Jonathan Cayco | AIRWAAV Athlete Spotlight

Jonathan Cayco has risen to prominence in the world of powerlifting, representing the United States of America. Competing in the 93-kilogram weight class, Jonathan's accomplishments are impressive: two gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal. Furthermore, he has shattered two open world records, bench pressing 245.5 kilograms and achieving a total lift of 890.5 kilograms. 

Jonathan's journey in powerlifting is one of dedication, perseverance, and evolving motivation. Initially representing the United States Virgin Islands, Jonathan switched to the United States in 2022, marking a significant transition in his career. This switch allowed him to compete at a higher level and gain more recognition on the international stage.

One of the key elements in Jonathan's training regimen is his use of the AIRWAAV mouthpiece. Having used AIRWAAV for a little over a year, Jonathan has found it indispensable. The PX2 model, with its snug fit, has become his preferred choice, providing support during big lifts, compound exercises, and accessories. Reflecting on his personal life and motivations, Jonathan has faced numerous challenges and losses. Growing up, he experienced untimely deaths of loved ones, which instilled in him a sense of duty to honor their memories. However, with time, he realized the importance of finding motivation from within rather than clinging to the past. This internal drive has propelled him to excel in powerlifting, not just for his own satisfaction but also to inspire others. 

A viral moment at the Sheffield competition brought Jonathan widespread attention. His intense performance, fueled by the memory of a recently lost family member, resonated with many. This moment highlighted the emotional depth and determination that Jonathan brings to his sport. Jonathan's commitment to powerlifting is also a way to honor his mother. Born three months premature, Jonathan faced significant medical challenges at birth. His mother's unwavering support and determination to ensure his survival instilled in him a profound sense of gratitude. Powerlifting became a way for Jonathan to repay his mother by making her proud and sharing his happiness with her. 

Training and competing at an elite level requires not just physical strength but also mental resilience. Jonathan has been lifting for over 20 years, with the last decade dedicated solely to powerlifting. He has competed in nearly 20 competitions, gaining valuable experience and honing his skills. His favorite lift is the bench press, which he humorously notes allows him to lay down for three out of the nine lifts. 

Discovering AIRWAAV was a game-changer for Jonathan. Prior to using AIRWAAV, he had tried various mouthpieces but never found one that felt natural. The thoughtful engineering behind AIRWAAV's design, particularly the PX2 model, offers a low-profile fit that doesn't interfere with lifting. For Jonathan, the mouthpiece enhances bracing, maintaining tension during maximal lifts, and providing an additional tool in his training arsenal. Jonathan believes that mouthpieces are still uncommon in powerlifting, largely due to the lack of standout products until AIRWAAV. The right mouthpiece can protect teeth, improve jaw stability, and enhance performance, making it a valuable addition to any powerlifter's gear. 

For those new to powerlifting, Jonathan advises a thorough and patient approach. He emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, finding joy in lifting, and prioritizing technique. A mouthpiece, like other essential gear, plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and maximizing performance. 

Looking ahead, Jonathan is focused on rehabilitation and corrective movements following the Sheffield competition. He is dedicated to returning to peak performance, aiming to compete again late this year or early next year. This period of recovery and training allows him to refine his skills and maintain his competitive edge. 

Jonathan Cayco's story is one of resilience, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence. His journey in powerlifting serves as an inspiration, demonstrating the power of internal motivation, the importance of support systems, and the value of continuously pushing one's limits. As he prepares for future competitions, the powerlifting community eagerly anticipates his return, confident that Jonathan will continue to set new records and inspire others. 

Q&A with Jonathan Cayco

Give us a glimpse into the sports and training that have molded you into the elite athlete you are today.  

I’ve been lifting for over 20 years, 10 of those years have been strictly dedicated to powerlifting. I've competed in close to 20 competitions now and it’s been something I've been very fortunate with. Powerlifting has been very good to me.  

Out of the squat, bench and deadlift, what's your favorite lift and why?   

My favorite is hands down the bench press. I always make a joke that although it’s my best lift pound for pound, it’s a lift I get to lay down on in. Three out of the nine lifts, I'm laying down! 

Which AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece model do you use and why?   

Right now, I'm using the PX2 mouthpiece. It’s a little more snug than the PX1 and I've been loving it. I’ve been using it for everything: the big lifts, the compound lifts, accessories. I feel weird without it now.  

Do you think mouthpieces are used often in the sport of powerlifting or are mouthpieces still uncommon right now?   

Yeah, I think they are still uncommon. I just think there wasn't a standout mouthpiece until AIRWAAV. It's slim and low profile, it doesn't get in the way. I've used many mouthpieces in the past that didn’t feel right. And the AIRWAAV feels natural and I really like using it.  

Did you wear a mouthpiece prior to trying AIRWAAV? If so, what sets AIRWAAV apart from other mouthpieces on the market?   

Yes, I've used about four different styles of mouthpieces before AIRWAAV. I would use it for a little bit, and they were okay, but I would ultimately put it away because it didn't feel natural to use. The AIRWAAV is such a perfect fit and there was a lot of thought process and engineering that went behind making the AIRWAAV and I think it really shows when wearing it and using it when lifting.  

In your opinion, why should Powerlifters wear mouthpieces?   

One of the biggest things is keeping your teeth safe. I have chipped teeth in the past and really lean towards using a mouthpiece. My jaw used to move laterally side to side when I lifted and the mouthpiece can help keep your jaw in place and will help keep you balanced and prevent that from happening.  

It’s also another tool in the arsenal. You want good quality shoes, knee sleeves, belt, and wrist wraps and the same goes for a good quality mouthpiece. I feel a lot of people underestimate how nice a mouthpiece can be especially when you are lifting maximum loads. I think it’s really important and another tool in the toolbox athletes should take advantage of.  

How does the AIRWAAV mouthpiece help you get more out of your lifts and training?   

Bracing is extremely important for lifting maximal lifts. The way the AIRWAAV mouthpiece is designed is thoughtfully engineered. It's very low profile and doesn't get in the way. It keeps you honest about keeping tension while you are braced to do your maximal lifts. I think it’s a great tool to add to anyone's toolbox. 

Do you have any tips for someone just getting started wearing the mouthpiece for training?   

Like with anything new, take your time with it. Treat it the same as new shoes or wrist wraps, it will feel different and another thing that you add into your training that will have an adjustment period.  

Do you have any advice for athletes looking to get into powerlifting?   

Do your homework, always have a white belt mentality – there is always something to learn. Find enjoyment in lifting. It's important that if you're choosing to do this you may as well enjoy it. Do your homework, find programs to follow and always try to sharpen up your technique.

What can we expect to see from Jonathan Cayco within the next 6 months - a year?   

Since Sheffield I have been taking my time to rehab and do corrective movement. Something I haven't had time for the last 6 years and it’s been nice. I’m fortunate to live this kind of lifestyle and train my hardest on my own will. I’m very grateful to do what I do and do want to compete late this year or early next year hopefully. Right now I'm working on all the corrective work, rehab, and mobility. I'm very happy its working and I’m very confident in my return.  


AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV

AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece

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