STRENGTH TECH, INC. WEIGHT LIFTING PHOTOGRAPHS
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We have a large number of power lifting meet photos and other weight lifting photos. We will be scanning them in as time permits. We are even still shooting some local meets.

You probably won't find any photos of your latest super hero powerlifter in here as these photos are primarily from the 1980's. You will find photos of some great lifters, great people, and great action. Many photos are of the "big men" of that era.

To reduce loading time, the photos are installed on multiple pages. There is a link at the bottom of each page. The individual pages can be requested from the photos page.


These photos, images, and files are copyrighted material. Copyright by Strength Tech, Inc. 1995, 1996, and 1997. They are not to be copied or reproduced without the approval of Strength Tech, Inc.


The 1984 Powerlifting World's (only one association back then) were in Dallas Texas in November. I was down front shooting photos and elbowing with my friend Mike Lambert from Powerlifting USA for the best camera position. (Ha !) I tried to stay out of his way and still get some great shots, which I did.

Photos of the meet program cover and tickets to this meet are in the miscellaneous photos segment.

The meet was held in a hotel (Green - something) near Reunion arena. I recall checking in and seeing a lot of broken glass and mirrors in the elevator lobby. When I asked about it at the desk, they non-challantly mentioned there had been a big shoot-out in the lobby earlier that day when an armored car came by to pickup some money.

The large scoreboard you see in the background of several of the photos was reported by Powerlifting USA to be the largest scoreboard ever used for a powerlifting meet. You might want to compare it to the huge board in the 1975 World Olympic Championships photo in this collection.

The first two are of Lee Moran a super-heavy. He had recently squatted a 1003. He had recently dropped a 1000+ squat attempt in a meet due to a spin lock collar slipping off. You can read about that in the Weightlifting Stories segment of the Weight Lifting Section. The meet director at the World's, Chip McCain, asked me to supply a pair of our Okie Grip barbell collars to be used if he were to make such an attempt here. They take up less room on the bar and 1000 pounds takes a lot of space, plus they stick on tighter than spin-locks (so much for the commercial, now on with the story.) The photo of him setting up is with 903. I once opened with a 903. At the "weigh in" they asked me for my opening attempt and I thought they were asking what time it was : )

Digging out my old copies of PLUSA I see he missed the 903. He did get his first two at 832 and 881 and go on to win with a 2154 total.

That's Brian Smith from London England in the red jacket behind Lee. Brian came over to act as the platform manager at the big meets back then. He did an awesome job of being prepared for the lifters and dealing with them in extreme circumstances when they weren't always at their friendliest. He wore the shades to keep the glare from all the camera flashes from distracting him. He was always great. The guy spotting at the right edge of the picture in the red shirt is Mike. I met him earlier at the Sr. Nationals in 83 and can't remember his last name. He was from some distance away and we talked quite a while.

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    The next series of photos (from the same meet - the 84 World's) is a great sequence of a heavy squat by Dave Jacoby (USA). This was his final attempt (815) after he had successfully completed an 744 and a 788. Although he missed this attempt, he went on to win the 242's with a 2061 total. The elbow in the lower left of the photos is Mike Lambert shooting for Powerlifting USA magazine. You can see a similar photo shot by him on page 12 of his January 1985 edition. (Vol.8 No.6). I think this sequence of photos is the best I have ever seen at showing a great set of spotters doing the 5 man spot to perfection. I have been there on both ends (spotter and lifter) on heavy squats and I've been almost as scared spotting as lifting. The photos are presented as a 3 shot sequence. I then used a special fractile enlarging software (Images by POEM Inc.) to enlarge them to nearer full screen size for those of you with faster connections (or those of you with more patience). These enlargements are awesome.

    In the first photo he is near the bottom of his squat. The 5 man spot team is poised and ready. Brian has his ever present shades on to avoid being distracted by camera flashes.

