By Pfc. Andrew WashJuly 23, 2019
MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIR BASE, Romania -- The sound of energetic music filled the gymnasium. It had become a space to get amped up and ready for a chance to test the limits of physical capabilities. For many, it was their first time they would push themselves to such a limit, but for others, the challenge was a familiar one. The goal: lift a total of 1,000 pounds or more.
"The first time I squatted 405 pounds I told myself, 'I can do this. I really want to get strong.' It was exhilarating to have that weight on my back," said Spc. Zane Adams, a combat engineer with the 1st Engineer Battalion out of Fort Riley, Kansas.
This drive is what brought Adams, originally from Arkansas, to the 1,000 Pound Weightlifting Challenge at the gym in Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, June 25, 2019.
Around 15 U.S. Army Soldiers were in attendance to take on the challenge. In the event, participants strived to complete one repetition of a squat, bench press and deadlift in which the total weight of each added to at least 1,000 pounds.
The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center on MKAB hosts the event a few times each year. Upon completion of the challenge, participants are then considered members of what is known as the 1,000 Pound Club, which acknowledge physical achievement and dedication to training.
Adams was brimming with positivity and support for his fellow Soldiers throughout the entire event. After returning from a 60-day stint in the field in Smarden and Bordusani, Romania, he said he felt that this would be the perfect way for him to let loose and enjoy his passion of weightlifting.
Adams participated with peers from his unit and his platoon leader.
"I just wanted to see where I was at," Adams said. "My PL is here, and we have always had a friendly rivalry to see who can lift more. We came out to just have a good time."
Adams didn't just meet the challenge, he crushed it, lifting a total of 1,305 pounds at the event.
Adams found his love for weightlifting as a college cheerleader at the University of Arkansas, his cheer background evident in his enthusiasm and ability to get everyone motivated to do their best.
Adams weightlifted competitively for more than five years before joining the military but now pursues it as a hobby.
After taking a brief hiatus from weightlifting in favor of running, Adams said he is looking forward to staying in shape and lifting whenever possible.
"With weightlifting, I don't have to have a plan for it. Everyone around me is super supportive and we can all just make this work together," Adams said.
The 1,000 Pound Challenge was open to anyone who wanted to test their limits and participate.
"This was an incredible event. Probably one of the most fun events I've ever seen put on," Adams said. " It was awesome to have such a supportive environment. It was just fun to see people do something they love in an electric, professional atmosphere."