Janae Kroc

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Janae Marie Kroczaleski[1]
Matthew Raymond Kroczaleski

(1972-12-08) December 8, 1972 (age 46)[2]
ResidenceYpsilanti,[3] Michigan Grand Ledge[when?], Michigan
Other namesMatt Kroczaleski[4]

Matt Kroc[5]
Janae Marie Kroc[8]

Janae Kroc[7][9]
OccupationMarine, presidential security, powerlifter, bodybuilder, writer, pharmacist, model
Known forStrength athletics
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weightunder 220lb in April 2009[10]

255lb in December 2009[11]
240lb in October 2015[3]
~250lb early October 2016[12][13]

~230lb late February 2017[12][13]

Janae Marie Kroczaleski[1] (born: Matthew Raymond Kroczaleski) is an American who previously competed as a professional powerlifter and competitive bodybuilder. In regard to combined (squat, bench press, and deadlift) equipped powerlifting total, on April 25, 2009, in Iowa he set the male world record in the 220 lb. weight class with 2,551 lbs (composed of 738 pound bench press, 810 pound deadlift and 1003 pound back squat), which at the time was also the fifth highest total for the 242 lb. male weight class.[3][10] Matt no longer held the record as of August 21, 2010, when a 2,715 pound total was achieved by Shawn Frankl (the man who held the record prior to Matt) in Ohio.[14][15] In 2015, Kroc came out as transgender and genderfluid, taking the name 'Janae' and adopting female pronouns. She uses the name 'Matt' and male pronouns when referring to the time before her transition.



Kroczaleski served in the United States Marine Corps[16] from 1991 to 1995 and was selected for presidential security duty serving under President Bill Clinton. The tour of duty included time in Washington D.C., providing security for military officers at the Pentagon and for some of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1992 to 1994. Assigned to security duty for Warren Christopher (then Secretary of State) during the United Nations conferences in 1993, Kroc was later assigned to the security force at the presidential retreat at Camp David from 1994 to 1995.


Kroc began entering powerlifting contests after joining the Marines in 1991.[17]

In 2002, he graduated from college and bought a home prior to the 2002 USAPL Nationals. Later he went to London, Ohio, to train at a compound with Dave Tate and Jim Wendler.[18] Kroc also trained with Mountain Dog John Meadows,[19] Branch Warren,[20] and Johnnie O. Jackson.[21]

Kroc developed what he called "kroc rows", or dumbbell rows performed with extremely heavy weight and many repetitions.[22] He made a video showing 25 repetitions with 225 pounds,[23] and has been known to perform kroc rows with 300-pound dumbbells.[24] He also described lifting 300 pounds for 13 repetitions using straps; and both 205 pounds for 30 repetitions, and 175 pounds for 40 repetitions, neither with straps.[25] The 300x13 claim was verified at the 2010 Arnold Sports Festival.[26]

In 2017, after 18 months on estrogen, Kroc's performance was reduced to 210 pounds for 10 repetitions[27] and deadlifting 605 pounds.[28]

Kroc is a world champion, a world record holding powerlifter, and a National Physique Committee bodybuilder.

Seminar speaking[edit]

In 2012, Kroc spoke at Learn To Train Seminar 4. Kroc then shared this online from December 2012 to March 2013.[29]


Kroc graduated from Ferris State University in 2002 and is a registered pharmacist working in the specialty pharmacy division of Walgreens. Kroc had careers as a sponsored athlete under contract with both EliteFTS and MuscleTech, and as an author and model, having appeared in and published articles in many magazines including Men's Fitness, Powerlifting USA, MuscleMag, and Muscle & Fitness. Kroc is also a featured author for T-Nation. He joined YouTube in 2006.[30]

Personal life[edit]

In interviews, Kroc has described growing up in a trailer in a rural conservative area.[8] Kroc started working out with cement-filled Sears weights at 6 years old, including doing 100 reps on a 10-pound dumbbell, and at 8 years old constructed a weight bench out of a 2x4 or 2x12[31] on cement blocks and made a barbell out of milk jugs filled with sand hung on a stick. He weighed 118 pounds as a high school freshman, and, after graduating from high school at Standish-Sterling Central.

