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Learn all about Anthony Clark's career and what got him started in the first place. Also, find out what he thinks of fellow competitors!

By: Critical Bench

What's your name for the record? - Anthony Wayne Clark.

How old are you? - 34 years old.....born 1966 in the Philippines.

Anthony ClarkHow long have you been lifting? - I've been lifting for approximately 21 years.

So more than half your life. How did you get started? - "I was a skinny little kid just trying to look for an outlet. I remember my dad had a 110-lb Sears weight set and a DP bench so I started lifting there so I thought if I could build my body I could protect myself.

Cool. Ok, 83 was your first record. Age 15. How much was it? - 370. At 16, I did 440. At 17, I set a high school record at 520. At 18 I did 600, at 19 I did 612, at 22 I did 650, 23 I did 675, did 700 at 24, 720 at 25, and at 26, I did 735 and then I went on to do 748, 750 at Texas, the Great Bench Press of America Meet. I attempted 800; I had 14 attempts at 800 and then in 96 you know we did 770, 780 at the Olympia and then 785 and at the Arnold Classics we hit 800 in 97.

So. Here we are today and what's going on with Anthony Clark? - Well, we're doing a lot of things, Tim. You know, as you can see, I'm doing a lot more ministry working with a lot of kids, speaking to a lot of schools all over the country and doing that. But also too, I have my own line of supplement, trying to promote that all over the country called Terra Forma. So I'm working with a company called Terra Forma and it's really been pretty good. We haven't done a lot of marketing but we've been doing that, I've been on the phones. So not only that, I have my own gym you know, the PowerHouse. My partner and I, Steve Wickersham, we're building another gym out in Caty so that's approximately out about 60-90 days and it'll be finished. So I'm doing a lot. Then got a video coming out pretty soon.

So that gets us to today. So in '93-98, you've been setting records in the bench, the total and the squat but mainly in the bench you've been setting records 700+ for the last say, 5-6 years. - Right.

So how does it feel when today people hear about you going to lift again, the first thing out of their mouths is "Oh, he's making a comeback" - Well, I think because they're saying I'm making a comeback; I've been on a hiatus. I've been just, you know, doing a lot of speaking engagements and not competing like I used to full boar. Hitting 2 or 3, I mean, 3 or 4 meets a year. They've been like 1 or 2 meets a year now. So. Now I know, another thing about the 1 or 2 meets a year.

What's this crap about bomb outs? - Ok. I think the bomb outs. Let me just say one thing. Not making excuses because I'm not a man of excuses bombing out, the bomb outs have been pretty much, you know, I still have a lot on my plate, you know, training's been adequate, not like it used to be, like, since now I'm like a business person too I also have to pay attention to my business. I have to put food on the table and clothes on my back. But let me just say this. The bomb outs. They've been not because I couldn't do the weight , its because I guess you know really training you have to be precise in training and I haven't been paying attention to details and so, but then like I said, there's no excuses and, uh, you know, I still am alive and I will compete again to make a successful lift.

Speaking of being alive, how do you feel every year you hear that you died? - I die laughing. Matter of fact, tell you the truth, Peter Thorn just told me, you know, I was speaking to Peter, he say's I just talked to someone and you just died. I say's, no he can't be dead because I just talked to him. I said, it kind of humors me. But I guess if people want me dead, that's just the way it is, you know? But I am alive and still lifting.

As far as your health, it is true that 6 months ago you were in the hospital? - No it's about a year ago now. About a year ago yeah I did go in the hospital and yes it was like a for a, lets see, something about my heart but it was really because of stress and I'd been working really hard and my immune system was really down and I did go in the hospital for like 12 days.

Well, physically what happened? - Physically I lost a lot of weight and I was just, uh, you know and, mental distraught because I just working real hard, had some problems, you know, I had some issues I had to deal with.

Being a guy also, what's really important to a top level lifter like you is the better you'll do, how you're lifting with less stress. - Exactly.

