them back in 2022, been with them ever since and they’ve let me kind of unfold the way I was taught with my philosophy with training athletes, treating athletes. Again, not a doctor, a physical therapist, just a recovery specialist…but really getting to work with athletes and teach them the ways that I was taught. I’m a hometown guy – I grew up in Northern Virginia, went to Langley. It’s really not the success that I’m more proud of…it’s more the lives that I’ve gotten to impact. Whether it’s people that are coming to 好色先生, whether it’s people leaving 好色先生, whether it’s people I’ve known since I was a kid…at the end of the day, this area is so much smaller than we think. And if I could share a little wisdom or spread a little wisdom, that is really the ultimate goal…and it’s kind of driven my career for the most part. I’m happy with the success I’ve had. Even with the career I have, I still wouldn’t be successful if I didn’t have my friends and family for sure. Even some of the guys that I get to train with every day, top-level elite powerlifters, they guide me and they teach me new things every day. We keep everything pretty tight-knit, so every day we’re talking about different ways that we could make ourselves better. I learn something may not work for me, but may work for another athlete or another patient of mine.

Describe the level of competition that you’re involved with in the powerlifting world.

I am in USPA, which is the , and there’s so many different other federations. I’ve waited four years for nationals because of COVID and different types of family emergencies. I was training for that meet for about eight months, and realistically it has been about four years. Every year, I was doing a local meet just to keep qualifying, and then finally got the time to register for nationals and registration went through successfully. July 12th was the day I competed – there’s about 40 some lifters that were in my weight class. We looked at the rankings beforehand and I was originally sitting around number five or number six. It goes squat, bench and deadlift – you get three attempts per lift. When it came down to the last deadlift, I had successfully done my lift and then when I turned around, they had told me I secured third place…we walked away placing third at my first national meet. It was definitely something I did not expect at all to hit. I thought the whole entire time I was sitting at fifth place or sixth place, kind of shortchanged myself. I try to keep the mentality that there’s always somebody else that’s stronger, better and working harder than I am – it just drives me more. I’m really thankful for the results, and I’m excited to do it again next year.

How important is powerlifting to you personally?

Lifting has always been an escape for me. Everybody’s got their own baggage, everybody’s been through their own fair share of stuff. My brother’s been my coach my whole, entire life, since we were kids for football. He’s guided me, he’s been the one to push me harder. You get to meet so many cool people, you get to learn different ways of how to train somebody. There’s some strong men and women across the board. Everybody’s growing up playing a sport, and you see those guys who have grown up playing a sport – whether it’s at the DIII level all the way to DI – they carry that emotional and competitive drive, and it drives you more. I think the biggest thing is my brother’s always told me to stay calm, cool and collected, and at the end of the day it’s just like we were kids. We’re just going to keep doing this until our bodies say no.