By Tom Peske, CAAA Public AffairsNovember 10, 2010
CRANE, Ind. -- There are lots of ways Army civilians working at ammunition depots can blow off steam after a long shift of handling explosives. Perhaps one of the more unique ways comes from Letterkenny Munitions Center's Anthony Snook who competes in arm wrestling competitions across the country.
Snook, who is a Motor Vehicle Operator/Material Handler, takes his training for arm wrestling very seriously despite misconceptions some people have about the sport.
"Most people think arm wrestling consists of two drunk fools testing who is stronger on a table in a bar. That's not the case. People who compete in real tournaments are dedicated people who love the rush of the competition," he said.
Snook explained he arm wrestled in school and became interested in competing after another student told him that he and his uncle competed in tournaments. He believed that since he was always beating people bigger than him, and the few that he did lose to were given some heavy competition that he would dominate in real competition at this weight class. He learned that he was not nearly strong enough.
Snook went into the Army after high school and although he did not train for arm wrestling, he did compete while on active duty. He said he would go to about 8-10 tournaments a year. He competed in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, and New Jersey. While stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., he also competed in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Alabama, and Florida. The only time he was not competing was while serving in Iraq. Since February 2010 Snook has worked as a civilian at LEMC, and is able to focus on his training.
"I get up between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. every other day to train before needing to be at work by 6:30. I do hangs (pull up bar only using one hand) with my arm in a 90 degree angle, and sometimes I hold weights in my other hand to make it more difficult," Snook said. "A lot of my training consists of using heavy resistance bands, putting my arm in positions it would be in while in a match. I also had a friend design an arm wrestling machine using ideas from other machines that people have coming up with our own. I started training correctly for arm wrestling around the end of 2006/beginning of 2007."
With the work schedule at LEMC that offers Fridays off, Snook said he is able to travel to nearly anywhere in order to compete on weekends. He also knows some people that are within an hour and a half of where he lives that compete as well. They get together a couple times a month to arm wrestle for a few hours.
Snook's hard work and training is paying off for him too.
"June 19 I won the American Armsport Associations National Championship, in San Antonio. It was my first National Title," he said, "I went to a tournament July 24 for an event that is a qualifier for the 2011 Arnold Classic. Not only did I win my class (176) and qualify, but I won the 198 class as well. I had to choose which class in which I will compete during the 2011 event, so I stayed in my class."
The Arnold Classic has been good to Snook so far in his arm wrestling career. He said, "This year at the 2010 Arnold Classic held in March, I finished 2nd and received my award on stage from Sylvester Stallone."
Physically located at Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, Pa., LEMC is a government owned, government operated installation. Since 1999, command and control of LEMC have been under CAAA and it is aligned as a directorate in Crane Army's organizational structure as a tenant.