The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is one of the Featured Coaching Logs at EliteFTS.

MONSTER GARAGE GYM is one of the premier powerlifting gyms in the US.

Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: (Log number LXV). “TRAILBLAZER!!!!”

The purpose of this log is to take a moment to say farewell to one of the trail blazers in the world of Women’s Powerlifting.

This past week (February 23rd) the powerlifting world lost one of the pioneers in Women’s Powerlifting and at the same time, the Frantz family of powerlifters lost one of their precious family members, Maris Anne Sternberg.


Although the vast majority of powerlifters come and go through our sport with little if any notoriety, there are some who make a positive impact in our sport.

Some powerlifters make an impact because of their big numbers, some powerlifters’ impact is because of their big personality and yet some powerlifters impact the sport via their big contribution to the sport and other powerlifters.

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Maris was known for all three. As far as big numbers, back in the 1980’s, Maris’ numbers were big, real big. Even in today’s standards her numbers would stand out. 605LBS squat, 325LB bench and 501LB deadlift. These were of course numbers in the old style equipment, like the shirts that you could put on all by yourself like a thick sweater and the practically ace bandage material knee wraps of that era were constructed of. But as true powerlifters know, strong is just strong and that is what Maris was.

As far as a big personality, hers was huge. When Maris was the master of ceremonies at a meet, it was her room and everyone knew it and everyone loved it. She was a lifters’, lifter and from her confident delivery over the mic, to getting the crowd pumped up for a lift, to that crazy little harmonica-kazoo thing she would blow into all the while waving her magic wand and wearing her sparkling tiara, her personality was larger than life. Having said that, Maris also had the type of personality could get even the biggest and baddest SHW to sit down and pipe down if she felt they were out of line at a meet.

And with regard to a big contribution to our sport, well, you would see that in how she treated all lifters with kindness and respect, from the multi-time world champions to the newbies at their first meet. Within the bigger picture, Maris was the secretary for the AMPF, which later became what is now the APF. She was also a political leader in the sport and was part of the whole APF vs IPF litigation back in the 1980’s. She along with Ernie Frantz were bulldogs defending their stance that among other things, a federation should be for the lifter and not just a money grab.

But it was Maris’ trail blazing that helped set the stage for the greatness of so many women powerlifters competing today. Even the ones who have never heard of Maris Sternberg owe her a debt of gratitude because she showed our community early on that women could in fact do strength sports at a time when that was unheard of. To that end, Maris not only showed that women could compete in this male dominated sport, but showed that women can also put up enormous numbers and could help set a tone and a direction for this sport we love so much. It is crucial to keep in mind that Maris put up these big numbers in an era when there was nobody, no female powerlifting role models to look up to. Who can you aspire to be like in lifting when YOU are the trail blazer? Take just a moment and let that sink in.


Over the decades Maris helped out countless powerlifters, taking the time to help whenever she was asked or felt someone needed a guiding hand. Yes, believe it or not, there once was a time when powerlifters didn’t have to pay for a coach as a coach was someone who would just help you out because they had the knowledge and it was the right thing to do.

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The accompanying video is of a number of our female powerlifters at the Monster Garage Gym, all who knowingly or unknowingly owe a little debt of gratitude to this amazing woman, Maris Sternberg, a trail blazer in women’s powerlifting.



The following link is from a 2004 interview with Maris conducted by Eric Stone. It is a nice snapshot into the world of Maris Sternberg. I hope you take a moment to read it.

As with all of our coaching logs, if you have questions about any of the information or need further explanation, feel free to message us on Facebook.

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