Muscle Sport Magazine

Total Teen Package

Alex Truman, 17, of PA Masters Powerlifting; Bodybuilding Next in his Sights

This is Part One of a continuing series provided exclusively by MuscleSport Mag entitled, “This is Your Magazine,” where we profile the every-day athlete. If you would like to see yourself profiled here, please send us your story and photo to

When you begin preparing for powerlifiting competitions at the young age of 15, you know that you are taking weight training a little more serious than the rest of the bunch. Alex Truman of Butler, PA began working out and shortly thereafter realized where his passion lied. 10 months later, he entered his first local competition.

Only one year later, he won his weight division at the 2007 IPA PA States with a 1,180 pound total at a body weight of only 181. Some would have been satisfied with a victory, but not Truman.

“I knew I had to improve,” he said. “I started to train even harder and set my sights on a local Strongman show.” He entered the YMCA Octoberfest’s Strongest Man as a Novice Middle Weight, competing against people much older and more experienced than him, which turned out to be all the incentive he needed.

“I was worried about how I would do when I got there and saw that I was competing against adults,” he recalled, “but I kept my focus and ended up winning.”

In his last show this past April, Truman finished fourth in his division at the NAS-sanctioned WV Regional Strongman.

What adds to this already-impressive resume is the fact that Truman is a high school senior concentrating on his studies and participating on the varsity wrestling team. He has used his training to assist him during matches, which has made him a more well-rounded wrestler.

“I believe the work I do in the gym does transcend greatly to other sports,” said Truman. “As a varsity wrestler, I have had matches with people of every body type and fitness level, and the ones who train in the gym and on the mats always have that little advantage.”

With his body still growing, Truman has had a difficult time putting on body weight, leading to what he calls an “unconventional” diet, which can go up to 6,800 calories per day spread out over six to eight meals when he is bulking up. His weight training is also slightly different from the norm, breaking his workouts into movements on certain days.

“I have a bench, squat, dead lift and overhead day,” Truman said. “On bench day, I’ll train chest, triceps and front deltoids.” Using this method, he is able to give more attention to the portion of the lift that needs work, basing every workout on improving each lift. It’s hard to argue with his logic when you see his max numbers. Truman can dead lift 550 pounds, squat 500, bench 365, clean and jerk 255 and snatch 185. Even with his offseason body weight of 200 pounds, those are incredible numbers, especially for someone that is still too young to vote!

This is a young man that does not deviate from his training, regardless of what is going on around him. “When I train, nothing else matters,” explained Truman. “I turn off my phone and turn on the music. Once I’m in the zone, nothing can break my concentration.

“I picture who I want to become and I train to become who I want to be,” he continued. “Sometimes I’m sick, but that doesn’t stop me from training. Nobody cares that you have a cold when you get on the platform, so if squatting until you puke is what it takes, I’ll do it.”

Truman has already decided that he will wait a full year and then begin preparing for bodybuilding competitions. He will use his previous diet and training knowledge to help the transition, saying that “preparation for bodybuilding is very similar to what I have done to cut weight” for powerlifting shows.

Sounding way beyond his 17 years, Truman feels that the media has taken the story of performance-enhancing drugs and portrayed it as totally one-sided. “Nothing has been brought up how athletes use legal PEDs with great results and no unwanted side effects,” he said. “The media is out to make money, and that means talking about the harm that they cause.”

When asked about the size of the professional bodybuilders competing for the Mr. Olympia title, Truman took the high road. “I do not think it’s for me to say whether these athletes use anabolic steroids or not,” he said. “If they wish to do so, then it is their choice. If they take these compounds, they run the risk of infection, side effects and jail time if caught.”

Sounding more like a teacher than a student is easy for someone planning on attending a four-year college to become one. Truman intends on concentrating his studies to be a high school teacher, in either science or math. Whoever his future pupils may be, they will be learning at a high quality from this multi-talented individual.

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