Kroc had three children with a woman named Patty; they split up in 2006. Kroc also married a woman named Lauren.[32]

In 2004, Kroc was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Kroc says he was the "Manliest of the Manly Men",[8] known as an "Ultimate Alpha Male"[8] before he transitioned. Kroc came out as transgender to friends and relatives (including 3 sons, aged 2/4/6 at the time[8]) around 2005.[8]

In April 2015, Kroc legally changed forenames from Matthew Raymond to Janae Marie, a name chosen by Kroczaleski's mother.[1]

In July 2015, Kroc came out as both transgender and gender fluid. Kroc is living as both genders,[33] describing often feeling like two completely different people trying to share a body, fighting for control.[34] After a solitary use of "her" in an open letter[34] (misrepresented plurally as "pronouns"[35]), HuffPo interpreted this as a preference.[16] Janae has used male pronouns when referring to Matt in the past tense.[36] Kroc has written of picking a gender to identify with "more" in the context of hypothetically being "forced" to.[37]

People described an Instagram post where Janae described undergoing facial feminization surgery more than one year before she publicly came out.[38] Earlier articles[39][40][41][42] state similarly.

After an August interview by Dave Palumbo,[43] in September Janae announced the start of a full gender transition, starting both surgical and hormone treatments, and stopping career lifting.[44]

In October, Janae referred to an interview where male pronouns are used to refer to Matt[45] as "one of my best interviews".[46] In the interview Janae mentions being 4 weeks into estrogen therapy, and taking a testosterone blocker.[45][47] That same month, Matt was mentioned on the cover of Muscle and Fitness[48] which featured an interview[3] and a photo shoot.[9] Matt was formerly on the advisory board for the magazine. This was the longest (highest word-count) story published to date in Muscle & Fitness, and the first to feature a transgender athlete.[49]

In December 2015, Janae's was the first featured among the top 63 most powerful comings-out of 2015.[50]

A 2017 facial feminization surgery was delayed due to an infection from a cat bite.[51]

Kroc is the subject of the 2017 documentary film Transformer.[52]


  • 2006 Arnold Classic WPO Powerlifting Middle Weight Champion
  • 2009 All-Time World Record setter in the 220lb class (surpassed in 2010)


Articles on Bodybuilding.com (as Matt 'Kroc' Kroczaleski):

  • Powerlifter to Bodybuilder? That's a Kroc! December 10, 2012[6] (revised August 10, 2015[53])
  • Matt Kroc's 'Kroc Row' Back Workout May 7, 2013[54] (updated July 29, 2015[55])

Articles on EliteFTS (as Matt Kroczaleski):

  1. Cutting Weight for the Pro Am August 30, 2007[4]
  2. Product of Your Desires September 2, 2009[56]
  3. The Key to Reaching Athletic Achievement December 8, 2009[57]
  4. The Kroc Row: Metroflex April 17, 2010[58]
  5. 3 Smart Ways to Survive a Diet May 3, 2010[59]
  6. The Final Hours and Results May 10, 2010[60]
  7. The Kroc Row: Training Legs with Starnes July 10, 2010[61]
  8. A Week of Training with Kroc August 9, 2010[62]
  9. Mental Meet Preparation October 26, 2010[63]
  10. The UGSS Return Story November 23, 2010[64]
  11. A Few Words About Discipline and Sacrifice February 2, 2012[65]
  12. Kroc's NPC Michigan State Championships Show May 15, 2012[66]
  13. I'm Not Like You July 1, 2012[67]
  14. How to Cut Maximum Weight for Competitions with a 24-Hour Weigh-In July 22, 2012[68]
  15. Advice for the Young Lifter July 29, 2012[69]
  16. Psychobabble Bullsh*t August 29, 2012[70]
  17. Matt Kroc Lost Footage (Part 1) December 12, 2012[71]
  18. Matt Kroc Lost Footage (Part 2) December 17, 2012[72]
  19. Matt Kroc Lost Footage (Part 3) December 30, 2012[73]

