Interview with Bob Moore – Part 3

by Al Myers

Bob Moore squatting at a fundraiser for a young girl with cancer. His efforts raised over $4000.

Al: I know you were involved in several big meet promotions. Could you tell me a little about the meets that you directed.

Bob: I had the opportunity to direct several large, successful USAWA and powerlifting meets, one being the 1992 USAWA National Championships. If I recall correctly, it was one of the first USAWA meets to secure major sponsors (Budweiser, PepsiCo, etc). The site for the meet was a great location, and the local hotel we worked with had a great nightclub for everyone’s enjoyment. Town officials even got involved and handed out the trophies during the awards ceremony. Other meets I directed involved a bench press meet at a nightclub; we had a huge turnout and a lively environment. I also co-promoted several meets with a close friend, Howie Waldron. Knowing that a strong support staff can make or break a meet, we worked with the Warrior Weightlifting Team, which consisted mainly of Coyle Cassidy High School powerlifters. One particular meet was held in a huge grand ballroom – with state of the art equipment, food and drink for the lifters, and huge trophies for the winners. The meet netted thousands of dollars, which in turn was donated to the Warrior team, which enabled them to take the trip to the Teenage National Championships.

Al: I am glad to hear that you will be making a “comeback” into All-Round Weightlifting. The USAWA needs individuals like you involved in our sport. Do you have any views on the future of the USAWA?

Bob: I believe there is tremendous growth potential, maybe more than any other sport, for the USAWA. However, the USAWA and IAWA need to make a concerted effort in bringing the sport to the public. Efforts should be made to recruit more lifters, and to make it more of a mainstream sport. Powerlifting and Olympic lifting are known by just about everyone who sets foot in a gym. When I was training for USAWA events, my training would naturally draw questions and interest from other gym members. When it came to presenting to Corporate Sponsors, I found they loved the idea and eagerly wanted to get involved. How many other sports can you find a 13 year old and an 80 year old competing side by side? A few suggestions would be to have trained persons work in a public relations role to make the equipment, lifts, etc, more widely know by a bigger audience than currently exists. There should be a “core” set of lifts that are familiar to the public; lesser known lifts can be introduced at a later time. Demonstrations prior to powerlifting meets would be both informative and entertaining. More head to head competition would also give the sport a needed boost, whether done by weight class or age. With a great set of records in the books, the USAWA and IAWA need to make sure these records, as well as new ones are challenged in dynamic and creative ways.

Strength sports in general have always been divided by drugs, big egos, and equipment. The future of all strength sports is dependent on the credibility of their respective organizations. The USAWA has major advantages over other strength sports; it does not have any splinter organizations, we have one set of record books, strict drug testing rules are in place and there is no equipment that affects lifts. It is my hope that the USAWA can take advantage of the huge opportunities that lie ahead of the organization.

Al: Bob, thank you very much for doing this interview. As a final question – What advice would you have for a new weightlifter that is interested in All-Round Weightlifting?

Bob: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Weightlifters love to talk! They would love a new set of ears to talk to, don’t be afraid to talk to them. The key to success in any area of your life is knowledge. When I needed help with my back lift I called the king of all back lifters, Paul Anderson. Who better to ask? He turned out to be a wonderful source of information, as well as a nice, kind individual. He also became my role model later in my lifting career, and life. To this day I still donate to the Paul Anderson Youth Home (www.payh.org).

Young lifters should surround themselves with successful, dedicated, positive, knowledgeable lifters; there is no room for doubt or negativity when you are training. Failure is not an option. As weightlifting is an art form, young lifters also need to study the mechanics of the lifts they are going to be performing. Just because someone can lift a lot of weight does not mean they are doing lifts in the most effective way. Minor changes in hand, foot, knee or shoulder position can lead to major gains. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the All-Rounds or strength sports as everyone has different proportions, strengths and weaknesses. My 17 year old brother, Ryan, has broken several long standing teen and high school powerlifting records with techniques that are slightly different than my own. His squat and deadlifts are both well over 600, and his bench is going over 400 now at a bodyweight of 242. His body is different than mine so we made the proper adjustments in his training.

If I may say one more thing before this interview ends, all the talent in the world is of little to no value if you do not use it to help others. Use your God given talents to help others! Go out and make a difference in the world!

Bob Moore lifting a car at a fundraiser sponsored by Venture Sports on Founder's Day in Mansfield, MA. The weight of the car was 3430 pounds!

Interview with Bob Moore – Part 2

by Al Myers

Bob Moore doing a Hip Lift at a benefit fundraiser, in which money was raised to help a young boy with cancer.

Al: I had no idea that you underwent that many physical hardships before your distinguished lifting career. That must have took tremendous courage and willpower. I know Frank had to be a major influence on your All-Round Lifting. Along with Frank, who inspired you to take up weightlifting and compete in the USAWA?

