PARAMUS, N.J. — Liam Jones of Paramus asked Santa Claus for an Olympic barbell last Christmas.
When it came, the pajama-clad 10-year-old picked it up and did a clean-and-jerk ... with perfect form.
It's a move he mastered at Great White CrossFit in Hackensack, where he's been going with his parents, Sean and Stacey Jones, for two years.
"It's not easy, but it's not something kids shouldn't be doing," said Liam, who goes to Ridge Ranch Elementary School.
He has competed in two youth Olympic lifting competitions, one in which he placed second. He placed 15th out of 70 kids in an online national qualifier.
His personal records are 95 pounds on a clean-and-jerk and 75 for a snatch — the bar ends up in the air over his head in both.
He says his favorite part is feeling stronger with every lift and getting better every day.
Liam, who started Jiu Jitsu when he was 3 years old, often finishes workouts at Great White before his dad. But when he does, he cheers his father on.
"That happened yesterday," Sean said before the 5:30 p.m. workout with Liam on Tuesday. "He was like, 'Come on, Dad, only 30 more seconds!'"
Age is not a factor at Great White, Sean said of Liam.
"At home he's off the walls," he said. "When he's here, he listens. He concentrates. And his form is great. It's better than mine."
Liam's goal is to make it to Wodapalooza, a four-day fitness festival in South Florida.
As for those who might be intimidated to begin Olympic lifting or CrossFit?
"You should just start because you'll feel more changes in your body, and you'll probably like it," Liam said.
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