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
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
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.
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
ES: What advice would you give to the beginning younger
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.
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
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
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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