Wounded Veteran Lifts Before Brain Surgery

Wounded Veteran Lifts Before Brain Surgery

Oct 21, 2017

I was approached at the beginning of September by Edward Schrank, a Marine veteran who left the military due to brain cancer caused by exposure during the Gulf War.  He was originally supposed to compete at the Invictus Games, but had brain surgery for cancer scheduled on September 25th, 2017, during the games.  Due to my business travel, I tend not to take on coaching clients, but, as a Navy veteran, I took on Ed.  He showed up with the plan to perform a rowing video that would be posted to support the games and also wanted to achieve his dream of performing a competitive bench press.

Joe Atef, Eric Stone and I, the partners of 2XL Powerlifting, LLC, took a look at his background – http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/edward-schrank-marine-veteran-sears.html

We had two opportunities to provide some training before we scheduled a special event on September 20, 2017, at 5pm at 2XL (http://2XLPowerlifting.com) and, although it was unsanctioned, had a team of APF/WPC judges, handlers, and spotters/loaders set up to run a single-person bench competition.  In the two sessions we corrected his form, set him up with the rules, all while managing the small siezures he would suffer as a result of his particular condition.  We also provided him with an accessory program to pursue on his own.  We had a plan as I was in Calgary, Alberta, during the event, and it executed well.

Ed performed extremely well while under a little stress preparing for a surgery that had a low survival rate, let alone would strictly reduce his mobility and communication ability, if successful, over the next 6-12 months.  He does plan on coming to continue training at 2XL in 2018 following his recovery.

Judges included Eric Stone – World Powerlifting Congress Referee;
Ahmad ‘Joe’ Atef – World Powerlifting Congress Referee;
JP Roberts – American Powerlifting Federation Referee;

Eric Stone and George Arvai spotters/loaders

Coach – Howard Penrose (away), Eric Stone (on-site)

Videographer – Chris Benjamin

1. 235lbs (2 plates and 55lb bar) – 3 whites (good)
2. 260lbs (2 plates, 10 and 2.5) – 2 whites (we call that ‘perfect lift’ – good)
3. 275lbs (2 plates, 2 tens) – bad lift – butt off bench.

Not sanctioned, but lifts technically met common powerlifting rules (without singlet).

Ed’s rowing video:

The making of the bench video (click on ‘Watch on Vimeo’ to see if you see a privacy settings notice):


While the 2017 Invictus Games is over by the posting of this article, please visit the Invictus Games to donate https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/ (Will be held in Australia in 2018) which supports wounded and sick veterans from around the world started by Prince Harry.  You can also donate to organizations such as Wounded Warriors Project for USA servicemen.



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