Missile student breaks multiple weightlifting records

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., --  2nd Lt. Michael Tuchscherer, a student at the 392nd Training Squadron warms up before starting his power lifting work out at the base gym on Mar. 3. Tuchscherer took first place in the Quest American Invitational Arnold Classic Power Lifting Competition this past weekend in his weight of 275 lbs. (U.S. Air Force photo / SrA Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- 2nd Lt. Michael Tuchscherer, a student at the 392nd Training Squadron warms up before starting his power lifting work out at the base gym on Mar. 3. Tuchscherer took first place in the Quest American Invitational Arnold Classic Power Lifting Competition this past weekend in his weight of 275 lbs. (U.S. Air Force photo / SrA Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- He rose above all competition.

More specifically, Michael Tuchscherer lifted more weight above all competition.

At 22 years old, the second lieutenant recently shattered five American powerlifting records at the USAPL Quest American Invitational in Ohio on March 1.

Athletes lift weights in three categories, the maximum weight for each category is added up, and the champion is the winner who lifted the most combined weight.

Powerlifting athletes compete in the bench-press, squat and dead-lift.

Tuchscherer's total was 2,342 pounds, 94 pounds more than his nearest competitor in the 275-pound division, according to usapowerliftingforum.com

Tuchscherer broke records in each event, benching 639, deadlifting 821 and squatting 881.

"I didn't squat deep enough on my second squat," Tuchscherer said. "I wanted to move up to 903."

Nevertheless, his combined score broke the previous record of 2,255 pounds held by career power-lifter Greg Lowe, according to powerliftingwatch.com. Call Tuchscherer's success the product of passion.

"I probably have more books on weightlifting and the process of getting stronger than anything else," he said. "It's a passion of mine."

At about 266 pounds, Tuchscherer is built like a dreadnought. He wears the largest flight suit available. While in class at the 392nd Training Squadron, he eats small meals all day long to maintain lean muscle and keep down fat.

He gets a lot of encouragement from his father. Tuchscherer started powerlifting about 10 years ago when he joined a monthly weightlifting club as a 7th grader in his hometown of Cordon, Ind. His dad, who supported his son's training as a youth, continues to be there for him.

"Dad comes backstage with me when I compete," Tuchscherer said, "and tracks my competition."

Tuchscherer continued his training through high school and into the Air Force Academy, where he competed with the academy powerlifting team. From there, he has competed in about seven states and in the junior world invitational in Bulgaria.

Now, his focus is aimed at the next competition, the USAPL Men's National Powerlifting Championships, set for this summer, he said, which he will compete in after taking an assignment to Minot Air Force Base, N.D.