As we probably both know, the two main factors that will bring on this stress are females and money. - Exactly.

So, are you married today? - No, I'm not married today. Thank god I'm not. But you know not for the choices that I have made but, uh, you know hopefully one day I'll be married.

Money? People see your name or see your pictures in a magazine or on TV or talk shows and they assume you're a millionaire. - Exactly. I laugh at that, but you know what? I guess it's been an image then that's been portrayed, but from the sport, do not make any money, I do not make any money. It's been pretty awesome that now you have the WPO trying to provide you with some money and some winnings when you do participate, but you can not earn a living out of powerlifting.

Anthony Clark

So how do you make money being a powerlifter? - Well, I make my money by sponsorships. Sponsorships and guest appearances, that's how I make my money.

So you got to sell yourself? - So I got to sell myself but if I don't sell myself I don't eat. It's either feast or famine.

Speaking of feeding, I'm hungry now, but anyway, what does it cost Anthony Clark a day to live? - Well, I think, you know, let's put it down in weeks. I think it costs me since ...

Because I've been in a restaurant with you before and it's been a hundred dollar bill just for you! I know it costs something to eat. - I'm not very dead, I'm hoping to get married so, you know, since I don't have that home type cooking at home it cost me between about 400-450 a week just to eat.

That's just your food bill? - That's my food bill. That's a lot, that's 1200-1300 a month on food so thank god I got sponsorships to feed me. You know, I got Terra Forma. Terra Forma's one of my sponsors. I've got Octubeck that works in truck (?) accessories, I have Superfeet and Powerhouse Gym. And, oh yeah, I do have a restaurant called La Costa.

They feed you free? - They feed me free.

Cool, we got to go there. Speaking of Powerhouse, alright, they've been with you a long time. - Yeah, Powerhouse has been really great, they've been one of my major sponsors. At first they provided me with a truck, they bought me a Dodge truck, remember that one? So it was pretty nice, and, uh, they've hooked me up with franchises and, uh, been really great. Great people and good to work with.

So is it fair to say that without those sponsors, you probably would not have been able to live like you are? Not if you, for a couple years and then you would have to kick back into the public and go make a living and not lift. - Well I think so. Well I think that without the sponsors I probably couldn't have the kind of image that I do have as far as getting out there and doing a lot of speaking and just doing, promoting powerlifting as a whole. So you're right, I'd probably had to work a 9-5 job and probably cut down my own lifting, too, a lot.

Ok, well, what do you weigh right now?- I approximately weigh about 335 lbs. right now.

And how tall are you? - About 5' 8".

Is that a real 5'8"?- Well, maybe. Maybe contemplating 5'8".

Anthony ClarkSo how much would Anthony Clark ideally like to weigh? - Ideally, I'd like to weigh about, I think my best weight is between 335 and 340 as far as overall lifting.

Where is Anthony going? - Well, my eyes are on the prize now. You know, I believe that Gary said to Mark now, Gary Frank's, which is an awesome guy, believe me, I think he's a great guy and he's good for the sport. I think he's good to look up to. You know, he's setting the pace right now and I think that's what I need, someone to set the pace because for so long there was no one out there. You know, you had Ed Cohen but I believe, Ed Cohen's a good lifter, but I believe that this Gary Franks just really puts me in a mode where, hey, you got to get after it.

Now that we got through a bunch of the typical crap that we got to interview about, let's get down to some serious shit. How do feel about getting snubbed at the Arnold Classic, you and Jamie Harris? - Ok, I figure, you know, snubbed is pretty kind of a harsh word but I believe, yeah, I think we did get kind of ax out there.


