Strength Club

This club is made up of the Body Building Club, the Powerlifting Club, Strongman, etc.

Bodybuilding is a sport that combines proper nutrition, cardiovascular training, and, most importantly, muscular development to achieve a well developed physique.  The athlete must compete in a posing routine and must perform several mandatory poses in front of the judges.  The athlete is then judged on symmetry, size, aesthetics, and muscle tone.  Athletes compete in weight classes beginning at 143 lbs. and ending at 225 lbs.+Strongman.

Powerlifting is a weight lifting competition sport consisting of three lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the dead lift. The lifter is given three attempts to achieve a maximum weight lifted in each of the three lifts. Each lift has rules and regulations for what constitutes a valid lift.The lifter is judged by total amount of combined weight lifted in each of the three lifts. Athletes compete in 10 weight classes ranging from 114 lbs. all the way to 275 lbs.+. Powerlifting is not Olympic lifting and is not an Olympic sport. 

Strongman is a strength sport where the athlete competes in various odd lifts ranging from tractor tire flips to truck/car pulls.  Strongman competitions combine events not only of strength, but also of cardiovascular and muscular endurance.  The athletes compete in four weight classes, ranging from under 200 lbs. to 265 lbs+. 

League: United States Powerlifting Association (USAPL)
Head Coach: Bill Mears
Assistant Coach: Jay Johnson
Cadet in Charge: Ben Ashooh
Assistant Cadet in Charge: John Rivas 

Roster 

IMG_7040
VMI Powerlifting team at the 2010 USAPL Virginia Powerlifting Championships held in Standardsville, Va.
L to R: Owen Trotman '10, James Clayton '11, Ben Ashooh '11, Michael Strobo '12, Patrick Sweeney '11, Robert Stockman '10, Caleb Clubb '13, Thomas Mecelis, Kelson Hurley '11, Caleb Gibson '11, J. Lee Hafkemeyer '10, Nathan Iseman '12, and John Rivas '13.

VMI Powerlifting Team
VMI Powerlifting Team at the USAPL VMI Powerlifting Classic held at VMI (2009)

VMI Powerlifting Team - USAPL Halloween Push
VMI Powerlifting Team at the USAPL Halloween Push/Pull Powerlifting Meet held in Bowling Green, Va. (2009)

L to R: Coach Monte Sparkman, Cadet Patrick Sweeney '11, Cadet Matt Harper '12, Cadet John Rivas '13, Cadet Caleb Gibson '11, and Cadet Ben Ashooh '11

VMI Powerlifting Team in Standardsville
VMI Powerlifting Team in Standardsville, VA (2008) 

  Men's Record Board       
  (LBS)       
WT. Class  Squat Bench Press  Deadlift  Total 
114 Kenneth Cross '12-187 Kenneth Cross '12-137 Kenneth Cross '12-203 Kenneth Cross '12-527
123 N/A N/A N/A N/A
132 N/A N/A N/A N/A
148 Lee Hafkemeyer '10-475 Lee Hafkemeyer '10-370 Lee Hafkemeyer '10-474 Lee Hafkemeyer '10-1298
165 Robert Stockman '10-407 Robert Stockman '10-347 Robert Stockman '10-446 Robert Stockman '10-1171
181 Taylor Farley '09-462 John Rivas '13-330 John Rivas '13-562 John Rivas '13-1332
198 David Feltes '08/Patrick Sweeney '11-473 David Feltes '08-345 Patrick Sweeney '11-567 Patrick Sweeney '11-1288
220 Ben Ashooh '11-475 Ben Ashooh '11-396 Colin Antonucci '12-501 Ben Ashooh '11-1337
242 Ben Ashooh '11-480 Ben Ashooh '11-410 Ben Ashooh '11-460 Ben Ashooh '11-1350
275 N/A N/A N/A N/A
275+ Brandon "OXX" Bryant '08-705 Brandon "OXX" Bryant '08-462 Brandon "OXX" Bryant '08-551 Brandon "OXX" Bryant '08-1718
         
