Our 2022 Amateur Award winner gives special meaning to the phrase, “Go Big, or Go Home”! Currently ranked in the top 1% of all-time natural powerlifters in the world, Fort Walton Beach native John Newby likes moving massive amounts of weight around – for fun! After a successful sports career at Fort Walton Beach High School, Newby continued his athletic pursuits by playing football at both Saint Francis University and Cumberland University. When his opportunities on the gridiron ceased, his passion for the weight room only increased.
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Competing within the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA), Newby’s best meet lifts include a squat max of 727 pounds, a bench press max of 519 pounds, and a dead lift max of 655 pounds. His three-lift total of nearly 1,900 pounds makes Newby the current Raw Masters record holder, a division in which competitors are drug tested regularly, are limited to a standard weightlifting belt for back support, and are allowed knee sleeves only – no knee wraps allowed.
John and his wife Rachel live in Fort Walton Beach with their three daughters. He works with the Niceville Police Department as a member of the Tactical Response Team. In his free time, Newby serves as a certified state referee for the USPA competitions. He enjoys watching football and UFC, attending church with his family, and coaching others to reach their strength goals.