JR Hunt, Anthony Clark, Jamie Harris and Marvin Teeter

Ok, my point is, you and Jamie Harris, the only people who ever benched over 750, and yet neither one of you got invited. That's kind of f@cked up. - Well, I think it's kind of messed up too. But you know what? I believe it's that, you know, they were looking and you know, I asked them about that, and they were looking on actions, you know, precedents, didn't do good at past performances and so I kind of understood there but I didn't understand where we couldn't have been invited there to be even to maybe even celebrities out there, or even to, like hey listen, we're out there, we've been the best before and we're going to be the best. Well, I still am the best. The bench press record hasn't been broken.

What do you consider yourself? - Ok, I consider me a, like you know, I consider me blessed to be in this sport. I think there's a lot of other legends, I think me as a legend as a whole? I think I'm a good lifter and, uh, but I don't know, wait till we're finished. But I believe that, you know, you have Bill Kazmaier...

Time will tell. - Yeah, time will tell, Bill Kazmaier was a legend, I believe that he was a role model that I looked up to and I think he's a, you know, still a role model of mine and, uh, and you know, there's some other people coming up and uh there's going to be some really awesome, like I said, the best is yet to come, we'll see.

So, has Anthony Clark ever considered the Worlds Strongest Man Contest? Or is your cardio lacking? - Ok. laugh. Cardio, you need a lot of cardio to do the World's Strongest Man Contest. Well I had done the World's Strongest Man Contest in 1992, I was in Japan and that's when we did the elephant lift and all kinds of stuff like that so uh, It was pretty cool. We threw gold bricks around and, uh, you know, Japanese are really extravagant people so I got to go be apart of that so that was pretty neat.

Um, this is kind of an off-the-wall question but, do you feel like you get your share of publicity in Powerlifting USA? - Ok, do I get me share of publicity? I think I do. I think whether it's right, wrong or different, I still get my share. I think it's you know a lot of people throw a lot of smack but that's cool, you know, least I'm still recognized in the game. I believe all publicity is good publicity and that's like uh, one marketer says, you know, someone's talking about you, you're still in the game.

Ok. What's going to be your next meet? - Next meet, I'm looking for July 21st the WPO. You know, uh, everyone's going to be there, it's going to be a full meet and that's what I'm looking for. Successfully, you know, successfully compete.

So you're going to do all three lifts? - All three lifts.

Where's that going to be, in Daytona again? - It should be, they said in Orlando but I don't know for sure.

Speaking of your lifts, how do you feel when most of your lift records for the last 10, 15 years have been controversial? - Well, I believe that's just, you know, I mean, for me, the way I feel about them, I think, you know, I went there to the contest, I legitimately done them right under the rules, I believe they were legitimate. But after the overall effect, you know, I guess they're going retroactive, you know, to each his own. They're going to say what they're going to say but they were done and they were white-lighted so I mean there's, think about this, Tim... I mean, I've turned down 1100 down squat you know publicly how many people you know do that?

I agree. - Ok, 'cause I mean, I got white lights! It was good, it wasn't my fault that they said white.

So do you kind of feel like your lifts are before your time? - I think so.

Because your numbers are so big, I mean, like the 800 bench was three years ago. People are going, like, "ah, that's so far out of here it can't be legit". - Right.

You ever get that feeling? - Um, I don't know if they were so far out as my time, I think it was because, you know, I was so passionately hungry for that, because, you remember when the bench press wars come out? I had Jamie Harris, you had all these guys coming out, bam, bam, bam, so I had to get after it, you know?

You didn't have a choice. - Exactly, I didn't have a choice but get after it. And then, I had a good support group, you know, I got a good lifting crew, you know, you were part there, you were there each time I broke a world record.

As far as your, you mentioned your going to be at WPO next meet. - Mm Hmm.

So, can I get a commitment from you on this interview for the Mountaineer? - The Mountaineer? You mentioned that to me I think, uh, if I get my plane fares taken care of, I'll probably, you got a commitment.

I'll e-mail Nick tonight. Ok. I'm going to throw out some names and I just want your knee-jerk reactions; Ed Coan. - Ed Coan. Great lifter. Fantastic lifter just to say the truth.