Articles on Muscle & Fitness as "M&F's resident iron game lunatic":

  1. Pyramid to a Pump[74]

Articles on T-Nation (as Matt Kroc):

  1. The Five Tools of Mental Strength, A.K.A. Balls February 9, 2011[5]
  2. The Confidence Switch March 23, 2011[75]
  3. A Ballsy Approach to Injuries April 26, 2011[76]
  4. How to Stay Motivated May 31, 2011[77]
  5. Building a Big, Freaky Back July 5, 2011[78]
  6. Big Bench Program for Strength and Size July 27, 2011[79]
  7. Eat to Get Big Without Getting Fat August 30, 2011[80]
  8. Choices September 28, 2011[81]
  9. 5 Surefire Steps to Setting Goals October 31, 2011[82]
  10. Gruesome Tales from the Garage December 13, 2011[83]
  11. Bands For Size and Strength March 19, 2012[84]
  12. Get Your Mind Right! April 10, 2012[85]
  13. Kroc Rows 101 May 14, 2012[86]
  14. 12 Weeks to Ridiculous Wheels November 29, 2012[87]
  15. Adversity Makes Us Stronger March 3, 2014[88]
  16. Heavy Deadlifting 101: Tips from an 810 pound Deadlifter May 2, 2014[89]
  17. The Simple Deadlift Program June 3, 2014[90]
  18. The 1000-Rep Arm Workout August 28, 2014[91]
  19. 10 Rules of the Insanely Strong November 10, 2014[92]


