USAPL Member Ken Ryder
as submitted by his friend Steve Horton
An interesting story surrounding last week's VA Open was the comeback of my training partner and friend, Ken Ryder. Ken was a National USPF champion in the 1980s who basically gave it up when the sacrifices got too great and he was no longer willing to take the risks necessary to move to the next level. He more or less took the 90's off and only trained a few times a year while getting his gym up and running in Manassas, VA. (He now has a few in Northern VA). Well this past summer he turned 40 and got his juices flowing to see what he could still do, especially after seeing how strict the USAPL has become and how awesome the USAPL/IPF meets are represented. He decided to put a good 6 months of training in and see if he could do the 2002 Masters' Nationals coming to VA, and possibly do well enough to represent us in the Worlds competition later this year in Argentina. We started training from scratch in September and he did the VA States as a training meet in December. He only benched, but set a new state record with 470. Well this past weekend he did the VA OPEN to get a full meet in before the Nationals, not having squatted or pulled in a meet in years. He went 635, 505, and 650 in the 275 lb class..running out of gas on a 705 deadlift that was there in training. He's looking at totalling 1900+ in May at the Masters Nationals, which according to this month's Powerlifting USA would put him in the top 3 totals for 2001, drug-free or not. It would also give him the National Deadlift record for 275. That's quite an accomplishment, and one of the things that makes this sport so intriguing. He's approaching lifts he did in his heyday with no support other than discipline, hard work, and mental toughness. To be honest, being lifetime drug-free it's this sort of thing that's helped me sustain and even increase my interest in the sport when I thought it was starting to be taken over by a 'total at any cost' mentality. Last week was my first Powerlifting meet, and I'm excited to be part of the sport and the USAPL. Ken
Ryder has been a major inspiration for me, and I hope more people see what we can do when we set our minds and go for it.
USAPL Member Eric Curry
as submitted by his friend Rick Fowler
Originally written in September of 2000, Eric Curry has been at it again....
Anyone want to try an alternative to the normal, same old boring vactaion?
If so, try going with Eric Curry to next year's Benchpress Nationals to
perform his brand of one the most punishing activities around. What's the
activity? It's called "handing off", or better known as lift-offs. Eric came
all the way from Cleveland, OH to work this year's Benchpress Nationals for
the sole benefit of the lifters. After doing this at the BP Nationals in
1998 & 1999, the lifters raved about Eric's touch and personal care in
handing out to each and every lifter. So, when Dr. Mike Cissell was
contacted by Dr. Larry Miller about having Eric come, Mike was more than
happy to have Eric's services. As a lifter in the meet, this author has to
agree; Eric does a great job giving a smooth handoff. Imagine doing nearly
540 upright rows over a two day period, some being as much as 600 lbs! Talk
about pain and soreness. Eric could also be the posterchild for Advil or
Aleve pain medicine if he pursued it! Eric, get these companies to sponsor
After it was all over, announcer George Huber thanked Eric for all of his
work and the crowd roared with thier approval. Then, just before the awards
were handed out, George called Eric to the platform for a special
presentation. On behalf of the Missouri USAPL, Dr. Mike Cissell presented
Eric with one of the custom made best lifter awards the his son Steve had
made. Talk about a guy just beaming! Eric was shining, and rightfully so. He
put in quite an effort and we appreciated every bit of it. Hats of to Eric
Update April 2002
Well the United States held the first IPF meet in our country since the mid
1980's, and from the sounds of everyone raving, it went very well. Johnny
Graham had all the bells and whistles, including handoff specialist Eric
Eric has increasingly become the USAPL's best handoff person and is
a routine participant in helping at each Benchpress Nationals. This year
he took it a step further and helped out at the Masters Benchpress World
Championships in Kileen, TX. Since the meet, the lifters just can't say
enough good things about Eric and his personal touch when it comes to giving
the bar to the lifters. According to Colin Rhodes, "Eric is the best lift
off man in the world, as far as I've experienced.... I think we should start
a fund right now to take him to Luxumbourg with us!!!." Regina Hackney
added, "They don't come any better than Eric." Others agreed. "Yes, I
agree entirely, Eric is one of a kind!! His energy level & memory amaze me.
I don't know how he stays so focused and gives each lifter exactly what they
want plus verbal motivation for entire lifting sessions", Bruce Swanson
recently stated. Along with the lifters going on about Eric, he received
quite an ovation at the World Masters Benchpress banquet!
Hats off to Eric Curry for such great hands on work! It appears
that his efforts are very well received by the lifters!
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