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    In the second photo you can see he has risen a little, but you can see from the look on his face that things aren't going well. He is slowing down and the spotters are all getting closer, but still waiting. They won't touch the bar till he begins to descend or Brian or the lifter yell for their help. You can see Brian turning his palms up and getting ready to grab the bar from behind.

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    In the third photo you can see the lifter (Jacoby) has began to sink, rotate forward, and swing his elbows up. He stays with the bar (it is almost impossible for spotters to keep the bar from falling to the floor if the lifter does not stay under the bar), you can see Brian's mouth open as he is yelling for help, his hands are now on the bar to help keep it from going forward and all four of the other spotters now have hold of the weight.

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    I then combined the 3 normal sized photos into a single vertical strip for those who wish to see them all at once.

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    The above great spotting sequence was shot with a 4 to 5 frames per second motor drive. This gives you some concept of the attention level needed to spot on a platform like this. I have a couple other photos taken earlier in this same sequence I can add later if anybody wants to see them. Drop us an e-mail if your interested to
    gpolson@strengthtech.com


    The next photo is a great black and white of Brian Smith, the ever vigilant platform director, making sure the bar is loaded properly for a deadlift at the 84 World's. This photo makes use of some of the great resolution available with black and white film.

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    The next two photos come from the 1978 World Olympic Lifting Championships in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. I flew to Harrisburg, rented a car, and drove to Gettysburg. On the way I drove past the nuclear plant reactor at Three-Mile Island shortly before it was to become very famous. I recall seeing the huge hyperbolic shaped cooling towers and stopping to take some photos that did not come out due to the steam vapor hiding the towers from view.

    I also had the opportunity to tour the battlefield site at Gettysburg for my first time, I've since been back twice. Its a large park full of monuments you can drive through and stop and get out to approach the larger ones. Eventually you wind up in the cemetery and see the endless rows of flat headstones and begin to understand the terrible battle which took place there. Its a good experience I would recommend to anyone who has the opportunity.

    At the meet, I was able to personally visit with the legendary Paul Anderson. Earlier, I had sent him a pair of our Okie Grip barbell collars and he had sent me some of his training manuals and photos. I was very inspired by him and his feats of strength when I was growing up. My photo of him signing autographs at this meet shows him to still have massive arms beyond those of mortal men.

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    I also recall seeing Bob Hoffman of York Barbell at the meet as a dignitary. He was the father of the US Olympic lifting movement for many years and was quite advanced in age at this time.

    Photos of the meet program cover and tickets to this meet are in the miscellaneous photos segment.

    This next photo shows the super-heavy weights getting ready for the "A Session". The lifters were divided into two groups by qualifying totals and the "B Session had lifted earlier". Those now on the stand were the strongest of the "Big Men." The platform itself is pretty incredible. You might want to compare it to the 84 World Powerlifting Championship photos (earlier on this page) which had the largest scoreboard ever at a powerlifting meet. It was dwarfed at this 1978 World Olympic Championship Meet. Olympic style lifting being an Olympic event and seriously contested world wide for many years gives the championship meets quite a tradition. They had an incredible platform, scoreboard, flowers, collection of international flags, national anthems, dignitaries, and many famous lifters from the past (including Paul Anderson in the prior photo). ABC was there with major coverage. They had their small commentator (Jim McKay), who looked quite humorous up along side some of these huge individuals, and Bruce Wilhelm as color commentator. Bruce had wrestled here at Oklahoma State in the late 1960's and went on to be the only U.S. lifter to be anywhere near competitive with the rest of the world and he did it as a super-heavy. He finish 5th at the Montreal Olympics in 76. I visited with Bruce a while at this meet and we were able to talk several other times at large power lifting meets in the 1980's.

    A short story about the flowers on the platform, I recall their being a couple of huge bouquets of flowers adding to the grandness of the event. One of the international lifters who went into a wild frenzy before he lifted was storming around the platform screaming and jumping in the air. He grabbed the flowers and started eating them. The crowd went wild in cheering him on.