  • Insane Training: Garage Training, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, and All-Out Bad-Ass Workouts (2014) ISBN 1-25-002986-4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matthew Kroczaleski | Iron Man Magazine
  2. ^ a b c d Tuthill, Matt. "Transgender Powerlifter Janae Marie Kroc Shares Unbelievable Story". p. 1. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. He didn't just survive these bizarre rituals, he got on the lifting platform the next day and decimated the rest of the field. In 2009, he set the powerlifting world record in the 220-pound weight class, squatting 1,003 pounds, deadlifting 810, and benching 738 for a staggering three-lift total of 2,551.
    At the moment, she still looks a lot like Matt. The 240 pounds of lean muscle she amassed during several decades of powerlifting and bodybuilding aren't going away overnight.
    Kroczaleski built in the basement of his suburban Michigan home in a cookie-cutter subdivision of Ypsilanti
  3. ^ a b Kroczaleski, Matt (August 30, 2007). "Cutting Weight for the Pro Am".
  4. ^ a b Kroc, Matt (February 9, 2011). "The Five Tools of Mental Strength, A.K.A. Balls".
  5. ^ a b Bell, Mark (December 9, 2012). "Bodybuilding.com – Powerlifter To Bodybuilder? That's A Kroc!". bodybuilding.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Kroc is one of those dudes who can't just do something for fun; he has to do everything full-bore.
  6. ^ a b "JANAE KROC SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON HER TRANSGENDER LIFESTYLE". GenerationIron.Com. July 30, 2015. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. Janae Kroc follows up after his big announcement image caption: KROC SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON HIS TRANSGENDER LIFESTYLE
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Transgender champion bodybuilder Janae Marie Kroc – full interview". RoverRadio.Com. July 30, 2015. It was quite a shock, I'm sure, for everyone. I was known as this Ultimate Alpha Male, which is definitely an aspect of my personality. But for a lot of years I've been hiding a part of who I am. I've been out to my family and friends for about a decade now .. me being the Manliest of the Manly Men .. they've known since they were two, four and six (50 seconds in .. 16 minutes in)
  8. ^ a b Tuthill, Matt. "Transgender Powerlifter Janae Kroc's First Photo Shoot". Muscle & Fitness. Janae has granted only one photo shoot—for the October 2015 issue of Muscle & Fitness, on newsstands now.
  9. ^ a b Staff (April 25, 2009). "Matt Kroczaleski Breaks Shawn Frankl's All-Time Record". PowerLiftingWatch.Com. Powerlifting Watch. Retrieved July 28, 2015. Matt Kroczaleski (220) totalled 2,551 pounds today at the UPA Powerlifting Nationals in Dubuque, Iowa. The total breaks the previous all-time record held by Shawn Frankl of 2,540 pounds. Kroczaleski squatted 1,003 pounds, benched 738, and finished by deadlifting 810 pounds. Kroczaleski also holds the fifth highest total of all-time at 242.
  10. ^ Kroc, Matt (December 1, 2009). "Body weight changes for 12–1". MattKroc.Com. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. After a dinner of cod and potatoes I'm now back up to 255lbs.
  11. ^ a b "Taken this morning at 233lbs". February 19, 2017. I'm down from a peak of 254lbs in the fall.
  12. ^ a b "Approximately 4.5 months between photos". February 24, 2017. On the left 250ish pounds in early October 2016 and on the right 230ish pounds a couple days ago.
  13. ^ Soong, Michael (November 26, 2015). "ALL TIME HISTORICAL MEN'S POWERLIFTING WORLD RECORDS IN POUNDS/KILOGRAMS" (PDF). PowerLiftingWatch.Com. 220 (100) 2715.0 (1231.5) *12.57X Shawn Frankl (US/77) 8/21/10 (1060.0+875.0+780.0=2715.0 lb. @ 216.0 lb.) (Cincinnati, Ohio) (SPF) (the PDF author is specified at records overview page)
  14. ^ Downs, Steve (March 29, 2011). "Shawn Frankl: World's Strongest Powerlifter". Strength & Power. MHP. Shawn crushed the all-time total record in the 220 lb. class at the SPF Pro/Am Championships on Saturday, August 21, 2010 with a 2,715 lb. three-lift total! Shan finished with a 1060 squat, 875 bench press and 780 deadlift on his way to winning the meet, which was held in Fairfield, Ohio.
  15. ^ a b Nichols, JamesMichael (August 1, 2015). "Meet Janae Marie Kroc, Recently Out Transgender World Record Bodybuilder". Huffington Post. Kroc is sharing her story as someone who, while preferring female pronouns, says she feels both hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine .. Kroc also served in the U.S. Marines during her lifetime.
