Janae Kroc

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Janae Kroc[1]
Kroczaleski shaking hands with Bill Clinton
Matthew Raymond Kroczaleski

(1972-12-08) December 8, 1972 (age 50)[2]
Other namesMatt Kroczaleski[3]

Matt Kroc[4]
Janae Marie Kroc[6]

Janae Kroc[1][7]
Occupation(s)Marine, presidential security, powerlifter, bodybuilder, writer, pharmacist, model
Known forStrength athletics
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Spouse(s)Patty Stoll (married 1996-2006)[8]
Lauren Starkey (married 2010-2012)
ChildrenGarett John Kroczaleski (deceased)[9]
  • Jerry Kroczaleski (father)
  • Diane Kroczaleski (mother)

Janae Marie Kroczaleski[10] (born December 8, 1972 as 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, Kroc 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.[11][12] Kroczaleski 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 Kroczaleski) in Ohio.[13][14] In 2015, Kroc came out as transgender and genderfluid, taking the name 'Janae' and adopting she/her pronouns. She uses the name 'Matt' and male pronouns when referring to the time before her transition.



Kroc served in the United States Marine Corps[15] 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.[16]

In 2002, Matt graduated from college and bought a home prior to the 2002 USAPL Nationals. Later, Matt went to London, Ohio, to train at a compound with Dave Tate and Jim Wendler.[17] Kroc also trained with Mountain Dog John Meadows,[18] Branch Warren,[19] and Johnnie O. Jackson.[20]

Kroc developed "kroc rows", or dumbbell rows performed with extremely heavy weight and many repetitions.[21] One video of Kroc Rows showed 25 repetitions with 225 pounds,[22] and has been known to perform kroc rows with 300-pound dumbbells.[23] Kroc 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.[24] The 300x13 claim was verified at the 2010 Arnold Sports Festival.[25]

In 2017, after 18 months on estrogen, Kroc's performance was reduced to 210 pounds for 10 repetitions[26] and deadlifting 605 pounds.[27]

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.[28]


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. Kroc created a YouTube account in 2006.[29]

Personal life[edit]

In interviews, Kroc has described growing up in a trailer in a rural conservative area.[6] Kroc started working out with cement-filled Sears weights at six 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[30] on cement blocks and made a barbell out of milk jugs filled with sand hung on a stick. Kroc weighed 118 pounds as a high school freshman, and, after graduating from high school at Standish-Sterling Central.

After wedding Patty Stoll in 1996, four years into their marriage Patty gave birth to their middle son Garrett John Kroczaleski on 15 May 2000. Kroc's son Garrett John Kroczaleski died August 1, 2022 at 22 years old.[9] Kroc had three children with Patty. In 2006 they divorced. Lauren Starky married Kroc in 2010 but they divorced in 2012.[31]

In 2004, Kroc was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Gender transition[edit]

Kroc self-described as "Manliest of the Manly Men",[6] known as an "Ultimate Alpha Male"[6] before transitioning. Kroc came out as transgender to friends and relatives (including three sons[6]) around 2005.[6] In April 2015, Kroc legally changed forenames from Matthew Raymond to Janae Marie, a name chosen by Kroc's mother, a name she would have chosen for a biologically female daughter.[10] In July of that year, Kroc came out as both transgender and genderfluid.

Kroc is living as both genders,[32] saying she often feels like two completely different people trying to share a body, fighting for control.[33] Kroc uses female pronouns[34] and prefers them.[15] Kroc uses masculine pronouns when referring to the Matt era.[35] In December 2015, Kroc's was the first featured among the top 63 most powerful comings-out of 2015.[36]

People described an Instagram post where Kroc described undergoing facial feminization surgery more than one year before she publicly came out.[37] Earlier articles[38][39][40][41] state similarly. After an August interview by Dave Palumbo,[42] in September Kroc announced the start of a full gender transition, starting both surgical and hormonal treatments, and stopping career lifting.[43] In an interview from October 2015, Janae mentioned being four weeks into estrogen therapy and taking a testosterone blocker.[44] That same month, Kroc was mentioned on the cover of Muscle & Fitness[45] which featured an interview[11] and a photo shoot.[7] Kroc 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.[46] A 2017 facial feminization surgery was delayed due to an infection from a cat bite.[47]

Kroc is the subject of the 2017 documentary film Transformer.[48]


