Airman tests fitness; places 2nd in strength competition

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
MacDill's Short Fitness Center allowed members of Team MacDill to come and test their strength and endurance in the Push/Pull/Deadlift and Bench Press Competition May 21, 2014.

One participant specifically, Airman 1st Class Clarence Sanders, 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron hydraulic mechanic, saw it as an opportunity to compete in something he enjoys and push his limits.

"I originally started lifting in high school, because I was on the football team," said Sanders. "Now I work out and weight lift to stay in shape and meet the Air Force's standards."

The first event was the bench press, which allowed three different attempts to lift however much weight they selected, increasing the weight after each lift. In order for each attempt to count, they would have to lift with little or no assistance.

"My goal is to push around 460 pounds," said Sanders when asked what was his goal for the event. "I've only done it once before, and my personal best is 470 pounds."

Not only did Sanders reach 460 lbs. during his last of three lifts, he actually exceeded it by benching an event high of 465 lbs., almost reaching his personal best.

The second event, the deadlift, which required participants to lift a portion of their body weight for maximum repetitions; Sanders completed 32 repetitions of 205 lbs.

The third event, the pull-up, requiring participants to do the maximum number of pull-ups possible within a one minute time frame, really put Sanders and the other participants to the test. They had already expended significant amounts of energy in the first two events and now had to try to summon whatever they could muster to push through this and the final event, the push-up.

The push-up event put Sanders in the homestretch and provided him with one final opportunity to achieve as many repetitions as possible to further his chances of taking home the gold.

At the conclusion of the event, the competition officials convened and tallied the results of each individual participant's scores.

When the results were announced, Sanders came out as the second place winner, receiving a silver medal, and a paper listing his weight results from each individual event and the overall score.

"I'm a little disappointed that I didn't come in first," stated Sanders. "But overall I still had fun."