Team March Airman wins first place for military in powerlifting competition

  • Published
  • By Sean Dath
  • 452nd AMW Public Affairs

It has been said that hard work and preparation always pay off in the end, for Master Sgt. Daniel Bedford, it resulted in the fourth powerlifting championship title of his career, and first while competing in his 40’s.

Bedford, NCO in charge of support for 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, won first place in the Masters Division for military participants on Sept. 11, 2016 in Denver at the National Bench Press Championships hosted by USA Powerlifting. The title marks the fourth time that Bedford has won a national powerlifting title, adding to the medals he won in 1995, 1998 and 2003 and the first he has won as a member of Team March.

“This was quite a feat,” said Bedford. “I’m really happy with the way I performed. I think I represented the Air Force really well in this competition.”

Bedford also took home second place for the overall open competition for the 165 to 181-pound weight class in the 40-year-old age group. The open competition category was comprised of world class athletes, including national and state powerlifting champions.

“I wanted to really challenge myself by going up against the high-level athletes in the open division this year,” said Bedford. “and what is crazy is that I did so with two torn [pectoral] muscles.”

Despite the injury, Bedford was still able to put up 342 pounds on a strict bench press to take the silver medal. 

“The strict bench press is monitored by three judges who are constantly watching to make sure you don’t move your head, butt or feet,” Bedford said. “I also had to pause for three seconds with the bar on my chest before lifting the weight back up, which kills any kind of momentum.”

The impressive showing in the championships has netted Bedford two national sponsors, Nutrishop, a retail nutrition store, as well as the kinesiology tape manufacturer, Rock Tape. Even after becoming a champion in his 40’s, Bedford refuses to slow down, already planning on competing nationally next year as well.

“It’s like I tell my clients, you just need to find the strength from within, said Bedford. “You can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it.”

Those clients range from high school athletes to professional baseball players to a bikini model which trains in his garage gym at his Lake Elsinore home, where he acts as a part-time personal trainer with his own business, D.B. Fitness, LLC.

“My number one priority with this business is to help other athletes reach their goals,” Bedford said. “It could be helping them get a faster 40 time, or adding five pounds to their lifts, I truly enjoy helping other top athletes.”

For now, Bedford will cherish his achievement. One in which he says is especially important because his three young daughters weren’t around to witness his first three championship wins.

“My daughters would always see the medals hanging in the garage, but they held no meaning since they weren’t around when I won them.” Bedford said. “Now my daughters understand the work ethic behind it, and see that by setting goals, you can accomplish something.”