FORT KNOX, Ky. — The Army presents Soldiers with many opportunities to challenge themselves and one way Soldiers can do so at Fort Knox is the 1,000-Pound Club, a weightlifting competition that allows them to test their strength and set new records.
Ricky Tyrone Gravely, a retired sergeant major and current safety staff with 1st Theater Sustainment Command, introduced the club to Fort Knox in 2017 after returning from a deployment to Kuwait.
Gravely deployed to the 1st TSC’s operational command post at Camp Arifjan in 2014, where he first became familiar with it.
To join the 1,000-Pound Club, Soldiers have to test their strength in three different events - the deadlift, the bench press, and the squat exercise. To be successful, the weight males lift in each event must collectively equal or surpass 1,000 pounds, and for females it must equal or surpass 500 pounds.
The Army’s current focus on strength training makes this the perfect opportunity for Soldiers to get involved in the program, Gravely said.
By October 2020, the Army Physical Fitness Test will be phased out and all Soldiers will be required to take the Army Combat Fitness Test for record, and the new test has the same or similar events as the new test, he explained.
“One of the events for the ACFT is the deadlift,” said Sgt. 1st Class Leilani Caracciolo, network management noncommissioned officer in charge, 1st TSC. “The deadlift is also one of the events for the 1,000-Pound Club. People think that its legs, but it’s truly your back, abdominal muscles, and your glutes, so training for the 1,000-Pound Club will definitely assist Soldiers with the new ACFT.”
The 1st TSC has a total of 13 Soldiers who have successfully made it into the club – 11 males and two females.
After Soldiers earn a place in the club, their names get put on a board, in Gammon Fitness Center, with the weight lifted from each exercise, a 1,000 or 500 Pound Club t-shirt, and bragging rights.
Staff Sgt. Lisa Owens, senior financial management analyst, 1st TSC, currently holds the top slot of the most weight lifted by a female on Fort Knox with a collective weight of 900 pounds.
“I saw that there weren’t a lot of females on the 1,000-Pound Club board. At the time, I think there were only two,” said Owens. “It was a spur of the moment kind of thing, and I think I trained for about two weeks.”
Owens said she hopes Soldiers see her name on the 1,000-Pound Club board, and it encourages and inspires them to challenge themselves.
“If I can do it anybody can,” she said.
This challenge is installation wide, so all Soldiers are able to participate. Soldiers who earn a place on the wall in Gammon Fitness Center also have their units put alongside their names.
“You’re not just doing the challenge as an individual - you’re also representing your unit, and it’s a true test of your physical capabilities,” said Caracciolo. “We didn’t actually train for the 1,000-Pound Club we trained to be fit.”