Interview with Lance Karabel

By: Eric Stone


Eric Stone:  Tell us a bit about the you outside lifting--how old you are, what you do outside of powerlifting, where you live, where you grew up and anything else general you'd like to add about your life.

Lance Karabel: I am currently 32 yrs old. I grew up in Chicago most of my life and currently reside in the Stickney/Berwyn area with my wife Irene and son Justin.Besides owning a gym I also work for the ArchDiocese of Chicago as a maintenance engineer at St. Turibius Church.

ES:  I know you own a gym--how did that come about?  And could you describe what type of gym it is?

LK: I had been wanting to open a gym of my own for a very long time. My gym used to be called K&M and I worked out there for about 5 yrs.It was the only gym that would let me use chalk or powder for my training.The owner was moving to California to live with his family so I purchased it from him and incorporated under a new name. I have been in buisness now for a little over a year. My gym is pretty hardcore, but we cater to every type of person who wants to work out.Its nuthin fancy but it does the trick.

ES:  How did you get your start in powerlifting?

LK:When I was 19 my friend Edward Shelton thought I should enter a bench press meet. It was the ADFPA Mark Bass Nissan Bench Press Comp. I took first place in the SHW division. Been hooked ever since.

ES:  What are your best lifts in powerlifting in competition and training, and at what weight?

LK: My best lifts in competition are an 834 sq., 655 bp. And a 722 dl. My best gym lifts were a 870 sq., 685 bp and a 740 dl. All at SHW.

ES:  What are some of your top accomplishments in powerlifting?

LK: Winning Bench Press Nationals. Being able to place in the top 5 at the last two USAPL Nationals, 4th pl. in July 2004 and 5th pl. in 2003. I missed fourth because of body weight.

ES:  How did it feel recently winning USAPL Bench Nationals and qualifying for the IPF Bench Worlds?

LK: It felt great, considering the competition I was up against. Tiny Meeker, Bobby Leitz and Bill Gillespie, after seeing those names I was just aiming for some PRs.

Lance Squat

ES:  What people have most influenced you in your powerlifting career?

LK: In the beginning it was anyone who I read about in the powerlifting magazines. As for now a lot of people, too many to name.

ES:  Do you train with others?  If so, how important do you feel training partners are?

LK: I train with a few others, we try to get on the same schedule every week. I think training partners are important. When we train together we “feed” off of each others motivation. Drive each other to do better. The only thing is that we are all in different weight classes so its hard for a little friendly competition amongst us.

ES:  What type of training do you adhere to?

LK: I have been currently using Larry Maile’s training routine that I learned at a training camp he held in Plainwell, MI this past summer and it seems to be working well for me.

ES:  How long will you continue competing in powerlifting?  Long into a masters career?

LK: As long as I can. I don’t know about Masters though, I think by that time I'd like to be hosting meets (if not sooner) than competing in them.

ES:  What advice would you give to the beginning younger powerlifter?

LK: Never give up and ask for advice or help when needed, there are quite a few people out there that know what they are doing.

ES:  How do you feel about supportive equipment?  Has it gone too far?

LK: I like it, I've only used equipment that the USAPL approves so I don’t know how any of the other stuff is. I don’t train with it constantly. I start using it 3-4 weeks out from a meet. Some equipment may seem a bit extreme but I think that’s why there are so many federations out there so the lifter will go to the one that he/she is comfortable in. I like competing in the USAPL but that’s just me.

Lance Deadlift

ES:  Do you have an opinion on the mirad of powerlifting federations?  If you had a magic wand, what would you change?

LK: I don’t get to involved with what other federations are doing I just care about the USAPL. I’ve been with them for a long time. Right now I feel that I am here to lift, if (and it’s a big if) I ever thought I needed to get more involved other than lifting than I might be able to answer this question at a later time.

ES:  You compete in the USAPL which is obviously strictly drug tested.  What's your opinion on tested vs. nontested contests?

LK: Personally I think its great that our federation tests. As far as non-tested contests goes that is the lifters choice if they use any kind of illegal substances and want to compete that way.

ES:  What do you think about the professional movement of the WPO, Mountaineer Cup, and BenchAmerica?  Is this sport marketable to the public as a professional sport?

LK: I think its good that its getting coverage. As far as the second question, only time will tell.

ES:  What do you think about the Olympic movement in powerlifting?  A possibility?  Worth striving for?

LK: It might happen but I don’t think anytime soon.

ES:  Lance, thanks for taking the time to do this interview!  Is there anything else you would like to add?

LK: Thanks for letting me do the interview. You have a great website and I check it often. Take care and train hard.

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