Jamie Harris - Jamie Harris. Good lifter, surprise friend. Uh, got a, how can I say it?. Just a good guy but has a lot of anger.

Garry Frank - Garry Frank, Great guy. I think he's awesome, I think he's good for the sport. I think he's the man, I think he's good, I think he's just awesome right now. I think he's on fire and what better person can be the front runner right now.

O.D. Wilson - Never knew him personally but powerful, strong, big.

Kazmaier - Kazmaier. Laughs. What can you say about Bill? I mean, Bill, all the way around he still looks great, he's awesome, I'm glad he gave his life to the Lord. I think he's changed but as far as all around, he's powerlifting.

Ok. How about Brad Gillingham, the current IPF World Champion. That's pretty good. - Brad Gillingham. Young kid, awesome, lot of potential and I wish him luck. He's doing great, you know, I think, from what I hear, he's a good kid, he's a good role model.

Mark Henry - Mark Henry. Never knew Mark personally but I'm sad to see he's gone. And I wish him luck in wrestling or whatever endeavor he's going to participates in.

Can you say he's one of the few in the sport that makes money off of it? - I think so. As far as the sports concerned, I think he had, uh, powerlifting was a springboard. So I think he did do it right. He had the opportunity, he took the opportunity, you know.

Jessie Kellum - Jessie Kellum. Aggressive. Uh, fireplug lifter, he's just a good all-around good lifter. That's all I can say about him. Jesse, he's just powerful.

David Waterman - David Waterman. Looks good. Awesome, powerful looking and amazing.

This is about a week after the Arnold Classic and I was up there, and of course I didn't see you, but this guy weighing 195 lbs, George Halbert, benches 683. What the hell's up with that? - That's incredible.

So a little guy, he's benching these big numbers. - It's motivating. It's motivating to see, especially George. I mean George is a, how can I say it, he's reserved but he's a good guy, all the way around, he's just nice. I mean, you know you can't say anything negative, he's just great.

Kenny Patterson - Kenny Patterson. Another good guy, looks good, versatile, you know, he's done multiple lifts, multiple records in multiple categories.

Ok. This one guy I want to ask you about, we seen his ads as of late in the magazines doing some smack talking. - Exactly.

And I'm not sure how to pronounce his last name, but I think it's Glen. - Chabot.

Chabot. What do you think of that? - You know, you know me, I'm always a humble person. Chabot shot himself. I think he shot himself in the foot by putting those ads out. Matter of fact, he didn't even mention so many of the great people who done great lifts like that so, uh, I think maybe he's a one-time wonder. So there's a challenge out to you, Chabot, prove me different.

Yep, you got it...Alright, what about this guy, Jason "Deep Squatter" Burnell? - Who? Who's Jason? Deep Squatter...laughs

Ok, fair enough. Ok, and this last guy I wanted to ask you about of course is Tim "The People's Champion" Brunner. - Tim. What can I say about Tim.

Now, I'm going to throw these names, these organizations out there at you. I want you to just tell me what you think off the top of your head. - OK.

USAPL - Is that a counter deal also?

That's an IPF affiliate. - USAPL Don't know enough about them. Really haven't kept up.

They're trying to keep the drug-free movement around. USPF - USPF I've participated in them, a lot of problems there. I think, you know, they took the best people out.

APF - APF - Arnie Frantz. A good guy. Think he, he loves powerlifting.

IPF - IPF, um, had a chance to participate but didn't.

That was in '94. - Yeah, '94, because of, you know, I believe if you want a world team you got to dish out the money, so.

Yeah. - You know, it's like, hey listen, support us.

Take care of us. WPO - WPO I thinks it's, uh, it's going to be a great organization. You got a good, you got someone that has a passion for powerlifting and one who wants to make it popular and a household name.

