CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Thirty coalition troops from various units competed in Camp Leatherneck’s 1,000 pound powerlifting competition at the LSA 5.5 gym Dec. 13.
Service members from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps as well as soldiers from the Georgian Army competed in three events, including bench press, deadlifts and back squats.
The winners were based on how much weight each competitor could lift in the three categories. The service members who lifted over 1,000 pounds were awarded with trophies and earned bragging rights as member of the 1,000 pounds club.
Taking first place in the competition was Lance Cpl. Eddie Toma, an administrative clerk serving with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. Toma, a native of Chicago, lifted a total of 1,320 pounds. During the competition, he lifted 375 pounds in bench press, 550 pounds in deadlifts and 405 pounds in squats.
Toma said he relieves stress by going to the gym and is grateful that he can participate in powerlifting competitions while being deployed.
“When I’m in the weight room it allows me to focus on nothing but lifting,” said Toma.
Competing in events as such as this is a great way to maintain in shape for combat as well as relieve stress, said Staff Sgt. Paul Rozsa, a command physical fitness training representative serving with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
Toma credited Rozsa for his guidance, which ultimately led to his victory. He said he appreciates everything that Rozsa has taught him.
Toma added the competition was great because it built esprit de corps with other services, and it allowed him to show his strength and prove that 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines has the strongest warriors here.