  16. ^ Green, Nate (May 24, 2010). "Matt Kroc is More Man Than You".
  17. ^ Matt Kroc, T Nation. "Kroc Rows 101". t-nation.com.
  18. ^ rear delt destroyer set. YouTube. March 25, 2013.
  19. ^ "Exclusive Hardcore Training Videos – Kroc's Bodybuilding Training Lesson – MuscleTech". MuscleTech.ru.
  20. ^ Johnnie Jackson & Matt Kroczaleski Powerlifting – Full Length. YouTube. July 16, 2014.
  21. ^ "EliteFTS.com Inc". Articles.elitefts.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  22. ^ EliteFTS.com – 225x25 Kroc Row. October 16, 2007.
  23. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2015. Private video, access only if authorised by owner
  24. ^ "Kroc Rows 101". May 14, 2012. While I have done 175x40 and 205x30 without straps, there's no way I could've hit my PR of 300x13 without throwing the straps on.
  25. ^ Kroc rows 300x13 at the Arnold 2010. March 7, 2010.
  26. ^ "#krocrows 210x10 without straps". January 25, 2017.
  27. ^ "Deadlifts with chains. 405lbs bar weight plus 200lbs in chains". February 15, 2017.
  28. ^ Part 1 December 12, 2012
    Part 2 December 17, 2012
    Part 3 December 18, 2012
    Part 4 March 1, 2013
  29. ^ "kroc001: Kroc's YouTube page". YouTube. registered 2 September 2006
  30. ^ "Interview With Elite Powerlifter Matt Kroczaleski". criticalbench.com.
  31. ^ Colucci, Chris (March 7, 2016). "Kroc: From Matt to Janae". T-nation.com. Janae Kroc: The girl most people recognize as my wife is Lauren. She's not the mother of my children, that was Patty, and Patty and I split up 10 years ago. Lauren was the girl I was with at the peak of my career.
  32. ^ White, Larry (July 27, 2015). "World Champion Bodybuilder Janae Marie Kroc Reveals She's Transgender On Instagram". Janae Marie Kroc, who was formerly known as Matt 'Kroc' Kroczaleski, announced on her new Instagram page that she is both 'transgender and gender fluid', explaining that she is 'currently still living life in both genders'.
  33. ^ a b Kroc, Matt (July 27, 2015). "Bodybuilder Matt Kroc Comes Out As Transgender". GymFlow100. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. living as a transgender woman being honest about her situation is very difficult
    I often feel like two completely different people trying to share one body with both fighting over who gets to be in control
  34. ^ Camille (July 29, 2015). "World record bodybuilder comes out as trans and gender-fluid". GayWrites.Org. Retrieved February 11, 2016. She used female pronouns to refer to herself in an open letter about her transition
  35. ^ Tuthill, Matt. "Transgender Powerlifter Janae Marie Kroc Shares Unbelievable Story". Muscle & Fitness. p. 3. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. "It's funny. Whenever I see pictures of Matt, I always thought he looked small," she says. "Whenever I see Janae, I think I look huge.
  36. ^ Tempesta, Erica (July 29, 2012). "'I'm an alpha male and a girly girl'". DailyMail.Co.Uk. 'If I am forced to pick a gender I identify with more it is female,' the 42-year-old said. 'However, this really isn't about me being a boy or a girl or something in between. This is just about me being me, who I am and who I know myself to be.'
  37. ^ Calderone, Ana (July 31, 2015). "Meet the Champion Powerlifter and Former Marine Who Came Out as Transgender". Kroc – who is the all-time world record holder in the 220-lb. class for her 1,003-lb. squat, 738-lb. bench press and 810-lb. deadlift – said on Instagram she underwent facial feminization surgery over a year ago
  38. ^ Zeigler, Cyd (July 27, 2015). "World record powerlifter is trans and genderfluid, living as Janae Marie Kroc". Outsports.com. It seems she had some facial reconstructive surgery in the spring of 2014 as part of her transition.
  39. ^ Rivas, Jorge (July 28, 2015). "A world record powerlifter has been redefining what it means to be transgender, one Instagram photo at a time". Fusion.net. Kroc has been open about her transition and has been sharing her experience with her 2,000 Instagram followers. The first picture she uploaded about a year ago was a picture of her soon after her facial feminization surgery.
  40. ^ Prince, Sam (July 28, 2015). "Matt Kroc, Transgender Bodybuilder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Kroc may have had facial feminization in the spring of 2014
  41. ^ Costello, Anthony (July 28, 2015). "Meet Janae Marie Kroc, the World Record Power Lifter Who Came Out as Transgender". TowleRoad.Com. facial reconstructive surgery she underwent in 2014
