Sister and Brother Hit the Platform
Anna and Mark Jamrozek
Stats: Anna and Mark Jamrozek
Hometown: Eagan, MN
Occupation: Anna: HS Student; Mark: College student.
Age: Anna: 17; Mark: 18
Weight Class: Anna: 165; Mark: 181
Best Competition Lifts: Anna: 270, 170, 280. Mark: 300, 155, 385.
Q: How did you get started in powerlifting?
Mark: I was a junior in high school when I first started lifting. I was involved in youth group at church. Our youth leader decided to have a bunch of different activities for us to do, one of those being lifting. He called it "Body of Christ."
Two of our small group leaders, Aaron and Jane Welborn, who are involved with powerlifting, lead the group The first night they had some people (Nick Tylutki, Brad Madvig, Paul Wong, Tony and Sid Reid, and Judy Drenth) come in and talk to us about the sport. For the next few weeks we learned the basics. Once the class was over, Jane and Aaron invited us to come over and train at their house. The rest is history.
Anna: So two years ago as a freshman in high school, I was driving home from a church retreat with the Welborns. I was talking to Aaron about things, including the workings of a nuclear power plant, and we got on the subject of lifting and how it would help with my soccer and that I should come by the house sometime with my brother to train. I came by one afternoon, and have been going back for two years now.
Q: You both recently did the MN state open, how did it go?
Mark: I had an okay meet. I went six for nine missing two 3rd attempts and one second attempt. I missed my third squat (a PR) because I lost my balance forward before I got the rack command, which was kind of frustrating. I was happy with the numbers that I lifted, but know that there was more in me that day. I am looking at that meet as the meet where I started over. Prior to the meet I had not lifted for nearly eight months due to taking some time off the summer after senior year, and being very busy playing soccer at college. I immediately hit the gym when soccer ended and began my preparations for the State meet. I was able to regain my strength and come very close to my goal for the day.
Anna: I had a great day. I went nine for nine setting personal records on all of my lifts. This was my second meet in gear. It was a different experience from my first meet in gear because my suits and shirt were much more tuned up than before. Even though I was a little nervous, I did great and had fun in the process.
Q: Mark: In regards to your training, what challenges have you faced going away to college?
Mark: All the sudden, I had to maintain my workouts on my own rather than when I was at home lifting with my friends. I basically have nobody else to lift with that has a clue what I am doing. I had to learn how to wrap my own knees. Fortunately, I have not started to lift in gear yet, so that probably made the transition a little easier as I would literally have nobody to help with that.
Q: What does your current training regimen look like?
Anna: Well, I try to get over to train four times a week. Mondays are squat days. Wednesdays are regular bench days. Deadlifts are on Fridays, and Saturdays are when we do a light bench workout and accessory movements.
Mark: Because of my class schedule and having trouble getting to the gym on weekends, I squat Mondays, bench Tuesdays, Deadlift on Thursday and do light bench, accessory work on Friday.
Q: What immediate goals do you have in powerlifting, and where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Anna: Right now I am preparing for high school nationals. I hope to add a little to my numbers, but because I just did the State meet about a month ago, I don't know that I will add too much. I would like to hit an Open qualifier this year and head to Women's in '07. Five years from now I hope to still be lifting. At that point I will be in college. I hope to find the time, a place, and some people to help me to continue.
Mark: I am going to continue lifting while at college. I am planning on lifting at the Zumbro Valley Open on April 29th . I have set some goals to hit before I start lifting in gear. I would like to hit a 350 squat, 200 bench, and 425 pull. Being 6'1 and 180 pounds, Aaron and Jane refer to my bench stroke as the "Miracle Mile," so I am going to spend some time gaining weight and working hard on my upper body strength. Otherwise, I am planning on being in full support of my sister. I will continue to watch her grow and encourage her. She is an inspiration to me and it is a joy to be able to watch her excel.
Q: Who has helped you the most in this sport, and who do you look up to for inspiration?
Anna: There are many people that have helped me in lifting. My coaches Jane and Aaron Welborn have invested a lot of their time into me. They are always there whether I am having a lifting problem or even a personal issue.
Another person that has helped me a lot is one of my training partners, Tait Anderson. In the gym he is quiet and fairly focused, but at competitions, he cheers me on and lets me know that I have done well, giving me the support that I need. My brother has been so awesome. He is so supportive and he is so proud of me. I am lucky to have a brother like him that will be there whenever I need him.
As far as inspiration goes, I don't really have any. I lift because it is something that I have found that I am good at. I played soccer for almost nine years. I loved it and was good, but I was never "good enough." When I found powerlifting, it just fit. I finally found something where I didn't need to be "good enough" for someone else, only for myself.
Mark: There are several people who influence and help me along the way. Aaron and Jane, Kris and Tait Anderson, and my sister.
Two of the people I admire in the sport, also helped get me started. Nick Tylutki and Tony Reid. They have both been around at most of my meets and are very supportive. I enjoy being around them, and in addition to being great lifters, they are also great role models.
Q: What advice would you give to young lifters wanting to compete?
Anna: Competing is a great way to learn about lifting and about yourself. If you decide that competing isn't for you, you never have to do it again. My best advice is that if you are thinking about doing a competition, give it a try.
Mark: I would have to say that in order for one to fully understand what you are capable of and what a competition is like, give it a try. You'll never find out what you can do if you never give it a try.