The badge and the bench
La PORTE — Deputy Bobby Greer has a lot of weight in his life. Being a police officer for the past 11 years, he’s seen a lot. Every day, he shoulders responsibility, frustration and stress.
And those can be heavy.
Luckily, Greer knows heavy. In fact, he knows about 490 pounds worth of it.
“It’s kind of like my outlet,” Greer said, a barbell crowded with 45 pound plates his idea of unwinding.
“If I have a rough day at work, it’s easy to go home, change, get to the gym. The iron doesn’t care about your feelings. The iron just wants to be picked up and put back down. That’s all it wants.”
Greer’s earned a reputation for picking up the iron and putting it back down. Around La Porte, most of those who seriously lift know of the K9 handler with the barrel chest. After all, he currently holds the USAPL bench press record for the state of Indiana at 441 pounds.
“That’s actually pretty humbling. I never realized that many people followed me,” Greer said. “The amount of love and support I’ve received from the community already is just unreal. And all that does is just pushes me harder when I’m at the gym.”
Greer may have only been powerlifting seriously for three years now, but he knows iron. He knows silver and gold too.
Last year, in Texas, Greer placed second in the USAPL Bench Press Nationals. In Los Angeles, at the World Police and Fire Games, he earned a silver medal for push, pull – his bench and deadlift combining for 1,001 pounds.
Just last month, Greer won gold at the USA Police and Fire Games in San Diego with a successful bench of 441 pounds.
“It’s a great feeling to know I’ve only been in this a couple years now and already put up a record. And then being able to get a gold and a silver,” Greer said. “There is still that drive though where I haven’t lifted internationally, and now I want to go against and see how the rest of the world does.”
Greer is going to get that chance. His success has done more than just capture local powerlifters’ attentions. When the time came to select a team to represent the USA at the 2018 Pan-American Bench Press Championship, the USAPL knew just the officer to call.
For Greer, who started with a goal of being in the Arnold Classic, the chance to represent not only La Porte,but the USA on a international scale is a dream.
“It just makes everything… that much better,” he said. “It’s kind of like the cherry on top of it all.”
Competition fuels Greer — it always has. From his high school days to playing football in college to even playing in softball leagues, Greer has always been driven by the desire to do better.
“I want to do better, especially with this because it betters myself. It’s healthier for me, for my job. When you’re in law enforcement, you can’t be out of shape. It can be your life or your partner’s life that is on the line. You’re going to need that extra mile you need to go to win the fight and be home at night,” he said.
While he wasn’t a stranger to the gym before, Greer credits watching Deputy Thomas Davis from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department as sparking his desire to get into powerlifting. He forged his bench pressing prowess in the fires of Strength Haven in Elkhart, with the help of his bench press coach Dan Gibson.
With a personal best knocking on 500 pounds’ door, Greer’s goal for Costa Rica is to score a judged lift between 465-475 pounds. If he can pull it off, Greer thinks one of the top three medals could be in his carry-on when he flies back home to La Porte.
For most people, the idea of having the weight of a grizzly bear pressing down on top of you could be hard imagine. Especially being in control of such dangerous weight.
“When you’re underneath there, you’re not thinking you have 450/460 on the bar. You’re thinking you’re at war right now with the iron, and you’re not going to lose,” Greer said.
It’s a head game, he added. If you think about the weight, you’ve already lost.
“The feeling you get when you get it up, it’s a relief but then overexcitement of joy. You set a goal, you hit that goal, but now it’s time to go past that goal,” he said.
Greer’s expedition for gold isn’t just making a stop in Costa Rica. In September, Greer will be competing once again on the national stage at the USAPL Bench Press Nationals in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Then it’s the world stage. Then it’s Oct. 26, Costa Rica, Greer vs the world. His chest may support the weight, but the community still has a chance to support him.
From now until Friday, “Team Greer” T-shirts and hoodies will be available for $25 and $40. Contact Greer on Facebook or visit or contact Adrenaline on Tap in La Porte – where Greer works out – to get on the ordering list.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to support Greer. To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/team-usa-bench-press.
To watch Greer compete in Costa Rica in October, keep an eye on his Facebook page for information about where to watch a live stream of the competition.
“When it comes to the time when I’m on the platform, I know I’m going to have the community watching and it’s one of those things where it puts you into a different zone… it’s ‘I’m going out there and I’m going to destroy these weights and I’m coming back with, if anything, a personal record,’” he said.