The world is coming to Anaheim, but Newport Beach’s Bill Johns is on the road less traveled and with the most weight carried.
Johns, a master-level weightlifter who trains at UFC Gym in Costa Mesa, has been watching his numbers escalate like the Dow Jones Industrial and Orange County real estate values.
But Johns doesn’t contend in the same vain as most of his competitors, who work in the fitness, weightlifting or strength-training business and train every day.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Johns, a businessman and entrepreneur, as well as husband and father of two young boys, enjoys competing in weightlifting, especially when he outmuscles the field like he did in July by winning the California State Games in San Diego.
Now, at No. 2 in the U.S. men’s 40-44 age group/85 kilogram class (187.393 pounds), he could shock the world at the 2017 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships Nov. 28 through Dec. 6 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
“When I go to those competitions, I compete and leave,” Johns said. “The rest of the guys are in the gym. They live for this lifestyle. They look at me (different) … there’s nothing in it for me (promotionally or financially). I’m just having a good time. It’s super fun.”
Considered a “hobby” for Johns, he’s thrilled to qualify for this year’s world championship in Anaheim because the 2018 worlds are in Spain and Johns’ wife, Irina, is already shaking her head no.
Johns credits his recent climb in results to his latest workouts, which includes mostly weightlifting instead of cross training, and new trainer Jeff Morgan’s suggestions have been helpful. At the California State Games, Johns cleared 120 kilograms in the snatch and 143 in the clean and jerk.
“I was prepared for (the State Games),” said Johns, who can hardly contain himself with excitement over the numbers he’s putting up.
“I’ve had the honor of coaching Bill for the last few months – what a beast,” Morgan said on social media. “Congratulations on winning the Cal State Games and moving up the rankings to second in the U.S. (Johns) went 5 for 6, making a 120-kilogram 215 (pound) snatch and 143kg 315 clean and jerk, just missing a jerk at 155kg 341. Not bad for 40 years old.”
Last year at the U.S. Nationals in Georgia, where Johns was second, he snatched 115 and clean and jerked 136.
With the world championships in Anaheim in his sights, Johns is hoping to push those numbers higher again, and any…