By Josh stipanovich
That’s the driving force behind local bodybuilder Chris Carson — and why he’s at the gym for two to three hours every day.
“The passion for it is unreal,” Carson said. “It takes so much time to actually do the sport. It’s taken away from home life, work and everything else. ... It takes a lot of dedication.”
Carson, 31, has broken several records, pushing himself above the rest. At 5 feet, 7 inches and 246 pounds, Carson can bench-press 775 pounds.
He wakes up every morning and takes proteins and cell foods, which increase oxygen to cells in the body. He consumes another protein shake before he goes to work fulltime for the city of Campbell. When he gets home from work, he takes more cell foods, a pre-workout formula, vitamins and amino acids before he makes his way to the downtown or Boardman YMCA. That’s followed by dinner and more proteins after his workout.
“It’s pretty much like having two full-time jobs,” Carson said.
“It’s not common to find guys like that,” said Carlo DiNardo, co-owner of Southside Barbell in New Castle, Pa. “He just excels in everything he does.”
DiNardo has trained and competed with Carson for several years. The first time he saw Carson in competition was a time he’ll never forget.
It was 2006, and DiNardo and Carson’s teams were competing against each other in Beaver Falls, Pa., at a World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters tournament. WABDL is one of the federations Carson competes in.
DiNardo was coaching the young man going up against Carson and knew it wasn’t going to end well.
Carson “was going to beat our guy in that division,” DiNardo said.
He did, and DiNardo, shortly after, extended an invite for him to join his team in New Castle. Carson accepted and was welcomed, DiNardo said.
Carson took an interest in weightlifting when he was a student at Campbell Memorial High School, he said, after realizing his strength outdid the rest of the boys on the football team.
God blessed him with natural strength. He was the guy everyone on the field avoided — if and whenever possible, Carson said.
“It takes a different type of person to play football. ... You have to have some violent or mean streak to you,” he said.
But Carson isn’t immortal. He suffered a separ-ated collarbone during his eighth-grade year on the practice field that left him sidelined. That was the point in his life where he knew weightlifting would become a large part of his life because it helped him in his recovery.
“Getting back into the weight room, it healed stronger, I came back stronger,” Carson said. “You want more. It’s like, my strength, I could never get enough. I wanted to make myself stronger and stronger.”
But Carson took a break from the weight room because work consumed most of his life.
“I ended up getting back into the weight room and remembered how much I loved it,” he said.
He competed in a meet where he came close to breaking a world record. “After that, it was like, ‘Oh man. I have to keep going. I want more. I have to go.’ You want those records,” Carson said. “That’s definitely a driving force.”
And that’s what he did. Carson has a world record in power lifting (lifting the weight off the ground) for the International Power-lifting Association federation where he lifted 705 pounds. A couple of weeks ago, he power-lifted 644.7 pounds in Toledo at another meet for a first-place finish.
He competed in a world competition in Las Vegas where he won his weight class. That made him the world champion for the year, his third time winning the competition.
“He’s got that drive,” DiNardo said. “The more I throw at him, the better he responds.”
“If he misses a day at the gym, he shuts down,” said Maria Raymond, Carson’s girlfriend. “Just seeing someone have that kind of passion, he deserves everything he gets.”
Carson stays positive and lives each day with an agenda — be the best and beat the best.
“It’s something that you love. This isn’t just something I enjoy doing,” Carson said. “This is a way of life for me. This is what I do.”