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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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KG personal trainer lifts his way to the top

After a 12-year hiatus from competing in power-lifting, King George resident Wayne Johnson has returned to set the bar on weighting in Virginia to a new high. Given the fact that he is approaching 51 years old, while competing against some of the top lifters in the state, Johnson’s 375-pound bench press record, and 535-pound dead lift record in the Master’s Division 50-54 age bracket is an accomplishment for any athlete. The former record was 370 pounds.
He accomplished this feat at the 100% Raw Christmas Classic, at the Stanardsville Health & Fitness Center on December 11. It actually took Johnson three lifts to win the bench press competition, and a fourth lift to set the record. During his final event, the dead-lift competition, Johnson decided to lift once at 535, to set a new standard in the Masters age group.

Weight-lifting officials allow competitors one minute to approach the bar, and another minute to actually lift during the dead-lift event.  The lifting format and time constraints become more stringent during the bench press event. After the bar touches the lifter’s chest, he must lift on the official’s command, before holding his lift for a half second. The lift is successful and officially over after the competitor responds to the official’s command to return the bar to the weight-lifting rack.
In a field of 30 lifters, Johnson (50-54) and fellow King George resident Wayne Burrell (35-39) out-performed their competitors within their age groups in their respective Masters Divisions. Burrell placed first in the strict curl, dead-lift, and bench press, while Johnson’s lifts in the bench press and dead-lifts earned state record recognition.
Currently, the hardware associated with their accomplishments is on display at the King George YMCA.
Johnson, an avid bodybuilder, is confident that with training he can break his current records at the next power-lifting competition in Stanardsville, on January 29. In 1998, while weighing 220 pounds, he bench-pressed 425 pounds, using a weight-lifting shirt. During the Stanardsville competition athletes are not allowed to use shirts, wristbands or any lifting apparel. “It comes down to you, the spandex you’re wearing, and gravity,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s true passion is bodybuilding. Both he and his wife Cooky are avid bodybuilders, and to their credit they have remained true to their weight-training lifestyle. Every day, from morning until they retire for the day, the Johnsons maintain a strict diet regimen of protein-oriented food. “My passion is body building—I love the aspects of discipline associated with it,” Johnson said. “It inspires me to keep my weight and cholesterol levels down—and it motivates me to maintain a cleaner lifestyle.”
His normal weekly routine includes working one part of his body a day (abs, shoulders & chest, legs, back) and finishing his six-day workout week with a of series cardiovascular exercises.
He and his wife Cooky are personal trainers at the King George YMCA and avid competitors at the Powerhouse Gym Body Building competition in Woodbridge, Virginia. In addition, he is a frequent competitor in a body building competition in the Baltimore, Md. Area.  In his last two bodybuilding competitions, Johnson has placed third.
Whether he continues to set weight-lifting records or win bodybuilding competitions, one thing is certain - Johnson’s pursuit of a high quality of life will certainly add years to his life, and maintain the respect of fellow competitors. “It takes a lot of dedication to do what we do, and sometimes it becomes more than a just a hobby—it’s more like a part-time job,” Johnson said.

Leonard M. Banks
Sports Editor

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