Awesome Interview with Champion Power-Lifter Roger Marin
Roger Marin is not only a power-lifting champion, his positive energy is sure to waken the adventure inside of you. Growing up in New York can be tough and it's challenges can either break you or kick the warrior out of you. Roger is a great example of a young man that drives with his passion, and does the things that he loves, by trying something new every day. Everything, that SkysOcean is attracted to. By creating beautiful memories, loving life, and increasing his goals along the way, makes Roger a a winner everyday. Be prepared to be motivated and inspired by this interview.
Photo courtesy of Roger Marin
Tell us a little bit about your self.
What’s good! My name is Roger Marin, I’m a Data Analyst for the New York City Housing Authority by day and power-lifter by night. I am also an avid ice cream eater with a diet that consists of 21,000 – 25,000 weekly calories and beer! When did you know you wanted to power-lift & compete? What are the steps?
I never thought I would be a power-lifter. Three years ago, I went for a late night jog at Victory Field in Forest Park, Queens and had on this gold chain I forgot to take off. Halfway through my 10-lap jog, 5 dudes ambushed me and jumped me for it. That night, I felt weak and helpless. So, I told myself I would never let that happen again. I joined the gym the following day and never looked back. I wouldn’t say there are exact steps to become a power-lifter; everyone’s anatomy is different, so everyone’s path is going to be different. I would say for any power-lifter, the three critical steps are mastering the basics, work on perfecting your form and most importantly, never stop learning about your body. A great program for beginners, that I recommend is Wendler’s 5/3/1 power-lifting program for your first year.
Photo courtesy of Roger Marin What advice can you give the younger generation?
There’s a lot I want to say to the young crowd, but I think the most important is what Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of Joy". The younger generation is growing up heavily influenced by what they see on social media and subliminally will compare themselves to their peers. My advice to them is social media is a fantasy world, don’t compare yourself to this fantasy life some people portray, because you will feel like you don’t have enough or are not good enough. That will slowly drive you to focus on wanting things you don’t really need and you will never feel fully satisfied with all the blessings already in front of you. If you want something, work hard for it and go get it. Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners.
What is life to you?
Life is beautiful. Life is short. Life is a barbell. The opportunities for growth and improvement are right in front of you, you just have to pick them up and grind it out.
Photo courtesy of Roger Marin
What are other talents that you have?
I’ve always enjoyed trying new things. I grew up playing handball, I was an illustrator throughout middle school, I played the trumpet in high school and in college I learned how to finesse a 20 page paper a day before it was due. You also ran a marathon, how did that make you feel?
It wasn’t really marathon, it was only a 5K, but to me it felt like one. My gym partner loves cardio and wanted to do it so I did it to be supportive. I trained 0 days for it and still managed to finish in less than 30 minutes. However, those 30 minutes had me feeling like a truck ran over me 30 times for the next 5 days, I could barely walk or go to the gym. I wanted to quit every step I took and it was the second hardest thing I have ever done, the first was fasting for Ramadan, so I could better understand my Muslim friends culture. I’m not built to run, I’m built to stand in one place and lift 500 pounds one time.
In such a challenging time, what do you see in this world?
There’s a lot of negativity in the world right now, senseless killings, an idiotic US President that promotes racisms, immigration and separation and high depression/suicide rates. I had a friend, I lost to suicide last year and this year the world lost legendary handbag designer Kate Spade to suicide as well. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular person or a rich celebrity, the way people feel about themselves is priceless. At present, I’m working on a project in the hopes of addressing some of these issues.
Photo courtesy of Roger Marin
Who would you love to compete against?
I never really thought of that. In power-lifting you’re always competing against yourself. Your will power is the offense, injuries are the defense. Where would you like to compete?
At the moment power-lifting is not an Olympic sport, there is Olympic lifting, which is very different, but I think most athletes dream would be to compete in the Olympics. The next best thing is the Power-lifting World Championships and US Open, for my weight class I’m far from qualifying, but at heart I’m already there. When you are personal training are you tailoring it towards Power-lifting?
