Picatinny employee heads to World Powerlifting Championship
August 26, 2013
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Picatinny employee John Corsello will test his mettle against some of the world's most seasoned weightlifters at the 2013 International Powerlifting Federation Masters World Powerlifting Championship in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 23-29.
Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The IPF Masters Powerlifting Championship is an international annual championship for powerlifters over the age of 40.
To qualify for the U.S. Masters National Powerlifting Team and compete in the IPF championship, an individual must compete in the U.S.A Powerlifting Masters National Powerlifting Championship and win their weight class and age bracket.
In May, Corsello broke the American record for the bench press with a 253.5 pound lift during the U.S.A Powerlifting Masters National Powerlifting Championship. He also beat the national meet records for the bench press, deadlift and total for the 59 kilogram weight class/55-59 age group by racking up 931.4 pounds.
MAKINGS OF A CHAMPION
A native of Yonkers, N.Y., Corsello began weightlifting after watching his brother weight-train.
"My younger brother and his friends were big into athletics and used to lift weights in the basement of our home," he said. "In an effort to keep up with my brother, I started weightlifting and found it to be a great stress reliever during my time earning an engineering degree at Manhattan College."
In 1993 Corsello participated in the Picatinny Arsenal Bench Press Competition, where he met fellow Picatinny employee Fred Vogel who introduced him to competitive powerlifting.
"Fred brought me to a number of bench press meets and soon I was ranked in the top 100 nationally," Corsello said. "Fred recommended I try full powerlifting which includes the squat, bench press, and deadlift for total, and he started to teach me the squat and deadlift."
In powerlifting, each competitor gets three attempts in each of the three lifts. Three attempts in the squat, three in the bench press, and three in the deadlift, with each attempt increasing in weight. The total for each lifter is determined by adding the weights of the highest attempt successfully achieved in each of the lifts. A person's highest squat weight is added to their highest bench press and highest deadlift to determine their total.
Corsello competed in the 2000 IPF Masters World Powerlifting Championship held in Usti Nad Labem, Czech Republic, where he placed 5th out of six competitors and won the silver medal in the bench press. He also competed in the IPF Masters World Bench Press Championship in 2001 (Hamm, Luxembourg) where he won the gold medal, 2002 (Killeen, Texas) silver, and 2003 (Nymburk, Czech Republic) gold. Corsello competed as part of the U.S. team at the 2004 IPF Masters World Bench Press Championship where he won the silver medal.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
A graduate of Manhattan College, Bronx, N.Y., Corsello is a project management engineer in the Office of the Project Manager, Maneuver Ammunition Systems, part of the Program Executive Office for Ammunition. He is team lead for Small Caliber Ammunition Research and Development, and Special Projects.
"At work, as in the sport of powerlifting, success is achieved through hard work and persistence," he said. "Also, having a good team to help you is an important part of achieving that success.
"It is also important to achieve balance in your life to be more productive," Corsello continued. "All work without any physical fitness or recreational activity is not conducive to being the best you can be in terms of both your health and productivity at work. Powerlifting has helped bring balance back into my life and helps reduce stress from work."
Corsello cites strength, desire and dedication to training as the keys to athletic success in powerlifting.
"You can achieve much more than you think if you set your mind to it and dedicate yourself to what you are trying to achieve," he said.
To succeed in weightlifting, Corsello recommends eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, avoiding performance enhancing drugs, starting out with light weight and gradually working your way up the ladder.
"We come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Powerlifting is a sport that one can do into the golden years. The weight that you can lift, as you get older, gradually diminishes, but you can remain competitive and it's a great way to stay in good shape. There were two master lifters this year who were in the 80-84 age bracket."
"Be patient and don't get discouraged. It takes time to build strength, and train hard. Be smart and know your body. It's better to under-train than over-train as overtraining can lead to injury," Corsello said. "Only lift with a spotter - this is essential to safe lifting. And you don't have to compete to lift weights. Lifting for your health and fun is just fine."