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PowerlifterAt the Kansas State Championships in Salina, Kan., Stimach was squatting 286 pounds. He later received first place overall.
Recent graduate of the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan., and graduate of Piper High School, John Stimach, 22, has competed in many powerlifting competitions in Kansas and is ranked top 50 in the world in the 165-pound weight class.
Powerlifting is a sport that tests the competitor’s strength in three ways: the bench press, squat, and two-handed dead lift.
Training for this competition is very vigorous, according to Stimach. He is at the gym four days a week pushing his body and gaining muscle.
"When I know I will be doing a meet, my intensity level turns really high," Stimach said. "My diet becomes really strict because I have to make weight. I also do more cardio before a meet."
Currently Stimach is using the “Cube Method” while working out. This method was popularized by Brandon Lilly, an Elite powerlifter, and the method combines heavy days, rep days, and explosive days to train the body.
Stimach first became interested in powerlifting while attending Piper High School where there was a powerlifting team that Stimach was a part of his sophomore and senior year.
"I joined the team because I loved lifting weights and I was good at it," Stimach said.
At Stimach's first competition as a sophomore, he admits that he was a little intimidated because the other competitors were much bigger. After he started lifting he realized that he was one of the strongest ones there.
At the end of his high school career, Stimach accumulated 13 medals and was third at the state competition his senior year.
After graduating from high school, Stimach continued with powerlifting competitions in Kansas such as the Natural Athlete Strength Association (NASA) Regional and State Competitions.
NASA is an organization that is completely drug-free and tests the athletes without the help of performance-enhancing drugs.
In the NASA competitions Stimach has reached one of his long-term goals of being ranked in the top 50 in all weight classes in the world.
"Eventually I want to be top ranked in my 165-pound weight class in the world," Stimach said. "I also have short-term goals that I usually reach at every meet."
Another goal of Stimach's was to be sponsored by a business and the Complete Nutrition at the Oak Park Mall offered to be a sponsor.
According to Stimach, his family has been very supportive and has attended every meet since the start of his powerlifting career.
"At first they were nervous for me because I played baseball and they didn't want this to hurt that career," Stimach explained. "At times they don't see why I do it but they still support me."
Stimach graduated from the University of Saint Mary in May with a criminology and psychology degree and is working at the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office as a detention officer.
Stimach said that being a powerlifter has allowed him to get bigger and stronger which helps with the inmates that he interacts with daily. Powerlifting has also helped him grow as an individual.
As of now Stimach is training for the Unequipped Nationals in October though he has recently experienced a training delay due to a ruptured Plantaris tendon in his leg. He explained that it is slowly recovering and he should be ready by October.
"My goal is to keep doing powerlifting as long as I can," Stimach said. "I would love to do it all my life if my body would let me."