As if lifting over 500 pounds at a time isn’t enough of a triumph, Lake Stevens resident Kenneth Gack, 39, is now heading to New Delhi, India as part of the U.S. National Powerlifting Team where he will represent the United States at the World Powerlifting Championships.
“To be selected to the U.S. National team is a great honor,” Gack said after being named to the team. “Only one American in each weight class is selected to go to the World’s. I’ve been working toward this goal for a long time.”
Normally, Gack competes in the 220 pound weight class, however, for the World Championships, he will be representing the 242 pound weight class.
Gack became interested in powerlifting while he was serving in the Air Force when he was only 18 years old. While weight lifting, members of the Ramstein, Germany Powerlifting Team invited him to compete with them. In 1998 he placed first in the U.S. Forces Europe Championships. Gack competed for a year while in the Air Force and then came back to competition in 2005.
“I continued lifting after the Air Force but my training didn’t have focus,” he explains. “I was out of shape and decided to start training again. It gives my fitness program focus.”
Since 2005, Gack has placed in several competitions including taking first place in the Washington State Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2007, he also placed fifth in the US Nationals and third place in both 2008 and 2009 in the US Nationals.
“My first year competing, hitting the National Championships was really a panacea for me. It was a goal I had for a long time,” Gack said. “I realized in the last couple of years I am surpassing the guys I used to be in awe of.”
Getting to this point in his powerlifting career doesn’t come easy. Gack works out at Gold’s Gym in Everett an average of two hours a day, four to five days a week.
“It’s amateur so I don’t get paid for it, but it is the love of the sport,” he explains.
Even at age 39, there is no stopping him. Gack plans on continuing for many years to come.
“When it comes to powerlifting, people peak in their early 40s,” he said. “I have passed my test to become a state referee. I imagine I’ll be doing that for a long time to come.”
Currently, Gack can bench press 540 pounds, squat with 678 pounds, and deadlifts 628 pounds.
“I currently hold
the Washington State Bench Press record at 540 pounds. This was also the best
bench press in the United States in my weight class for 2008. I was also
selected by the Washington State chapter of USA Powerlifting as Athlete of the
Year for 2008,” he said. “USA Powerlifting, is a drug free powerlifting
organization - I do not use steroids,” Gack said.
Gack is looking forward to the championships in New Delhi and can’t wait to get back on stage.
“You get a huge rush standing on the platform in front of the audience lifting a whole lot of weight,” he says.
Gack lives in Lake Stevens with his wife Traci, and their two sons, who both play football for the Vikings Little League.
He and his wife will be attending the World Championships in New Dehli on Nov. 1.