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "KROC SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON HER TRANSGENDER LIFESTYLE: Janae Kroc follows up after her big announcement". GenerationIron.Com. July 30, 2015. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. The power lifting and fitness community are still reeling from the news that Matt "Kroc" Kroczaleski has officially transitioned to being a woman. Now known as Janae Kroc, the power lifter addresses a few issues that have been brought up in the wake of his transformation on her official Facebook page.
  2. ^ Matthew Kroczaleski | Iron Man Magazine
  3. ^ Kroczaleski, Matt (August 30, 2007). "Cutting Weight for the Pro Am". elitefts.
  4. ^ Kroc, Matt (February 9, 2011). "The Five Tools of Mental Strength, A.K.A. Balls".
  5. ^ 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 c d e f "Transgender champion bodybuilder Janae Marie Kroc – full interview". RoverRadio.Com. July 30, 2015. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016. 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)
  7. ^ a b Tuthill, Matt (October 2, 2011). "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.
  8. ^ "Transgender Bodybuilder Shares Unbelievable Story". September 23, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Janae Marie Kroc on Instagram: "It is with the heaviest of hearts that I am forced to share this with everyone. Tragically, my middle son Garrett passed away unexpectedly early Monday morning while at home with me. I do not have the words to express the extreme devastation and heart wrenching agony we are going through right now. Many of you know how close I am to my sons and the special bond we have. There is nothing in life I have ever feared more than this. Garrett was an amazing son, brother, athlete, worker, and overall human being. Caring and understanding, he was a source of consolation for his friends, and had a special place in his heart for the homeless and those suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. We will find a way to make it through this, but we will never be the same."".
  10. ^ a b Tuthill, Matt (September 23, 2015). "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
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Soong, Michael (November 26, 2015). "ALL TIME HISTORICAL MEN'S POWERLIFTING WORLD RECORDS IN POUNDS/KILOGRAMS" (PDF). PowerLiftingWatch.Com. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 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)
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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
  15. ^ Green, Nate (May 24, 2010). "Matt Kroc is More Man Than You".
  16. ^ Matt Kroc, T Nation (May 14, 2012). "Kroc Rows 101". t-nation.com.
  17. ^ rear delt destroyer set. YouTube. March 25, 2013.
  18. ^ "Exclusive Hardcore Training Videos – Kroc's Bodybuilding Training Lesson – MuscleTech". MuscleTech.ru. Archived from the original on August 12, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  19. ^ Johnnie Jackson & Matt Kroczaleski Powerlifting – Full Length. YouTube. July 16, 2014.
  20. ^ "EliteFTS.com Inc". Articles.elitefts.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  21. ^ EliteFTS.com – 225x25 Kroc Row. October 16, 2007.
  22. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2015. Private video, access only if authorised by owner
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ Kroc rows 300x13 at the Arnold 2010. March 7, 2010.
  25. ^ "#krocrows 210x10 without straps". January 25, 2017. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021.
  26. ^ "Deadlifts with chains. 405lbs bar weight plus 200lbs in chains". February 15, 2017. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021.
  27. ^ Part 1 December 12, 2012
    Part 2 December 17, 2012
    Part 3 December 18, 2012
    Part 4 March 1, 2013
  28. ^ "kroc001: Kroc's YouTube page". YouTube. registered 2 September 2006
  29. ^ "Interview With Elite Powerlifter Matt Kroczaleski". criticalbench.com.
  30. ^ Colucci, Chris (March 7, 2016). "Kroc: From Matt to Janae". T Nation. 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.
  31. ^ White, Larry (July 27, 2015). "World Champion Bodybuilder Janae Marie Kroc Reveals She's Transgender On Instagram". Archived from the original on February 22, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016. 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'.
  32. ^ 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
  33. ^ O'Reilly, Anthony (August 2, 2019). "Transgender Lifter Janae Marie Kroc to Compete for IFBB Pro Card in Men's Division". Muscle & Fitness. Retrieved September 23, 2019. Although she uses female pronouns, Janae identifies as gender fluid
  34. ^ Tuthill, Matt (September 23, 2015). "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.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ 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
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ 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. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2016. 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.
  39. ^ 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
  40. ^ 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
  41. ^ Palumbo, Dave (August 5, 2015). "LIVE WITH JANAE MARIE KROC (Formerly Matt Kroc)". RXmuscle.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2015.
  42. ^ Shapiro, Lila (September 26, 2015). "Before Caitlin, This Athlete Was Fired For Being Transgender". The Huffington Post.
  43. ^ Lacey, Stephen (October 18, 2015). "Post Script – The World's Strongest Woman". 24 minutes in: "I've been on a full dose estrogen therapy the last four weeks, and a testosterone blocker."
  44. ^ "Transgender Bodybuilder Shares Unbelievable Story". MuscleAndFitness.Com. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016. World champion powerlifter Matt Kroczaleski came out as a transgender woman and rocked the fitness world.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ "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. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. 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.
  47. ^ 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.