Featured Lifter- John Norcott

John Norcott has been a great lifter ever since he started competing in high school meets in Massachusetts. John’s strength has brought him multiple national championships and a professional football career. The last time he stepped foot on the platform, he walked away with the Junior National Championship in the 220lbs weight class at the 2011 Raw Nationals. His success helped Team Con-Cret’s men’s and coed teams place second at Nationals as well.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I just finished up my first professional arena football season with the Laredo Rattlesnakes in Laredo, TX.  Before the season I completed one semester of Graduate School in pursue of my Masters in Kinesiology at Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX.  I received my B.A. in Kinesiology from Angelo State in May 2011.  I was a two year starter at fullback for the Angelo State Rams after transferring from Dean College in Franklin, MA.  As a fullback I received back to back All Lone Star Conference honors and All-Region honors my senior year.  Working out is a giant part of my life.  I started working out at the age of 14 and never looked back.  I’m originally from Norton, MA.  I am the son of James and Michelle Norcott and have an older brother, Jim and younger sister, Janelle.  Family is very important to me and without them I would not be where I am today.

How did you get into the sport of powerlifting?

After my junior year of high school football a friend of mine, Mike Levine, told me about powerlifting and thought I should give it a try.  I have always been serious about training and getting strong for football so the strength came naturally, it was the powerlifting form I had to adjust to.  He told me there was a state meet in a few months and I should compete.  So in March 2006 I competed in my first meet at the MA State Championships and came in first.  From there it was all up hill.

What weight class or weight classes to you compete in?

I currently compete in the 220lb weight class.  But I have competed and won National Championships in the 198, 220, and 242lb weight class.

What are your best lifts?

Equipped: 639lb SQ, 419lb BP, 650lb DL

RAW: 563lb SQ, 369lb BP, 639lb DL

639lb dead lift at 2011 RAW Nationals
Gold medal at 2011 RAW Nationals

What USAPL National meets have you lifted in and how did you place?

1st Place 2006 Teen Nationals

1st Place 2007 Teen Nationals

2nd Place 2008 Teen Nationals

1st Place 2008 RAW Nationals

2nd Place 2009 Junior Nationals

1st Place 2010 RAW Nationals

1st Place 2011 RAW Nationals


Have you lifted in any NAPF or IPF meets if so how did you place?


Where do you train?

Wherever there is a gym with enough weight.  I started training at the YMCA in Attleboro, MA.  Then I trained in the college weight rooms.  When I got to Angelo State that is where my strength and conditioning coach, Kelsey Hite, really helped me excel in powerlifting.  He helped me with the 2009 Arnold RAW Challenge and back to back RAW National Championships in 2010 and 2011.  It is yet to be determined where I will be training for my next meet.  I am going to miss defending my 2011 RAW National Championship because of football.  So I’m looking to get back into training, I do not know where yet, and competing soon.

Do you lift with a group/team or by yourself, if so who?

I lift by myself, always have when it comes to powerlifting.

What current goals are you trying to accomplish?

Squat at 2010 RAW Nationals

I want to dead lift 700lbs, squat 640lb, and bench 425lb all RAW and all by the time I turn 25.

What is your greatest moment in powerlifting?

There are two, the feeling I had when I won my first National Championship and the feeling I had when I RAW dead lifted 600lbs.  It was just a very accomplishing feeling to know I can call myself one of the strongest kids in the entire nation for my first championship.  When I pulled 600lbs off the ground it was a great moment because I never did it in training and did not plan to lift that at the meet, which was at the 2008 RAW Nationals.  Once I got the first lift of 600lbs out of the way it has made me feel more confident about my dead lifting ability.



Can you tell us a little about your training routine?

I train 4 days a week.  Heavy lifting days are Monday and Tuesday while the lighter assisted workouts are on Thursday and Friday.  A lot of my lifting is based around training for football.  I do a lot of explosive lifting (as most powerlifters do) but I mean for football.  I do a lot of sled pushes and sprints as well mixed in with plyometrics.   Power cleans and hang cleans really help out with my dead lifts.  I just do a typical 5/3/1 routine, thanks to Kelsey Hite, with bands and chain work.

Who are your mentors?

John and his mentor Kelsey Hite

My brother is the one who got me into lifting so I would be crazy if I said he is not a huge mentor for me not just for lifting but in my everyday life.  He really opened my eyes to my true passion of lifting which made me realize I wanted to be around fitness for the rest of my life, which is why I got my degree in Kinesiology.  Other than my brother I would have to say Kelsey Hite, my strength and conditioning coach at Angelo State.  When I got to Texas for the first time he really helped me settle in and feel comfortable with the rest of the team in the weight room.  From there he sort of took me under his wing and taught me there is more to weight lifting than just picking things up and putting them down.  He helped me win 2 National Championships and improved my training habits a lot.

Do you have any tips that could help other lifters?

Perfect the form and the weight will come.  It is all in technique.  Do not ever stop working hard, there is no time to slack when you want to be great.  Greatness is not given, it is earned, go out and earn it.   Have a sound mind in a sound body.

What inspires you to keep training?

What inspires me is there is always more weight to be lifted.  No matter how much I lift, it is never enough.

John playing for the Laredo Rattlesnakes

What is your favorite music to listen too when your training?

Hardcore, metal, and rock are my favorite.   I like any music with a lot of yelling, pain, and emotion when I lift.

Do you compete in any other sports?

I play professional arena football.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Work hard, lift well.

About Mass-Lift 84 Articles
The mission of Mass-Lift Powerlifting is to promote drug-free powerlifting competitions, training seminars, and fitness events throughout the country. Overall, our goal is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle that will encourage strength and fitness enthusiasts to compete at local, national and international level.