  Women's Record Board       
  (LBS)       
WT. Class  Squat  Bench Press  Deadlift  Total 
97 N/A N/A N/A N/A
105 N/A N/A N/A N/A
114 N/A N/A N/A N/A
123 N/A N/A N/A N/A
132 N/A N/A N/A N/A
148 Micah Coates '12-88 Micah Coates '12-77 Micah Coates '12-187 Micah Coates '12-352
165 N/A N/A N/A N/A
181 N/A N/A N/A N/A
198 Jessie Rende '11-418 Jessie Rende '11-242 Jessie Rende '11-363 Jessie Rende '11-1023
198+ N/A N/A N/A N/A

RECENT NEWS 

--Originally published in THE INSTITUTE REPORT, OCTOBER 2009, PAGE 11 

RESULTS 

  • USAPL Nationals--285 athletes from 51 universities converged in Orlando, FL for the 2010 United States Powerlifting (USAPL) Collegiate National Powerlifting Championships held during 16 – 18 April at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel.  Of the 285, twelve athletes competing were from Virginia Military Institute (VMI).  This was the biggest and best Collegiate Nationals to date for VMI Powerlifting.  The overall competing team members improved their three lift totals (squat, bench press, deadlift) by over six hundred pounds.  Thirty individual personal records were broken during the meet along with fourteen school records broken as well.   The most impressive record being the three year old deadlift record of 551lbs. that was held by 2008 USAPL Collegiate National Champion Super Heavyweight Brandon “OXX” Bryant.  Patrick Sweeney ‘11 broke that record with a 567lb. lift at 198lbs. bodyweight.     

    Fourth Classman John Rivas ’13, 181lb. weight class, accomplished something during the meet that only happens every once and a while.  In only his first year competing on the national level, he did not miss a single attempt during the competition.  Powerlifters call that feat going “9 for 9”, because a lifter gets three attempts for each event (squat, bench, and deadlift).  It rare for even the most experienced lifters not to miss a competition lift throughout a meet’s entirety and Rivas was able to demonstrate technique mastery in just a short amount of time.   

    Not to be outdone, First Classman and three time national qualifier Lee Hafkemeyer turned in the best performance of his lifting career to capture the second place medal in the 148lb. weight class.  In doing so, Hafkemeyer hit personal best lifts in all three events 457lb. squat, 368lb. bench press, and 474lb. deadlift to add up to a personal best 1298lbs. total.  The aforementioned lifts broke all of Hafkemeyer’s previous school records.  This was Hafkemeyer’s last competition as he will be graduating in May and receiving a commission into the United States Army.     

    Saving the best for last, Jessie Rende ‘11 became the first woman in VMI history to win a USAPL Collegiate National Championship in the 198lb. weight class.  In only her second meet ever, Rende recorded personal best lifts of 418lb. squat, 242lb. bench press, and 363lb. deadlift totaling 1023lbs. en route to the title. She improved an enormous 380lbs. from her previous total earlier recorded last December.  This is the second individual national championship for VMI Powerlifting since its revitalization three years ago in 2007.  

    Other notable lifters competing during the championship weekend were Robert Stockman ‘10, 165lb. weight class; Caleb Clubb ’13, 165lb. weight class; Caleb Gibson ’11, 181lb. weight class; Tomas Mecelis (Lithuania), 181lb. weight class; Owen Trotman ’10, 181lb. weight class; and Colin Antonucci ’12, 220lb. weight class.

    Along with cadets Rende and Sweeney, cadets Michael Strobo ’12, John Rivas ’13, and Ben Ashooh ’11 were able to qualify for the 2011 USAPL Collegiate National Championships to be held in Scranton, PA.  Look for Rende to defend her national title. VMI Powerlifting’s next competition will be on 11 September 2010 when the Keydets will be competing at the 25th Annual USAPL Virginia State Championships to be held in Zion Crossroads, VA.   

    Meet Results:

    Ben Ashooh –220lb. Weight Class; Highlight, 468lb. PR Deadlift and 2011 Collegiate National Qualifier

    Robert Stockman – 165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 446lb. PR Deadlift 

    Tomas Mecelis –181lb. Weight Class; Highlight 518lb. Deadlift; Going 8 for 9 (only missing one attempt)

    Caleb Gibson –181lb. Weight Class; Highlight 468lb. Deadlift 

    Caleb Clubb –165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 407lb. Squat

    Patrick Sweeney –198lb. Weight Class; Highlight 2011 Collegiate National Qualifier; 568lb. Deadlift 

    Lee Hafkemeyer – Second Place 148lb. Weight Class; Highlight 474lb. Deadlift (Triple Bodyweight); 1298lb. Total; ALL AMERICAN

    John Rivas –181lb. Weight Class; Highlight 562lb. Deadlift; Going 9 for 9; 2011 Collegiate National Qualifier

    Michael Strobo –165lb. Weight Class; 2011 Collegiate National Qualifier, 1110lbs. PR Total

    Jessie Rende – 198lb. Weight Class; First Place, National Champion, ALL AMERICAN, Highlights: 418lb. Squat, 1023lb. Total, 2011 Collegiate National Qualifier

    Owen Trotman – 181lb. Weight Class, Highlight: 451lb. PR Squat

    Colin Antonucci – 220lb. Weight Class, Highlight: 473lb. Deadlift 

  • Saturday, March 20, 2010--Two Cadets participated in the 2010 USAPL Virginia Battle on the Border held in Charlotte, NC.  Some of the highlights of the meet were VMI Powerlifting qualifying one more powerlifter for the prestigious 2010 USAPL Powerlifting Championships.  That lifter is: Colin Antonucci.  Even more impressive is the fact that this meet was Colin’s second Powerlifting meet ever and he also bested his previous total by one hundred pounds.   This brings the overall total of lifters going to Collegiate Nationals to 11.  This amount is over double the amount of lifters taken in 2009 (5) and almost triple the amount taken in 2008 (4).    Colin also broke Ben Ashooh’s school deadlift record with a final deadlift of 501lbs.  Caleb Gibson also attended the meet and improved his deadlift by achieving a 462lbs. deadlift and coming in second place in the men’s open division.  

    Meet Results:

    Caleb Gibson  - 181lbs. Weight Class Squat – 335lbs, Bench Press – 225lbs., and Deadlift 462lbs.  Meet Highlight – PR Deadlift of 462lbs.
    Colin Antonucci – 220lbs. Weight Class Squat – 462lbs., Bench Press – 315lbs., and Deadlift – 501lbs. Meet Highlight – Qualifying for 2010 Collegiate Nationals and setting school deadlift record of 501lbs.

  • Saturday, February 27, 2010--12 Cadets participated in the 2010 USAPL Virginia Powerlifting Championships held in Standardsville, VA. Some of the highlights of the meet were VMI Powerlifting qualifying four more powerlifters for the prestigious 2010 USAPL Powerlifting Championships. Those lifters are: Michael Strobo, Caleb Clubb, Tomas Mecelis, and Patrick Sweeney. Even more impressive is the fact that lifters Clubb and Mecelis qualified for nationals in just their first Powerlifting meet. This brings the overall total of lifters going to Collegiate Nationals to 11. This amount is over double the amount of lifters taken in 2009 (5) and almost triple the amount taken in 2008 (4). There were a total of thirty personal records broken during the competition with several cadets breaking records in every lift. There were also 28 VMI Powerlifting records that were either set or broken this weekend. This was the VMI Powerlifting’s best lifting performance to date.   