Um. What's your views on this division we have between drug-free and drug lifters? - Well, I think you know, my position is that to each his own. You know, uh, whether you're going to do it or not going to do it, that's your deal. You know, and if I , I believe that's it's good to have categories like that because you know your going to have decisionship; it's either your going to do or you don't. And that's what my position is. I'm not condoning anything because, guess what, why should I? You know, I participate in everything. So, either way, I'm going to go and have fun. That's what it's all about.

Ok. There's a couple names we didn't get to. What do you think of Rob Fusener? - Rob Fusener? I saw him lift. I think he's got great potential, I think he's going to be a force out there one day.

How about Louie Simmons? - Louie Simmons. Great coach, I think he's a good, good for the sport. Um, you know, he's helped me, he's help spot me sometimes and I think he's got a good eye for technique.

Now, for the last 10 years, you're strong points in your lifting have been your persistence and your consistency. - Right.

What do you think of that? - Well, I think you're right, but the last couple years that I've been back I've been sick, I haven't been persistent or consistent. Uh, due because of stress related and business related ventures.

Lack of focus. - Exactly, lack of focus, so, it gets kind of cloudy up there.

That should try to change. - It's changing, it's changing, Ok.

Lets talk about gear. - Ok

What do you wear? - Injury (?) vest is on, it's the best gear known to man.

What do you think about the two-ply? - Well I think the two-ply is awesome. Two-ply what? Two-ply shirt, two-ply polyester, that's the shirt I wear.

Have you tried denim? - No I haven't tried denim?

Why? - Why? Because I'm sticking to what works with me. I mean, I believe the two-ply denim has been great, uh, I haven't fell with it. Matter of fact, you know, once I've gotten my lift, I'm good to go.

Your good to go, ok. How much does the shirt add for you? No bullshit. - 75-maybe 100 lbs, maybe. I don't know, I'm thinking, maybe not even that much, maybe.

Ok so lets say you're doing 800 and it gives you a 100 lbs, so that's about what, 12-13%. - Ok, well, ok not that much. I say 50-60 lbs. solid pounds.

What's the most you ever done without a shirt? - Uh, 710.

Ok. Well have you tried the hardcore? - Oh yeah, the hardcore, awesome suit, awesome. It feels like it's loose but it's really tight.

It's nice, yes. I get asked this stupid question a thousand hundred million times and I know you get probably get asked this more....why are you doing the reverse? - Well, the reverse grip. Let me just show you something.

Isn't it true that the barbarians, that's how it all started? - Yep, it started out with the barbarians. But I put it up on the back shelf, you remember when 1991 at the state meet when I fell with 996 lbs?

That's in, uh. - Victoria

Yeah, Victoria, Texas. - Right. So I was out of the sport for about a half, well about a year. So I thought what could I get my name back in the sport?

Ah, a tool to get people to look at you. - Exactly. Look at me again. And God just spoke to me, he said "Andy, guess what? If you glorify me, I'll make you number one" And I was number one ever since then; since I went to the reverse grip.

Can you do as much reverse as regular? - I don't know, I haven't maxed out regularly.

You don't train regular? - No, don't train regular.

What's the most you've done regular? - Uh, 707.

Um, here it is, we're in 2000 now, the year 2001, where do you think powerlifting is heading? - I think powerlifting as a whole, if we keep the momentum going straight and forward, and not bicker so much, and hopefully we'll get an organization that will be lean and mean and structured where they are not featuring the federation as they feature their athletes. Just like in the NBA, they feature athlete; NFL feature athlete; they don't feature the federation.

So what, then Nick Busick with the Mountaineer and the kid they're doing with the WPO, shit, stuff like they're doing? - Yeah, stuff like they're doing I think is going to make a difference. We're going to be recognized one of these days.

Ok, you want to squash any rumors right now? - Yeah, I'd like to squash the rumors of the bomb outs. The bomb outs are just like I said, they aren't because I couldn't do the weight, it's just because of lack of detail. And I, uh, that's soon to change.

