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Team Scott member headed to weight lifting competition in Luxembourg

  • Published
  • By Steve Berry
  • 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
By day, Brady Stewart crunches numbers for the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron in his office at Scott. 

After work and on the weekends he pushes up massive amounts of weight on the bench presses at Belleville Weightlifting Club. 

For Mr. Stewart, working out is about more than just staying fit. He will be competing in Luxembourg May 30 as a member of the U.S. Bench Press Team. 

He was originally an alternate for the team, but was added to the regular roster at the end of last year. Now this Team Scott member is headed to Europe for competition in the International Powerlifting Federation Bench Press Worlds. 

Mr. Stewart, 26, is an experienced lifter. His feat of strength at the prestigious USA Powerlifting Men's National Bench Press Championships last year helped make his appearance at IPF Bench Press Worlds possible. Competing in the 242 pound class, Mr. Stewart bench pressed 611 pounds--his personal best. 

Mr. Stewart's 611 pound push was years in the making. 

He got into weightlifting as a soccer player in high school. 

"I always liked to train with weights," Mr. Stewart said. "I really didn't even know what the sport of power lifting was until 2000 or 2001." 

Soon after, Mr. Stewart began his freshmen year at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., where he played soccer and continued to lift weights. 

"I got a little heavy to play soccer in college so they recruited me for the football team," Mr. Stewart said. 

Although he had little football experience he joined the team. 

Mr. Stewart graduated from McKendree and continued to work out. 

He says his training regiment varies from other power lifters. 

"I'd say my training is different than 99 percent of power lifters because most of them bench press two days a week and I bench press four days a week," Mr. Stewart said. "It is not that I am doing any more work than them. I am doing the same amount of work, I just split it up into four days." 

Mr. Stewart trains in a dusty, boarded up garage in Belleville, Ill. There's no sign, but this is the Belleville Weightlifting Club--one of the oldest barbell clubs in the Metro-east.
On Friday afternoon Mr. Stewart left his office at Scott and headed to the classic gym to pump iron with five or six other guys. 

"It's a really cool place," Mr. Stewart said. "It takes you back decades." 

One of Mr. Stewart's coaches, Dana Rosenzweig, worked out with the group Friday.
"It (the gym) provides a competitive environment," Mr. Rosenzweig said. "The people who train here are serious competitors." 

In the future Mr. Stewart hopes to break the IPF bench press world record. The current record for the 242 pound weight class is 672 pounds. 

"Now that I have a chance to lift internationally it's kind of on my mind that maybe someday I do absolutely want to be the best," Mr. Stewart said. "The only way to figure that out is to duke it out at a world event." 

Mr. Stewart's first world event is May 30. The drug-free strong man said he gains strength from his team of coaches and his wife Beth. 

"I definitely feel like it's a gift to be able to train heavy and lift very heavy weights," Mr. Stewart said. "I never settle for sub-par results. I always push to be better and better and better."

Mr. Stewart's heavy lifting

· 23 powerlifting competitions
· 18 first place, one second place and three third place finishes
· Named best lifter in eight of the 23 contests (judges compile all results and find the best lifter of the competition regardless of age and weight class).
· Two Prairie State Games scholastic men's bench press records that still stand today.
· Six different USA Powerlifting Illinois state bench press records across two weight classes.
· Winner of the Junior divisions in the 2004 and 2005 USAPL Bench Press National Championships earning him best junior lifter at each and coming out with one USAPL National Junior Bench Press Record and two USAPL National Junior Bench Press Championships.
· Currently holds the 242 pound weight class American three lift bench press record at 578 pounds.