No, I’m tailoring it towards what the client’s goals are, some want to gain muscle, some want to be lean, a few want to be the strongest person on their block, but most just want to look good for the beach. Currently, I don’t have a high clientele. I feel that most of the people that have asked me to train them want the easy way, they just want to drink a “fit-tummy-tea” and wake up with a flat stomach or do one “12 minute abs” session at Planet Fitness and have abs for the summer. Achieving your dream body is a marathon not a sprint, but most don’t want to accept that reality.
Who would you like to train with? Who inspires you to keep succeeding in these kinds of competitions?
There’s a few power-lifters I follow on Instagram, that I would love to train with. They are 2017 all-time world record holder at 198lbs Ben Pollack, 16-time world record holder Dr. Stefanie Cohen, owner of Zoo Culture Bradley Martyn, my boy Jay who has always been there to give me advice when I needed it and finally the one and only Mr. Olympia himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. My gym partner Katherine inspires me. She’s a full-time mom of 3, full time Senior Assistant Director at her job and full time gym addict. I used to always make excuses for a lot of things, but she made me realize if you really want to do something you will do it, no excuses. Till this day, we motivate each other to go hard, not only at the gym, but at anything we want to do in life. Is there anything that we should be looking out for in the future?
I’m lifting 400lbs+ on a weekly basis, so powerlifting is slowly taking it's toll on my central nervous system. Who knows, one day I might make the switch to body building and you might catch me in a thong on a stage somewhere flexing. I’m also currently working on starting a clothing brand, called Gutter & Goliath. The design phase is almost complete and then will be going into manufacturing soon. It will be catered to power-lifters, but also anyone who comes from the trenches and has ever faced any adversity that seemed impossible to overcome. I want this brand to accomplish 2 things: raise awareness as to what power-lifting is and let people know they are strong enough to face their fears. From trying to pass that math test you need to graduate, to overcoming drug addiction and depression, fear is just an illusion.
Video Courtesy of Roger Marin
What do you want to get out of winning in power-lifting competitions? Which awards have you won?
It’s crazy when you think about it. In a power-lifting competition you do the 3 major lifts, Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. You get 3 tries for each and for each try you have one minute to complete your lift. I put my body through hours of hell almost every single day for months, only to compete for 9 minutes, but those 9 minutes are the best 9 minutes of my year. The look my mom gives me when I take my medal off and put it around her neck, that’s what drives me to win. I just want to make my mom proud as a thank you for everything she’s done. So far, I have only done two competitions. Last October was my first at the Columbus Day Classic in Long Island. I lifted 1055lbs combined (Squat/Bench/Dead :365/280/410) at 165lbs body weight and placed bronze in my weight class. This year in May, I competed at the NYC Big Apple Championships. I lifted for 1200lbs combined (Squat/Bench/Dead:455/275/470) at 155lbs body weight and placed gold in my class, best squat and bench press in my class and and best overall lifter. Currently, I’m training for the USPA NY State Championships in September and aiming to break a State Drug Tested record by lifting 1300lbs combined (Squat/Bench/Dead :475/335/500) at 148lbs body weight. But the greatest award has been achieving my dream body and the confidence that has come with it.
I know I always say this at the end of our interviews, but I really loved this interview! So proud of this young man and we look forward to following more, especially that new clothing line Gutter and Goliath, that he has coming out. I'm sure you agree! Thanks for reading and please don't forget to subscribe. We really don't jam up your emails and we appreciate the support.
Follow Roger on:
Power lifters mentioned:
Gym Partner Katherine - Kcruceta
Benn Pollack - phdeadlift
Dr. Stefanie Cohen - steficohen
Owner of Zoo Culture Bradley Martyn - bradleymartyn
Jay - Kakarotstrength and finally the one and only
Mr. Olympia himself, Arnold - Schwarzenegger
Columbus Day Classic in Long Island