    At the 76 Olympics the huge Russian Vassily Alexeyev had hoisted 255 kg (561 pounds) in the clean and jerk. There were rumors he would try 600 here. That is him in the platform photo 4th from the right, next to the lifter in the yellow top. Immediately on Alexeyev's right is Sultan Rakhmanov one of the "Russian's in Waiting" for a shot at being the national hero after Alexeyev. During this meet Alexeyev hurt his hip and I only remember him lifting in one other meet afterwards and he had not fully recovered. This meet was the passing of the crown to the next generation.

    The lifters on the far right of the photo in the blue warm-ups are Jerry Hanna and Tom Stock the USA contingent in the super-heavy class.

    Through my lifting experiences, our business, and being involved in many areas of strength sports I have had the opportunity to meet many "big men" including Bruce Wilhelm (Olympic lifter), Rosie Greer (football), JJ, Jimmy Jackson, (collegiate and Olympic wrestler), Bill Kazmier (powerlifter), John Gamble (powerlifter, strength coach), Terry Todd (early day powerlifter), Hugh Cassidy (early day powerlifter), Bill Dunn (past strength coach at Virginia), Bruno Pauletto (thrower, strength coach, and strength equipment supplier), Bruce Baumgartner (Olympic freestyle wrestler), Edward Burke (Olympic hammer thrower), Lou Ferrigno (bodybuilder and Incredible Hulk), and several others. I myself competed as a super-heavy powerlifter. I say this to point out that I have met many of the men considered to be incredibly big by the standards of the world. None of those experiences, before or since this meet, prepared me for seeing Leonoid Zhabotinsky. He was the Russian that had preceded Alexeyev and won the Tokyo (1964) and Mexico City (1968) Olympics. He had weighed in at 359 in Mexico City and was said to now be about 425 pounds in good shape on a 7 foot 4 inch frame. That is him on the platform in the dark blazer as the second official from the left. Look at how he dwarfs all these other huge men on the platform! He was a side judge in part of the earlier competition. I recall him sitting on a folding chair and the back of the chair barely reaching to the top of his slacks. There was an aisle down which people were walking 3 abreast in front of me. When he came by there was only room for him. I have never imagined a human of this size. I spoke of this later to my wrestling friend JJ, himself about 6 foot 7 in. and 340 pounds. He told me of how stunned he was when he meet Andre the Giant (7 ft 4 in and 500 pounds). JJ had similarly met a man bigger than even he could imagine and never forgot it, nor shall I.

    An aside story about JJ, on his way to wrestle as a super-heavy in the Montreal Olympics in 76 (I helped him some with his weight training as he prepared), some idiot grabbed his billfold and ran in an airport. I will try to find the news clips and post that story later. Not a brilliant idea!

    I dug out the program, I still have a lot of programs from the old major meets, and found this session began at 8 p.m. Sunday October 8th 1978. So much for the chatting, here's the photo of the platform for the 1978 Olympic World's with the "big men" on it.

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    I recall that even though this was the "A Session" there was quite a disparity in the quality of the lifters. Several competed and finished their three attempts before the high caliber lifters began. Many Olympic lifters take rather small fixed size jumps (sometimes 5 kg on 2nd and 2 1/2 kg on their 3rd) in their attempts, so where they start determines what their 3rd attempt will be, while powerlifters may take some massive jumps between their attempts. They had all been required to enter an opening attempt at the weigh in, but had just entered a low number as they did not wish to give away their real starting point. As their names began to be called in the clean and jerk each man's coach ran out and yelled in some poor English, "My mana, he a mova upa !!!". I seem to remember them jumping about 75 pounds after everybody else was done before the final few giants began to battle it out with their opening attempts.

    The platform photo above was shot by me from the "cheap seats" with a small pocket 110 camera 17 years ago. I recently used the fractile technology described earlier to blow it up to a respectable size and I think it came out quite well.

    CONTINUED

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