Bob: As a young boy, a weightlifting or strongman competition on Wide World of Sports was a must see. I remember watching Bill Kazmier and Vasili Alexeyev dominate their respective strength sports. After watching those shows I would go outside and lift weights. I recall the time that I was outside lifting and my dear dad said “I don’t care what you want to be in life, just make sure you are the best you can be.” Those words have stuck with me ever since. My dad inspired me to be the best at what I loved, powerlifter and strongman.

Al: What was your favorite All-Round lifts? I know the Zercher Lift had to be one since you still hold the All-Time USAWA record in the Zercher Lift with a lift of 529#.

Bob: The Zercher lift was indeed my favorite. Although my highest official lift was 529, my best gym lift was 585. I had to stop doing them at the gym after dropping that 585 on the floor- the third floor of an old warehouse. I am still in shock that the floor didn’t collapse! My other favorites are the hip lift, hack lift and the straddle lift. I never had the chance to do the back lift in the USAWA but you will see me back on the platform in an attempt to break the all time record late in 2010.

Al: Please tell me about some of your accomplishments in All-Round weightlifting that you are the most proud of.

Bob: When I look back, I am most proud of the opportunities that the All-Round Weightlifting gave me to help others. My talents on the platform eventually led to the creation of my foundation, Lift For Life. While attending a fundraiser for a young boy with cancer, I observed a group of former pro athletes donating their time signing autographs to raise money for the cause. I thought to myself “Your autograph is worth less than the paper its written on, but you do have a talent in weightlifting.” A couple of weeks later there was a home show. The World’s Gym in Foxboro, MA, who was kind enough to sponsor me, had rented booth space at the show. I came up with the idea of getting people to sponsor me for each pound I was able to lift. World’s Gym did a terrific job in getting their members to sponsor me, and we raised over $6,000 for the young boy, who sadly lost his battle with the disease shortly thereafter. However, the idea caught on and I was approached by others to do events for their children. I will never forget the time that I did a 2,000+ pound hip lift to benefit a boy with cancer. The day of the event, I lifted and did several other feats of strength; afterwards, I was exhausted. While packing up for the day, unknown to me, the boy and his mother arrived (she had gone to get him from the hospital to witness the hip lift). I knew I couldn’t let him down, so I loaded the bar back up and did a 2,200+ pound lift (2 reps) for him. That was the best I had done at that time and it was also the most rewarding. Other moments of pride in strength sports include traveling to Russia and winning two gold medals for powerlifting, taking home a bundle of cash at a pro strongman competition in Canada, and of course, winning my division at the IAWA in London.

Interview will be continued tomorrow.

Interview with Bob Moore – Part 1

by Al Myers

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the early pioneers of the USAWA, Bob Moore. Bob competed in the early 1990’s and was one of the top heavyweight USAWA lifters at the time. I have seen his name in the USAWA Record List for years (we’re about in the same class) and was always tremendously impressed with some of his records. Now after this interview I am even more impressed with him. He is a man of great character, and has used his extraordinary strength for several benefit causes. This says a lot about a weightlifter – using his God given ability to help out the less fortunate. Bob had to overcome severe physical hardships in becoming a top level weightlifter which shows the amount of determination and desire that he has in his heart. He was also involved in the USAWA as a Meet Director – thus demonstrating his leadership abilities by giving back lifting opportunities to others in the USAWA. Now lets get on to the Interview!

Bob Moore still holds the top ALL-TIME Zercher Lift in the USAWA, with a lift of 529#, set at the 1992 USAWA National Championships in Walpole, Massachusetts.

Al: Bob, please tell me about yourself and how you got started lifting weights?

Bob: I live in Norton, MA with my wife of 21 years and 2 children, Caroline, 16, and Robert Jr, 11. I am employed by a major Wall Street firm as Senior Vice President of Institutional Sales and Trading. My exposure to lifting weights started when I was about 12 years old. I purchased a plastic set of weights in response to the daily beatings I took at school. I continued to lift in high school until I suffered a serious football injury. The result was a broken back that required a spinal fusion of my L2,L3 and L4 vertebrae. After a couple of years of rehab I was back to playing sports. All that ended after I was in a serious car accident that resulted in the re-breaking of my back, broken bones and hundreds of stitches and plastic surgery to my face. This time I was told my luck had run out and my only goal should be to walk again. Fast forward a few more years and I was walking and started lifting very light weights to strengthen my back. It seemed the more weight I put on the bar the better my back felt. About a year later I entered a local powerlifting meet where I totaled 1,300.

Al: When and why did you get involved with the USAWA?

Bob: I had been enjoying a successful powerlifting career when I met Frank Ciavattone in 1991. Frank invited me over to his house to train together. Knowing his reputation and accomplishments I gladly accepted, and what I learned was a turning point in my lifting career. While I was doing squats, he was hooking up a belt and chain to a bar on the ground then hoisting up a couple of thousand pounds. I was blown away. I racked the weights and asked him if he could teach me how to do it. I was hooked! It was a perfect way to change up my powerlifting workouts. It also taught me not to fear big numbers when I was powerlifting.

Interview will be continued tomorrow.