Chuck Vogelpohl – Powerlifting Demon

With the explosion in the internet since the late 1990s, Powerlifting competitors and fans around the world have been able to see the best lifters compete and train. No Powerlifting competitor has captured the imagination of the strength community like Chuck Vogelpohl of Columbus, Ohio.

Chuck was a National champion by the late 1980s, a World Champion in 1995 but injuries kept him from fully realizing his potential until the early 2000s and once professional meets with prize money and championship belts were created in the mid 2000s, Chuck entered the zenith of his career.

Chuck is known for his incredible squatting prowess, but as Louie says it is improving your weakest lift will make you a champion. There is a video on YouTube entitled Chuck Vogelpohl 633 bench at the 2006 Arnold Classic which shows what an incredible strength athlete Chuck is. His bench presses, including his final one of 633 were all done as strictly as any shirted bench press I have ever seen. Chuck has had numerous upper body injuries to overcome to include a broken neck which caused severe nerve issues in his upper body. None the less, Chuck overcame these potentially debilitating injuries to win the WPO by being incredible at each of the three powerlifts. Chuck squatted 1118 and deadlift after his 633 bench to total 2506.

Another YouTube clip shows Chuck squatting the all time world record of 1110 lbs in the 242 lb class. This video shows how gritty Chuck was on the platform.
During one of the wonderful Dave Tate Tableltalk podcasts on YouTube, Renowned strength coach and former Westside Barbell lifter said that he had seen Chuck miss a weight in the gym, go up in weight and he would smash the greater weight for a triple. Jim says: “Chuck was serial killer intense” and he had “ a reverence for that place (Westside Barbell).”

Dave Tate has said during multiple YouTube videos that Chuck was always the first person in the gym setting the lift of the day up and he was the last person to leave the gym, in order to make sure that everything was put away and cleaned up properly. Dave said that Chuck was an incredible training partner because he respected the gym, the weights and the equipment greatly. Chuck was taught by the legendary powerlifting coach Louie Simmons to have a critical eye in order to coach every one of this team mates.

Geared and raw All time world record holder Matt Wenning described how Chuck led the greatest squatting crew of all time from the front by an emphasis on technique and ferocity. Six lifters that trained with Chuck at the Lexen Extreme Gym averaged a 1025 squat. Matt always speaks extremely highly of Chuck, the viewer of any of these videos can tell how much reverence Matt has for Chuck. There are a number of YouTube videos on Lexen Extreme, Brandon Lilly, and 360 Cut channels which showed Chuck training ferociously after he left Westside Barbell in approximately 2009. If you have seen the amazing documentary Westside vs the World, you know that Chuck returns home to train again with Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell.

Powerlifting entrepreneur Mark Bell posted a great tribute video to a 1260 lb reverse band squat that Chuck did in preparation for another world record breaking meet shortly after this overloaded training lift. Mark notes that Chuck squatted over 1000lbs in the 220, 242, and 275 lb class.

1 thought on “Chuck Vogelpohl – Powerlifting Demon”

  1. Chuck taught me everything I ever knew about powerlifting. I was an Inmate at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient Ohio, where he was a Recreation correctional officer between the years of 1990, 1998. He took me under his wing, as a cadre Inmate in the institution we had recreation and had special privileges, every year the correction facility had an Olympics. where every prison in the state of Ohio would converge to our Instiution,Chuck, being the recreation Director brought several programs to the table including Track and field, Boxing,Softball,Basketball,and of course Powerlifting. Westside barbells Louie Simmons would come to the Powerlifting events to be the head judge in all the compitions.
    In 1990 I arrived to the facility, being young hard headed and a know it all I would to the gym everynight to workout. Chuck would pick on me in a sence and tell me I was to weak to be a Powerlifter, He would tell me I did not have the drive to succeed jn the sport. Myself being 150lbs Chuck told me to start drinking as much milk as I could to put more weight on. I had a 185 bench press, a 225lb dead lift and a 245lb squat., at this time I began working in the institutions kitchen as a cook. I began eating, giving my body all the protein and carbs needed to fuel the grueling workout chuck would put four of us through. He taught discipline, discipline and more discipline. consistency being the key to everything,. those who didn’t show up for workouts were brow beaten down and intimitated by chuck, His personality was scary at times and he talked more shit than 5 people, to get on this side of him was all BAD !! he would make you feel like a weak pussy. He would tell those whom missed workouts that he was going to beat their asses, and he would too.! He did not care , or made you think he didn’t
    As I began gaining weight my strength grew, and grew, in 1993 I had a 315 bench, a 405 deadlift, and 495lb squat. The proven Russian formula we worked was all on percentages. we ran 4 week cycles starting with first week 70% percent of our one rep max, second week 75% Third 80% then 85% of our one rep max, at the end of the four weeks we would all strive to hit a NEW one rep max. I was absolutely turning into an animal,. Box squats become a love hate rerlationship, long story short,I left the prison August 1998 with a 600lb bench press .. with the shirt, a 785lb and a 600lb dead lift. Drug free. I I still go hard and workout, I am not as strong as I use to be but Im 55 still squat over 600 bench in the four’s and can pull 600. I still hear him in my head…..” come on” one more.. lets go, what the fuck are you doing move the eight, speed, speed speed he would yell.!! ”lets GO COME ON LETS GO HE WOULD YELL. moVE THAT WEIGHT EXPLODE COMING OUT OF THE HOLE….
    I heard he passed in it broke my heart. as well as Louie passing, we have lost to of the best that ecer did it. To know them both was a gift. I will always remember ole hog head we would call him, he literary had NO neck. I’m NOT SURE WHERE THIS ARTICAL IS GOING BUT I’VE WRITTEN it FROM THE HEART. He will be greatly missed through out the community to those who knew chuck was on his way to a powerlifiting meet would fear him showing up, knowing their hands were full trying to out total him. he was a one of a kind beast and will be greatly missed,


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