In your life? - In my life.

Next year, the beginning of March, where you plan on being? - Arnold Classic, I'll be there. I'll be there with everyone else and that won't be just to play.

Now I want to ask you some of my question, that I want to know at least. I'm assuming other people wondered the same shit but never asked. Do you ever want to have kids? - oh yeah, definitely man.

How many? - Whatever God will bless me with.

Cool. I want to know, when you go buy an airline ticket, do they charge you by the pound or do they make you buy two seats? - Laughs.

Ok, now be honest, when you walk on the plane, when your loading and it's packed, do people like, look at you, and you think they are saying "Shit, I hope he don't sit next to me"? - Yeah (laughing).

You ever feel that? - (Still laughing) Oh yeah. I got the vibes..."don't sit here, don't sit here, don't sit here, please!"

Ok. What size of a shirt do you wear? - T-shirt or regular shirt?

Bench shirt. - Special size.

Ok, keep your secrets. What size regular shirt, 3x? - You mean like a t-shirt, 4x.

Jeez. Can you dance? - Slow (starts laughing).

And I was going to ask you at the beginning of this, what's your formal education? - Formal education? Some child development teaching after high school.

So you're a high school graduate? - Yes, out of Houston.

Do you ever get tired of people stopping you when you're trying to take a plane or in a hurry, and they stop you, they want to take a picture, get an autograph and all that crap. Do you ever get tired of all that shit? - No, I really don't I think because, you know, you work so hard to get up to that level and I think it's just because people just want to take the time out. So if you can take the time out and go and oblige them, I think it's okay. But there's also a time for everything else. Like if you're eating dinner with your friends and stuff like that. Not the time to do it.

When do you think you will be done with powerlifting? - When God says I'm done.

Did you choose powerlifting or did powerlifting choose you? - I chose powerlifting because, like, I don't know if I told you the story, you know this Tim, Bill Kazmaier was a callus and you know, I set the goal to be the worlds strongest man and Bill was there on the magazine, Powerlifting USA, sitting on the porch, you remember that? Holding a PL USA and I said "one day I'll be the worlds strongest man and break his world record".

What do you think of chicks, girls, in powerlifting? - I think that, uh, you're going to get me in trouble. I think, let me just tell you this. I think it's good to see a strong and beautiful woman, let me just leave it at that one.

Since you said that, right now, who's the hottest looking babe in powerlifting? - You know, let me tell you Tim, I haven't really looked and I'm not looking so I think they are all beautiful women and strong.

Oh my God. That was a good one. So, anything else you want to finish up this interview with? - Let's just say this, that I hope that the people that seen or read this interview will take it that I am for powerlifting and powerlifting is part of my life but also, too, I just want to let them know that, hey, it's also competition. You know, when we compete, we step into a realm, where, you know, this is what we want to do, we want to make our dreams come true whether it's being a good lifter, or getting a PL world record or getting a PL record. You know, benching 315 or even benching 800 lbs. It's still in the form or fashion of what we want to do and it's part of our goal and part of our heartfelt. So what I can say to everyone else out there is that I'll see you at the finish line, wherever it is.

Cool... Thank you for this interview. - Thank You.

Some of Anthony Clark's accomplishments.

  • First teen to Bench Press 600 pounds 1986
  • A 1025 pound squat 1988
  • First man to reverse grip bench press 700 pounds 1992
  • First man to bench press over 700 pounds
  • 800 pound bench press record at the Arnold Classic 1997
  • 1031 pound squat
  • 771 Deadlift
  • World record powerlifting total of 2600 pounds
  • He has successfully benched 700 pounds or greater 17 times in competition
  • Talks to youth and spreads the meaning of the gospel sometimes up to 270 days a year

Thanks,

An Interview With Anthony Clark!
mwesterdal@criticalbench.com

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