November 2014 Lifter of the Month
Our USAPL New Jersey lifter of the month is Mike Ciupinski. He recently won the 83kg weight class at the 2014 USAPL Bench Press Nationals in San Antonio, Texas. At a body weight of 183 pounds, he benched 534 lbs. Mike is 35 years old and grew up in Toms River. He currently lives in Brick and has been working at Zodiac Aerospace Evacuation Systems for the past 5 years. He is extremely grateful for the support from his family, friends and everyone involved in his powerlifting career, especially his girlfriend, Stacy.
Mike's first coach, Ron DeVito, introduced him to powerlifting when he was just a freshman in high school. Mike's first meet was the NJ High School Championship. He then started competing in the USPF and AAU before entering his first USAPL meet in 2000 at Pro Fitness in Rockaway. Currently, Mike trains at Pure Focus Sports Club in Brick Township with many other great powerlifters such as Jose Perez, Jim Weiss, Tito Bastinelli, Frank Caine and other up and coming lifters. For now, Mike only competes in the bench press but still squats and deadlifts for training purposes.
Mike's best geared bench is 556lbs which he hit at the 2013 USAPL Bench Press Nationals in the 83 kg weight class. In addition he has had many other great accomplishments like being invited and competing at the Arnold Classic three times and being selected three times as a member of Team USA.
Mike's advice for new lifters is to find people that have been in the sport for awhile and learn from them. Practice good technique first and don't max out in the gym. Save it for the meet. He also says to follow a good diet.
Next up for Mike will be the 2015 IPF World Bench Press Championship in Sweden, May 20-24. Mike hopes to do well enough to help out Team USA.