Big Numbers at the 2003 IPA Worlds

TAGS: deadlift, powerlifting, Elitefts Info Pages, barbell, bench press, training

by Anita Ramsey and Curtis Schultz
For EliteFTS

We both attended the 2003 IPA Worlds in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania this past August 8-10 and it got both of our competitive juices flowing. You couldn't help it. The chalk dust in the air, the screams of intensity, and the huge weight being moved was too much for two competitive athletes to handle. We were there to watch, cheer and give support to a couple friends who where competing that weekend.

It was like being in a room full of who's who in powerlifting. Let's set the stage. In the corner was Westside's very own Louie Simmons sitting next to mega-powerlifter girl, Amy Weisberger. Off to the side was Dave Tate from Elite Fitness Systems. The list gets bigger, with Bill Crawford (Metal Militia's very own and 785 bencher), John Bott, Nazareth Barbell's Mike Miller (760 Bench Press in the SHW at Bench America), and the list goes on and on. The only notable person that wasn't there was Ed Coan.

Anita made a very good observation regarding the overall look being donned by those in the warm-up room and pit. The clean-cut look was few and far between. As Anita surveyed the territory she turned and looked over at me and said, "You don't fit in very well with the rest of them, you're too pretty." Thanks, but my response was more of, "What are you talking about?" When she pointed out the tattoos, the bald heads, the goatees, the beards, and the stomachs of the powerlifters I knew she was correct. I am too pretty!

That's what we both love about powerlifting and something that it definitely has over bodybuilding or Olympic lifting. Powerlifters are a special clique, a "cult" if you will. A group of thick, strong and fun-loving individuals that love to perform on the platform. They are not into looking good or showing off. I once made the comparison of NASCAR to Drag Racing and their similarities to bodybuilding and powerlifting, respectively. Bodybuilders are NASCAR preppies and powerlifters are blue-collar, down to earth drag racers. Don't get us wrong, Anita competed in bodybuilding for years and we have meet some great friends who are bodybuilders that would certainly fit into the powerlifter personality of "blue collar."

The first day of competition opened up with the women. Brook Feneis, who Anita recently competed against in a Bench Press contest, was there and won her class as well as Best Lifter in her division. Brook is a teacher in Western New York and lifts with 1,000-pound squatter and 2003 Arnold winner Paul Childress. I guarantee that we will see more of Brook in the future. Brook did an IPA World record 440 squat, benched 215, and pulled 375 for a World record total of 1030. Nice job, Brook. Another notable was 114-pound competitor Janet Faraone. Janet is a terrific bench presser and a member of the Metal Militia. She opened with 245lbs which was a 5lb meet PR, breaking her previous IPA record of 240lbs. Janet went right to 267.2 and missed it, then took it again for a third and got it. She even went for a fourth attempt of 272.2 and missed it. Her 267.2lbs Bench Press was done at a bodyweight of 113lbs, surpassing long standing Russian champion Svetla Nikolaenko's previous record of 265.7. This new record lift is the heaviest bench press in the history of the world for any 114lb woman! This is taking into consideration all lifts recorded in all other federations and sanctioned meets. Now, that's incredible.

After talking with Janet she voiced her disappointment of her not being invited to the Arnold Classic. I have to agree with her as she is the strongest bench presser, pound for pound, in the world. While I'm on that subject I'm going to jump ahead and state the same goes for my buddy Karin Sizemore who holds the heaviest bench press (450lbs.) by any women. She was not invited to the Arnold Classic and was disappointed. I've always wanted to see Amy Weisberger lift and she certainly did not disappoint. Amy destroyed the 132 Pro division with a World record 515 squat, a 305 bench press, and a deadlift of 460. Mariah Liggett received two world records with a squat of 510, and a 275 bench as she won the 148's. All the way from Kansas City was Susan Patterson in the 198's grabbing her with a 400 squat, 310 bench, and a 460 pull giving her a IPA World record total of 1170. Deb Ames of Nazareth Barbell destroyed the SHW getting a 435 squat, 260 bench and 440 deadlift. Deb's got a lot more in her so watch out. My friend Karen Sizemore was ready to do some damage in the meet but had an accident with her squat opener and injured her hamstring. She will be back soon and putting up some bigger numbers.

Anita had a great time talking to the women and was asked repeatedly what sport she liked better; powerlifting or bodybuilding. The camaraderie of the female competitors in powerlifting is so incredible that while Anita's blood is still a "bodybuilder" she definitely believes that powerlifters are much more friendly and accepting.

Onto the big boys. Gene Rychlak hammered an 815 bench for an IPA World record. He just missed 880 by two inches which would have been a world record. Gene will get this with in a year, if not sooner. A 900 pound bench is right around the corner! Reverend Tony Hudson tried a 1040 squat 3 times in the SHW, and missed it 3 times. But, it was exciting to see him go for it each time. I'm going to talk about my weight class, the 275's, since I was watching a close friend, Dave Tate. Anita helped him a little bit with his diet preparation for the meet and got Dave looking and feeling good for the meet. On his 3rd attempt in the squat he was screaming and banging his head on the bar, drawing blood. God, I love powerlifting! I was screaming at the top of my lungs for his last attempt. 4th place was Hank Sargent, whose numbers were an 810 squat - 480 bench - 740 pull with a 2030 total. Now, 1st place in the 275's was by a young man right out of college and a new member of Westside Barbell, J.L. Holdsworth. J.L. is only 24 years old and hit an 875 squat, 675 bench, and a 725 deadlift for a 2275 total. No one was even close. Let's see how he is doing a year or so when all the responsibilities of real life (bills, mortgage, no-sleep, marriage) come. In the mean time, we both hope he rides his fortune as far as he can.

We will be at the IPA Nationals, which will be held on November15th & 16th. This meet, we were told, is always larger than the World's and we will see the absolute best at this meet. The IPA Nationals will be in the same place; the Radisson in Harrisburg, PA. We'll be there and maybe as competitors. First we have to do well at the IPA Halloween Bench/Dead Bash November 1st. Lifting in competition is a learning experience. You're always learning new tricks and information. We trained at Nazareth Barbell during our stay and in a short time the owners Mike Miller and Deb Ames where very helpful. Deb even let Anita borrow her old bench shirt until Anita gets hers made. Mike introduced us to Bill Crawford and immediately we were accepted in to the realm of the king of benchers.

It was great meeting all our friends and making new ones. To all that competed we apologize for not getting everyone of you in here, my fingers would get tired. We'll hopefully see you at the Nationals and our camera will be ready for some more big numbers. Good luck to all. If there is anything we can do to assist any of you in getting ready for a powerlifting meet, programs, contest diet, and supplementation prep then let us know.

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