    Meet Results:
    Ben Ashooh – First Place 242lb. Weight Class; Highlight 410lb. Bench Press; 1350lb. Total
    Robert Stockman – First Place 165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 440lb. Deadlift
    Tomas Mecelis – Second Place 181lb. Weight Class; Highlight 510lb. Deadlift; Going 9 for 9
    Caleb Gibson – Third Place 181lb. Weight Class; Highlight 160lb. Total Improvement
    Caleb Clubb – Third Place 165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 2010 Collegiate National Qualifier
    Nathan Iseman – Fifth Place 165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 375lb. Deadlift
    James Clayton – Fourth Place 165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 350lb. Squat
    Patrick Sweeney – First Place 198lb. Weight Class; Highlight 2010 Collegiate National Qualifier; 550lb. Deadlift
    Lee Hafkemeyer – First Place 148lb. Weight Class; Highlight 465lb. Deadlift (Triple Bodyweight); 1275lb. Total
    Kelson Hurley – Second Place 242lb. Weight Class; Highlight 325lb. Bench Press
    John Rivas – First Place 181lb. Weight Class; Highlight 525lb. Deadlift
    Michael Strobo – Second Place 165lb. Weight Class; Highlight 2010 Collegiate National Qualifier

  • Saturday, December 5, 2009--VMI Powerlifting hosted the first ever USAPL (USA Powerlifting) VMI Powerlifting Classic on main gym floor of Cocke Hall.  The event hosted power lifters from all over the state and also 18 VMI cadets.  The event was a tremendous success with four cadets qualifying for USAPL Collegiate Nationals which will be held in Orlando, FL during April 16 – 18 of 2010. Those cadets who qualified are Cadet Ben Ashooh, Cadet John Rivas, Cadet Robert Stockman and Cadet Jessie Rende. Cadet Rende also became the first ever woman from VMI to qualify for the prestigious Powerlifting nationals. Other lifters who are already qualified for Nationals are Cadet Lee Hafkemeyer, Cadet Sharif Gray, and Cadet Owen Trotman.  VMI Powerlifting now has a total of 7 lifters qualified for the USAPL Collegiate Nationals. 

Below is a breakdown of how the cadets placed in his/her respective weight class:

Kenneth Cross – 1st place 114lb. Weight Class
Lee Hafkemeyer – 1st place 148lb. Weight Class
Robert Stockman – 1st place 165lb. Weight Class
Sharif Gray – 2nd place 165lb. Weight Class
James Clayton – 3rd place 165. Weight Class
Matt Jones – 4th place 165lb. Weight Class
Owen Trotman – 1st place 181b. Weight Class
John Rivas - 2nd place 181lb. Weight Class
Steve Hong – 3rd place 181lb. Weight Class
Caleb Gibson – 4th place 181lb. Weight Class
Kory Wessel – 5th place 181lb. Weight Class
Patrick Sweeney – 1st place 198lb. Weight Class
Colin Antonucci – 2nd place 198lb. Weight Class
Aaron Baez – 1st place 198lb. Weight Class (RAW)
Ben Ashooh – 1st place 220lb. Weight Class
Micah Coate – 1st place Women 148lb. Weight Class
Jessie Rende – 1st place Women 198lb. Weight Class

Photographs were taken at the event and can be accessed from the links below. All photography was done by Barbara Moore.

Squat--Flight 1
Squat--Flight 2
Bench--Flight 1
Bench--Flight 2
Bench--Flight 3
Dead Lift--Flight 1
Dead Lift--Flight 2  

  • Saturday, October 31, 2009--Five cadets (Patrick Sweeny – 1st place, Matt Harper – 1st place, John Rivas – 1st place, Caleb Gibson – 1st place, and Ben Ashooh – 1st place) and one coach competed this weekend at the USAPL Halloween Push/Pull Powerlifting Meet held in Bowling Green, VA.  All five cadets and coach placed first in their respective weight classes.  For three of the cadets, it was their first time ever competing in a competition.  All cadets achieved personal bests in the bench and deadlift.  This meet was a warm up for the VMI Powerlifting Classic on 5 December here at VMI.   Here are the weights that were lifted by the cadets:

Patrick Sweeny Bench Press – 250lbs. Deadlift – 407lbs.
Matt Harper Bench Press – 203lbs. Deadlift – 407lbs.
John Rivas Bench Press – 295lbs. Deadlift -455lbs.
Caleb Gibson Bench Press – 200lbs. Deadlift – 407lbs.
Ben Ashooh Bench Press 385lbs. Deadlift 435lbs.

UPCOMING EVENTS