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Guardsman shows strength
CAMP DENALI, Alaska -- Army Master Sgt. John Nieves, Alaska Army National Guard, Recruiting and Retention Command, recruiting and retention non-commissioned officer in charge, lifts a 125 pound dumbbell above his head during the dumbbell clean press event of the Strongman of the North Competition, Nov. 20, at the Egan Civic and Convention Center. (Photo by Pfc. Karina Paraoan/ANG PAO)
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Guardsman shows strength

Posted 12/3/2010   Updated 12/3/2010 Email story   Print story


by Pfc. Karina Paraoan

12/3/2010 - CAMP DENALI, Alaska  -- An Alaska National Guardsman placed 2nd in the first official Alaska Strongman of the North 2010 competition held at the Egan Civic and Convention Center, Nov. 20.

Master Sgt. John Nieves, recruiting and retention non-commissioned officer in-charge, Recruiting and Retention Command, Alaska Army National Guard, competed against eight men from all over Alaska while wearing camouflage pants and combat boots to symbolize that he is a Guardsman.

The strongman competition consisted of five events: 18-inch dead lift, farmer's walk, dumbbell clean press, front hold and truck pull.

The 18-inch deadlift tests how much weight the competitor can lift from the ground to his chest.

The farmer's walk requires the competitor to hold 250-pound dumbbells in each hand, walk 100 feet, turn around and walk back in the fastest amount of time possible.

The dumbbell clean press tests how many repetitions the competitor can lift and hold a 120-pound dumbbell above his head and bring back down within 60 seconds.

The front hold tests how long the competitor can hold a 45-pound Olympic plate straight out above his chin while standing against a wall. Lastly, the truck pull tests how fast the competitor can pull a Humvee 100 feet towards him while sitting down.

Nieves trained for the competition six days a week with intense and heavy work outs for 30 days.

"Being a Soldier and having the 'never quit' attitude is what I think sets me apart from the civilian competitors," Nieves said.

From 2002 to 2008, Nieves was a competitor in the Buckner Physical Fitness Center's bench press competitions, taking first place each time.

"This competition is a testament to his dedication to fitness and provides a great example for others to follow," said Army Lt. Col. Joseph Lawendowski, Recruiting and Retention Command commander, Alaska Army National Guard. "He truly represents the Alaska National Guard."

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