MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
The 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va., held its first weightlifting challenge, April 7, at the base gym.
The challenge combined the max lifts of three exercises (squat, deadlift and bench press) for a chance to be named to the 500 lb or 1,000 lb club.
All three lifts had to be completed within an hour with three attempts at each exercise station.
Twenty six members signed up for the event. Twenty one participates lifted during the actual event, five members are slated to lift at another time due to conflicting schedules. So far, 18 have achieved the 1,000 lb club and three were named to the 500 lb club.
Master Sgt. Jason Cliber, a loadmaster at the 167th, organized the challenge to build morale and comradery and get to know fellow airmen on base.
“I think it's important to take time to recognize people for their accomplishments,” said Cliber. “There are some people that take their personal fitness very seriously and I think this is a good way to recognize them for it.”
Technical Sgt. Jordan Soltis, a loadmaster at the 167th, said he didn’t have a specific weightlifting goal in mind, but says it’s good to have a baseline now to work off of for future events.
Cliber plans to hold the weightlifting challenge quarterly and display the names of those that make it into the 500 lb and 1,000 lb clubs along with the date it was achieved in the base gym.
Soltis said, “I did much better than I thought I would and my friends did great too, so you couldn’t really ask for any more.”
Master Sgt. Rebecca Reaves, the wing administrative assistant at the 167th, said weightlifting has been a normal part of her workout routine and lifted within her normal workout range which was enough to put her in the 500 lb club.
Senior Airman Tylor Baker, a munitions Airman at the 167th, has been weightlifting for the past four years and had been thinking about entering a weightlifting competition for a while and saw the base weightlifting challenge as the perfect opportunity to test his strength against his peers.
Baker entered the challenge with two goals: lift 1,400 lbs and lift more than anyone else.
“I missed my 1,400 lb goal by 20 lbs but did reach my new goal of lifting the most weight out of all the lifters with a 1,380 lb total,” said Baker
The participants in the challenge weren’t the only ones at the gym for the event, applause and cheers from spectators also filled the gym.
Most weight lifted:
Senior Airman Tylor Baker: 1,380 lbs.
Highest Bench Press:
Staff Sgt. Matthew Bales: 385 lbs.
Staff Sgt. Dylan Helmick: 470 lbs.
Senior Airman Tylor Baker: 550 lbs.