Courtesy Ray Fougnier
Fougnier, 71, prepares to lift in front of a crowd of people. Fougnier is retired but continues to pursue a passion of his

Powerlifter Ray Fougnier Is 71 and Headed to the Championships

Simon Moya Smith

He doesn’t smack an alarm clock in the morning and quaff five raw eggs like Rocky, but he is up before the sun every day and sticks to a very calculated regimen.

The Oneida Indian Nation reported Monday that celebrated powerlifter Ray Fougnier, 71, will compete at the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June.

The retiree and former head of the American Indian program at Cornell University told ICTMN that, these days, he gets up at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for the six-hour time difference between his home in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Johannesburg.

Fougnier, who is a member of the Wolf Clan, said he works out three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – for approximately two hours. His diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables and protein, and that one of the most important components of his schedule is rest. “At my age I need to have more recovery time,” he said. “I can’t lift like younger lifters lift. You need to be a little more restrained in the type of abuse you put your body through. That’s why I only work only three days a week.”

Since ICTMN last spoke with Mr. Fougnier, he has not only come in first at several competitions, he also has broken records. Over the last year he emerged victorious at the Tennessee State Championship and the Michigan State Championship as well as set two records: the squat at 290 lbs. and total weight lifted at 890 lbs.

Fougnier said his objective for the world competition in Johannesburg is to bring home another medal and to help the American team take the gold. “The better I do the better it is for the [American] team,” he said. “I’m looking to medal in the competition [and], looking at the results of other lifters, I think I can do that.”


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