For Captain Mike
Ferrantelli of the Pasco County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office, the answer to the
question of off-duty activities is easy: bench press. He is literally a world champion
at it. During the 2013 International Powerlifting Federation Masters Bench
Press World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, he won the Gold Medal. He
won the championship by lifting 578.8 pounds in the 231-pound weight class.
powerlifting career, Ferrantelli has won five other world titles, 10 national
titles, and broken more than 40 American, National, and World Drug Free
records. However, he didn’t always have the competitive edge. Rather, he
weighed only 125 pounds in high school, and was cut from the school football
team. His dad inspired him to start working out, and his commitment to physical
fitness has continued ever since.
the Sheriff’s Office out of high school, and now at 47, has already served 28
years with the agency. He is currently the captain of the operations division
for Court Services Bureau. He also mentors individuals at the local YMCA and
conducts “Say No to Drugs” seminars at area high schools upon request.
To prepare for
the Prague event, he tried to ensure that he ate five to six meals a day
consisting of 60 percent protein, 30 percent complex carbohydrates, and 10
percent essential fats. He followed this 80 percent of the time, while he
indulged in other foods he wanted the rest of the time.
went through a 15-week training camp. When he trains, he stretches the
particular muscle groups he will be working. He breaks up the exercises by doing
all pushing exercises on one day (chest, triceps and shoulders). The next day
would be all leg exercises, the third day all pulling exercises (back and
biceps), and then rest on the next day. He considers the first three days as
his heavy training days, and the three days after his day off are light
He varies the
repetitions and the amount of weight utilized, feeling that the human body and
all of its muscle groups should work in unison with each other. Given this, he
trains all of the muscle groups equally, and this schedule gives him a 96-hour
rest period between the various muscle groups.
training, he always starts light and moves up in steps, increasing weight
incrementally to ensure his body receives a significant warm-up for the amount
of exertion it will endure when lifting maximum pounds.
It took a
county-wide effort to finance his $8,000 trip to the competition. The entire
community chipped in, so he feels it wasn’t just a personal win, but a win for
the whole county. How does all of this training and physical fitness affect his
law enforcement career? It gives him a sense of accomplishment, encourages
respect, and helps with confidence. He also says that if he gets into an
altercation, he knows he can hold his own.
Jim Weiss is a retired lieutenant from the
Brook Park, Ohio Police Department and a frequent contributor to Tactical Response. Mickey Davis is a California-based writer and author.
World Push-Pull Champion
Jason Dexter, a Warren County, Ind. Sheriff’s Deputy, earned two gold
medals during the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, Northern
Ireland. In the 242-pound class, one gold was for the bench press, while the
other was for the push-pull. The push-pull event is a combination of a bench press
and a dead lift. He pushed 374 pounds and pulled 535 pounds.
Dexter has previously
competed in two World Police and Fire Games: Vancouver
in 2009 and New York City
in 2011. The Games are held every other year. Like most athletes, he is
calculating what and how much he eats. He takes in a lot of calories between
events, cleans up the diet as the event approaches, and eats four to five meals
the days he lifts.
Dexter is a frequent North
American Strongman competitor. To prepare for these and other events, he works
out four days a week doing bench press, military press, squat and dead lift. He
follows a 5-3-1 routine: five reps at about 70 percent of the target weight,
three lifts at 80 percent of the target, then one lift at 95 percent of the
The rural Indiana community has come together each
time to raise money for travel and lodging expenses. As a School Resource
Officer, Dexter is popular with students, parents and teachers alike. The trip
to Belfast cost
$6,500, and most of it came from community support. Dexter helps students with their
lifting and coaches fellow deputies to meet state fitness standards.
In addition to the personal
satisfaction of two gold medals in international powerlifting events, Dexter
says one of the benefits of this competition is the friendships he makes with
police officers all over the world. With all of the accolades, Dexter remains
very low key. When really pushed for details, there is no bragging. “I can lift
things other people can’t.”