Josh Rohr Interview

November 2012 - Josh Rohr

1. Please introduce yourself. Who are you? How old are you? Where were you born? Etc. Give the readers some background about yourself.

My name is Josh Rohr and I am 29 years old. I was born in Massillon, Ohio but grew up in Apple Creek, Ohio (population about 1200 people)

2. Where are you located in Georgia and where do you train at?

I live in Duluth, GA and train out of Quest Nutrition & Athletics

3. What are your hobbies (other than powerlifting)?

I love texas holdem, chess and random dance parties.

4. Are you involved in powerlifting in any way besides as a competitor?

Yes, I am a state referee, meet director and I run the USAPL Georgia website and social media.

5. Is there anything about powerlifting you would like to change or wish was different?

I would love to see more lifters volunteering to help meet directors at meets. As a meet director, the hardest part about putting on a good meet is having enough help. It doesn’t matter your experience level, help is always welcomed. That said…the American Open is coming up…if you’re not doing anything and want to volunteer, get in touch with Greg Jones and ask how you can help!

6. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Most people don’t know that I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Ohio and that I am colorblind.

7. What is your occupation? Does it interfere with competing or visa versa?

I am a personal trainer/strength & conditioning coach. I train a lot of athletes and powerlifters. Ironically, sometimes it does interfere with my own competing and training but usually because I don’t make myself enough of a priority and let my own training suffer. I do love training people new to the sport, it’s refreshing to see the passion they have and helps me keep my mind right. Check out my website at for more info about what I do!

8. How did you get into powerlifting and how many years have you been competing?

I got into powerlifting through my high school football coach and English teacher. I would train with my English teacher, Mr. Dobson (he squatted 405x8 at 70 years old with no belt, no wraps, no nothing) after school in the off-season and with my football coach, Bill Seder during the season. I was always one of the strongest on the team so one day Coach Seder told me about a powerlifting meet at a local high school so I went and won my weight class. Been hooked every since. That was in 2001, so I guess it’s been 11 years.

9. What are your biggest squat, bench press, deadlift and total numbers?

In competition, my best numbers equipped are:

Squat: 628

Bench: 402

Deadlift: 672

10. What titles, records and achievements have you accumulated during your powerlifting career?

2x Collegiate National Champion (2004, 2006)

Current Collegiate American Record Deadlift Holder: 644@165 (set in 2006)

1x Junior National Champion (2006)

2x Junior National Runner-up (2004, 2005)

3x USA World Team Member (2004, 2006, 2009)

Junior World Bronze Medalist (2006)

11. Can you describe your training philosophy and/or a typical training session?

My training plan is always different, depending on what part of the training cycle I am in. I usually will squat and deadlift (or some variation of those) once/week and bench (or some variation) 3-4 times/week with a few assistance exercises to address weaknesses. I vary my training effect by changing tempo, rest time, sets, reps and intensity to better achieve the results I am looking for during a specific block of training (usually done in 4 week blocks).

12. Do you compete equipped (squat suit, bench press shirt & deadlift suit) or unequipped (no suits) or both and what weight class(s) and divisions(s) do you compete in?

I compete mostly in the 181’s but sometimes will venture to the 198’s or even 220’s if I’m feeling crazy lol. I compete equipped but did do the 2009 GA State Meet Raw. I was running the meet, coaching 15 lifters and also trying to compete, so needless to say, it wasn’t my best day lol.

13. What is your favorite lift, squat or bench press or deadlift or all three and why?

Deadlift – it is the simplest, plain test of strength. You just pick the bar up. You either do or you don’t.

14. Who is the most impressive lifter you have competed against?

Wade Hooper and David Ricks. Needless to say, I lost by a few hundred pounds to both of them on multiple occasions.

15. Who do you think is the greatest lifter of all time?

Ed Coan hands down. The totals he had in his prime will never be touched.

16. When was your last competition & how did it go?

Battle on the Border in March. It went ok. I caught a bad bug the 2 weeks leading into the meet and really didn’t feel 100% again until about a week after the meet. I ate my way up to 198.7 so that I could lift as a 220 lifter for team points (Team Georgia vs North Carolina vs South Carolina). I finished the day 8/9 and won best lifter and best of all TEAM GEORGIA WON FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

17. Do you have any upcoming competitions? If so, when and where?

American Open in Atlanta Dec1-2

18. How do you prepare for an upcoming competition? Describe each aspect that you focus on as you prepare for a competition.

It’s everything. Training, nutrition, sleep, recovery modalities. Going into a meet, everything is focused on the one goal….Meet Day.

19. Is there anything you will do differently to prepare for your next competition that is different from your last one?

Try not to get sick lol.

20. How many competitions do you compete in each year?

2, sometimes 3.

21. Who is your greatest competitor/rival and why?

Well, it’s been a while since I would say I had a true “rival” but back in college, David Hammers and I would go back and forth for the 165 title. I beat him twice, I think he beat me 4 times. It was always close and usually came down to the last deadlift so it was always a fun battle.

22. What advice & tips would you give to a powerlifter that is just beginning? If you are just beginning, what advice have you received from other lifters or coaches?

Get with an actual coach and learn technique! There is a lot of junk on the internet, some of it from people that have never competed before. Try to find lifters that have competed before and ask them to refer you to someone that can teach you the right way.

23. How has powerlifting changed your life?

Over 75% of my friends I have met through powerlifting. If it weren’t for powerlifting, I would never have been able to travel around the world for meets and visit some of the places I have gotten to visit.

24. What is your #1 or most prestigious meet you ever competed at in your career?

2009 IPF Open World Powerlifting Championships in New Delhi, India

25. Do you compete in any other strength sports such as Olympic lifting, strongman, highland games, etc?


26. What is your favorite memory from any powerlifting competition or event?

At the 2006 Collegiate Nationals, our team from Ashland University placed 3rd as a team with only 4 lifters. 3 out of 4 of us won our weight classes. There were some teams of 30-40 lifters that we beat that were not happy lol.

27. Do you see yourself still competing in ten years? If so, what are your goals for ten years from now?

Yes, I just have to make sure I keep it a priority. Life keeps trying to pull me away but I’m still here.

28. Do you have any funny or interesting powerlifting stories that you can share with us?

YES!...well…most of them I can’t share publically. One of the best ones I can share is the 2008 American Open. Sherman told Brian Siders that if he totaled 2600, he would jump in the pool. Well, we’re all walking by the pool just talking and Brian brings it up. Sherman, in jeans, t-shirt, shoes, and his phone still in his pocket, takes off running without hesitation and jumps in the pool. Took us a few minutes to dry the tears from laughing so hard!

29. Anyone you would like thank for helping you along the way in your Powerlifting career?

Yes, Sherman Ledford at Quest Nutrition, Pete Alaniz at Titan Support Systems, the guys at Quest and UGA powerlifting, James Townsend, Jeremy Hartman, Caleb Williams and my teammates from Ashland University that helped me every day.

30. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Come check out the American Open Dec 1-2 in Atlanta. The meet is being put on by Greg Jones. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with him at It would be greatly appreciated. Train Hard and thank you for the interview!

Thank you for your time and best of luck in your upcoming powerlifting endeavors!

View the Archives Monthly Lifter Spotlight Application