  42. ^ Palumbo, Dave (August 5, 2015). "LIVE WITH JANAE MARIE KROC (Formerly Matt Kroc)". RXmuscle.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2015.
  43. ^ Shapiro, Lila (September 26, 2015). "Before Caitlin, This Athlete Was Fired For Being Transgender". The Huffington Post.
  44. ^ a b Lacey, Stephen (October 18, 2015). "Post Script – The World's Strongest Woman". Janae describes herself in two extremes: an alpha male and a girly girl. She doesn't hide either of those extremes. On her own site there's pictures of Matt squatting 900 pounds. There's one of him screaming at the bar on-stage during a competition. There's even another one of him in his marine uniform.
  45. ^ "This is definitely one of my best interviews thus far". October 24, 2015.
  46. ^ 24 minutes in: "I've been on a full dose estrogen therapy the last four weeks, and a testosterone blocker."
  47. ^ "Transgender Bodybuilder Shares Unbelievable Story". MuscleAndFitness.Com. World champion powerlifter Matt Kroczaleski came out as a transgender woman and rocked the fitness world.
  48. ^ Tuthill, Matt (November 12, 2015). "Afterword: Janae Marie Kroc –". Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. For a while, he was a member of the advisory board at Muscle & Fitness and I would have to hit him up for contributions to different stories
    it's the longest story M&F has ever published at over 5,000 words, and definitely the first story in the mag to feature a transgender athlete
    When Matt Kroc was a member of our advisory board, I considered his expertise totally indispensable
    as Janae she could provide a service that is infinitely greater than her technical know-how.
  49. ^ Towle, Andy (December 15, 2015). "I'm Gay, Bi, Trans, Fluid: The 63 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2015". TowleRoad.Com. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  50. ^ "So I'm supposed to be in New York City getting ready for facial feminization surgery tomorrow morning but instead I'm in a hospital in Pennsylvania being treated for an aggressive infection". March 12, 2017. Before we left yesterday my cat Dawkins bit me when I grabbed him from behind trying to get him away from some other people. By the time we left for New York it was swelling and becoming painful. It worsened rapidly and by the time we were half way to New York I couldn't even hold the steering wheel. I was running a fever and my arm was in really severe pain. I went straight to the ER. They started IV antibiotics and admitted me right away. Today the fever is gone and the symptoms are improving.
  51. ^ Peter Knegt, "What's queer at Hot Docs? A guide to everything LGBTQ at North America's biggest documentary event". CBC Arts, April 25, 2018.
  52. ^ "Powerlifter To Bodybuilder? That's A Kroc!". Bodybuilding.com. December 9, 2012.
  53. ^ "Bodybuilding.com – Matt Kroc's 'Kroc Row' Back Workout". bodybuilding.com. May 6, 2013. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013.
  54. ^ Kroczaleski, Matt 'Kroc' (May 6, 2013). "Matt Kroc's 'Kroc Row' Back Workout". Bodybuilding.com.
  55. ^ "Product of Your Desires".
  56. ^ "The Key to Reaching Athletic Achievement".
  57. ^ "Kroc Row: Metroflex".
  58. ^ "Smart Ways to Survive a Diet".
  59. ^ "Final Hours and Results".
  60. ^ "Kroc Row: Training Legs with Starnes".
  61. ^ "Week of Training with Kroc".
  62. ^ "Mental Meet Preparation".
  63. ^ "UGSS Return Story".
  64. ^ "A Few Words About Discipline and Sacrifice".
  65. ^ "Kroc's NPC Michigan State Championship Show".
  66. ^ "I'm Not Like You".
  67. ^ "How to Cut Maximum Weight for Competitions with a 24-Hour Weigh-In".
  68. ^ "Advice for the Young Lifter".
  69. ^ "Psychobabble BS".
  70. ^ "Lost Footage Part 1".
  71. ^ "Lost Footage Part 2".
  72. ^ "Lost Footage Part 3".
  73. ^ "Matt Kroczaleski's Arm Workout". Archived from the original on February 13, 2016.
  74. ^ "The Confidence Switch".
  75. ^ "A Ballsy Approach to Injuries".
  76. ^ "How to Stay Motivated".
  77. ^ "Building a Big, Freaky Back".
  78. ^ "Big Bench Program for Strength and Size".
  79. ^ "Eat to Get Big Without Getting Fat".
  80. ^ "Choices".
  81. ^ "5 Surefire Steps to Setting Goals".
  82. ^ "Gruesome Tales from the Garage".
  83. ^ "Bands For Size and Strength".
  84. ^ "Get Your Mind Right".
  85. ^ "Kroc Rows 101".
  86. ^ "12 Weeks to Ridiculous Wheels".
  87. ^ "Adversity Makes Us Stronger".
  88. ^ "Heavy Deadlifting 101".
  89. ^ "The Simple Deadlift Program".
  90. ^ "1000-Rep Arm Workout".
  91. ^ "10 Rules of the Insanely Strong".