In the early 1960's & 1970's when my Father was a powerlifter. He worked out at the YMCA in Springfield, MA and competed at Mountain Park in Horyke MA. He had many successful lifts in the 220 weight class. His best bench was 527 pounds at the body weight of 219. His squats were in the low 800's as were his deadlifts. Admiring this so much as a child, made me want to do it as an adult. I started lifting at the age of 16. My first competition was at the age of 19. My bench was 390 pounds at the bodyweight of 187. That's when it all started.
The first couple of years went slow. In the 220 weight class I was just hitting the low 400's, taking second on several occasions made me re-evaluate the way I was training and my life. I started making decisions to make strength training my lifestyle and not just a hobby. So my lifestyle it became.
Spending so much time in the gym made me give up hanging out with my friends. I even spent less time with my family because they could not understand how serious I was about my lifting. I was very focused and my goal was to be the best.
Being a 600 pound bencher in 1995 I got invited to the Greatest Benchpress in America hosted by John Inzer in Texas. I took second in the 242 pound class with a 600 pound bench press. This bumped me up into the big leagues and I was being recognized as one of the elite benchers. A few years later at an Iron Island competition in New York I benched 675 weighing 259. After that event I wanted 700 more than ever and that came in November 1997. Benching 700 with the body weight of 269 at the IPA Senior Nationals. That set an IPA record in the 275 weight class.
I was then becoming recognized as one of the greatest benchers in the game. Because of my past competition defeats I was invited to the biggest powerlifting event around, the 2000 Arnold Classic. I won with a 722 pound bench press weighing in at 277. I thought I had reached the ultimate goal, but it left me still wanting more. Being the top bencher was not enough. I wanted to be the best lifter of all time.
Taking a look at all the lifters led me back to the older ways of lifting. It brought me to Bill Kazmaier and his huge 19 year old record of 661. I saw Bill at the Arnold Classic and I told him, in a respectful way, that I would beat his record and on April 6th 2002, I did just that. I benched a clean 665 weighing 308. Bill Kazmaier weighed 330 when he did his lift of 661. I was another step closer to my goal. Now the only person left in the way to be the best of all time is James Henderson and come April 6, 2003, exactly one year after I beat Bill Kazmaier, I will beat James Henderson's 711. And then nothing will stand in my way of becoming the best in the world.
Fee free to visit my site at http://www.angelfire.com/al3/optimummuscle/system.html