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Ellinwood Chief lifts 3/4 ton total in competition
ell klKeffert

ELLINWOOD — As a stress reliever, and as a way to stay prepared for his job, Ellinwood Police Chief Art Keffer lifts weights most people would find unimaginable.

Keffer established four new state of Kansas records in the unequipped squat, bench press, dead lift and three lift totals in the 275 pounds, 50 to 59 age group at the Natural Athlete Strength Association meet on Nov. 13. Keffer squatted 612 pounds, bench pressed 408 pounds and dead lifted 551 pounds, which gave him a total of 1571 pounds in the three lifts.

"I think it’s fun," said Keffer. "It motivates you to improve yourself."

A graduate of Great Bend High School in 1978, Keffer always competed in sports. He began serious weight lifting in the early eighties.

In 1997-98, he won first place in the world association competition, and then second the following year. To compete in the world, he had to place first in both regional and state events.

After taking seven years off, Keffer has begun competing once again. He generally goes to a couple of meets per year.

He has no long term competitive goals. "I enjoy going to meets and having a good time," said Keffer. He exercises to stay healthy and because he wants to be around for a while.

The police chief’s training regiment benefits him in his work. He has been a police officer since 1991 in different capacities throughout Barton County, Dodge City and Oxford.

"If you get into situations where you have to fight somebody, want to last," he said. "You never know when it’s going to rear its ugly head."

Keffer started in weight lifting as something to do. He was active in sports at Great Bend High School, graduating in 1978. He lifted weights throughout school, but started seriously on the weight lifting in 1983.

Keffer has set up a training schedule for three days a week at a local fitness club. He begins his workout with 15 minutes of cardio, and then primarily works on the free weights using progressive resistance on an 8-12 week schedule.

"You have to find out what works for you," said Keffer. He developed his schedule after hearing what works for others and reading.

"Practice makes perfect," he said. At competitions, participants have to perform each lift correctly. Three judges watch to ensure they have done so.

On meet day, all three lifts are done with three attempts on each. Each lift has spotters. The winners receive trophies.

By the time he gets to the last lift, Keffer is ready to be done.

The chief is married to his wife Terri and has two stepchildren, Jeremy and Vernon. He also enjoys fishing, hunting and camping.