The Penn State University football team is doing its part in the battle against cancer, one grueling rep at a time


Tackling a Division I football player is hard, but tackling cancer is harder. With this in mind, 96 members of the Penn State football team participated in the 6th annual Lift for Life event on July 11 to help raise money for those battling the deadly disease. Lift for Life is a grueling competition that combines 11 strength and endurance events in a strength-training version of the decathlon (plus one more event for good measure).

Brett Brackett, a wide receiver at Penn State, explains how it works: "Our football team is divided into twenty-four, four-person teams. In order to make the four-person teams even, we divide the whole football roster into three divisions: the A division, B division and C division. The A division is for wide receivers, defensive backs and running backs. The B division is for linebackers, quarterbacks and fullbacks, and the C division is for the offensive and defensive lineman."

Each team is then given an even number of strength and speed guys. The eleven events they are competing in are listed below. "We get two minutes rest between the track events and 30 seconds rest between the field events," Brackett says. "So it's pretty intense."

The scoring goes by where you place. The team that gets 1st place in the event gets 24 points, 2nd place 23 points, last place, 1 point, etc.


1) Leg Curl — As many reps as you can do:
Group A — 145 lbs.
Group B — 165 lbs.
Group C — 185 lbs.

2) Leg Press — As many reps as you can do in three minutes:
Group A — 200 lbs .
Group B — 245 lbs.
Group C — 300lbs.

3) Bodyweight Squats: As many reps as you can do in 30 seconds.

4) 100 pound Plate Carry — 100 yards down and 100 yards back, right into the Coach Buddy (a lawn mower like pushing device), 100 yards down and 100 yards back. This event is timed.

5) Bench Press — As many reps as you can do:
Group A — 185
Groups B & C — 225

6) Pull-Ups — As many reps as you can do in two minutes: when one guy gets tired, another can jump on the bar, rotating until two minutes is up.

7) Iron Cross — Hold for as long as possible.

8) 100 lbs. Plate Carry, different grip — timed

9) Dips — As many reps as you can do in two minutes: same rules as pull-ups.

10) VersaClimber — Timed event, fastest to 1,000 feet. The team rotates climbers, as long as each player climbs for at least one minute.

11) Tire Flip — As many yards as you can flip the tire in five minutes.

When the events are done the scores are tallied and the winners announced. This year's first place team was made up of quarterback Daryll Clark, linebacker Josh Hull, tight end Greg Miskinis and tight end Mickey Shuler.

In the six years since the inception of the 'Lift for Life' event, the Penn State Football program has raised over $300,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association, including $75,000 raised through this weekend for the current year.

For more information or if you'd like to make donations, please visit: