Soldier finds purpose in powerlifting

When Timothy Burnell was in high school, he struggled to bench press 135 pounds. Today, the U.S. Army soldier just took first place in a powerlifting competition at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the Army reported.

He secured the honor after lifting a combined weight of 1,529 pounds in bench press, squat and deadlift demonstrations.

A pharmacy specialist by trade, Timothy continued lifting weights as an adult to maintain his physical fitness. Now a sergeant first class, he serves as the battalion operations non-commissioned officer at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Considerably older than many of the 700 troops he oversees, Timothy wants to set a good example for younger enlisted people at his hospital. Besides, he truly enjoys lifting as a way to provide therapeutic self-care.

“Everybody has their own their own ways to deal with stress or cope with stressful situations. For me weightlifting was just my outlet. I put in my headphones, listen to my music and just kind of go into my own little zone. It’s a healthier alternative than what some people use for stress, and definitely works for me it,” he said.

“I often like to show soldiers you don’t have to be the fastest runner or the quickest at push-ups, but you can excel in other things,” he added. “You can be bigger, or you might not run as fast, but you’ll be stronger and that makes up the difference.”

The full story is available on the Army’s website at

Photo by Marcy Sanchez with the U.S. Army