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A call to arms for local powerlifters

John Bosley watches John Trinite curl 125 pounds at Gold's Gym in Westminster.
John Bosley watches John Trinite curl 125 pounds at Gold's Gym in Westminster. (KEN KOONSSTAFF PHOTO, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

It's not every day that you see guys at the gym curling more than most people can bench press.

For John Trinite and John Bosley, it's just a typical workout.

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The 60-year-old Bosley, of Westminster, and the 49-year-old Trinite, of Sykesville, competed in the World Natural Powerlifing world championships in Atlanta last month. And both left as power curling world champions.

"I've lifted religiously in the past, and with life's ever-changing ways, I fell out of lifting for a few years," Trinite said. "In August 2013, I got back into lifting. I began strictly training arms with John [Bosley] in November 2013,"

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"John told me he was entering a state competition ... and suggested I enter."

Good idea. Trinite captured won that state competition. And then he won a national-level competitions. He wasn't originally going to compete at the world competition, but decided he would give it a shot after curling 140 pounds right before the competition deadline, a goal he had been working towards for awhile.

When it was all said and done, Trinite walked away with his first world powerlifting championship.

"It feels great not only to win," Trinite said, "But to know how we trained to reach a point to where John and I are confident enough to go up against anyone in the world. When Bosley and I began training together, his training style kick started my body into over drive, enabling me to continue to make gains at 49 years old.

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"John has also been very instrumental in coaching and teaching me, which I attribute my success to."

Bosley, on the other hand, is no newbie to competitive lifting.

He has been lifting competitively for nearly 40 years. He has won the Maryland strongest man competition and he owns 12 world power curling titles, two world arm wrestling titles, seven national heavyweight arm wrestling titles, has been featured in Sports Illustrated, and has won more than 200 curl events over the span of his illustrious lifting career.

Bosley says he was even featured in a popular movie from the late-1980s. Well, sort of. One of the characters in Sylvester Stallone's 1987 film "Over the Top" was modeled after Bosley's arm-wrestling career, he says.

Over the Top is about a struggling trucker named Lincoln Hawk, played by Stallone, who arm wrestles on the side to make extra cash while trying to rebuild his life. Throughout the film, Stallone's character arm wrestles various competitors, including one massive individual in a tiny tank top named "Mad Dog" Madison. Bosley said Madison is based on a persona Bosley created, known as "Mad Dog" Bosley.

"I met Stallone up in New York at a tournament when I was doing my Mad Dog Show," Bosley said. "One of his body guards called me over and he said it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen. He wanted me to fly out to Vegas for the movie but I couldn't make it out there at the time."

Bosley, in Trinite's words, is simply a "freak of nature".

At the competition in Atlanta, Trinite competed in the 40-49 Masters division 198-pound weight class power curl event, and Bosley competed in the 60-69 Masters division 242-pound weight class.

Power curling form is judged strictly and involves holding the bar in a fashion in which your arms are completely hanging, knees locked, and you're standing with a straight posture. Once you're set, you curl the bar up to your neck without rocking forward, or any movement which will generate momentum to the bar. There is no bending of the knees or legs, but you can lean back to some extent.

Trinite emphasized how important form is when competing.

"We watch guys lifting all of the time using wrong form," Trinite said." Most folks don't realize the difference between strict and 'just curling.'"

There are three judges who watch form to determine a good lift. Two judges out of three have to call a good lift to record the lift, otherwise it doesn't count.

Each competitor has three attempts, starting with a predetermined weight chosen by the competitor, and the weight gradually increases from there. If a competitor misses a lift, the next lift must be at least the amount of weight previously missed. Competitors can increase the weight, but are not permitted to decrease the weight. Not too many competitors increase the weight after a miss. A competitor needs to record one good lift of their three attempts or they're eliminated.

"It was an amazing experience," Trinite said. "There were guys and girls from six different countries and everyone, for the most part, was friendly and supportive to one another."

Added Bosley: "When you're up in front of everybody lifting the atmosphere is great — everybody cheers really loud because they all know how hard you've worked."

After reaching world champions status, the duo doesn't plan to take any time off as they continue to train weekly at Golds Gym in Westminster.

"This was my 12th world title this year," Bosley said, "and I'm trying to do it all again next year."

Alex Twery is a Times staff writer. Reach him at 410-857-7896 or alex.twery@carrollcountytimes.com.

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