^^^ From Left To Right, Hardcore Powerlifting’s Texas Stage Manager, Ed Brown Jr. and Metroflex Events CEO, Brian Dobson ^^^
As the owner and organiser for The Hardcore Powerlifting Federation, I would like to once again thank each and every person who attended, who competed in and who helped to fund our two Pro Am shows this year. Since 2001 we’ve been pushing the message that powerlifting HAS to get their sport into larger scale venues and in front of bigger audiences, if powerlifting’s ever going to become a commercial hit, and CraigProductions.com and MetroflexEvents.com allowed us to run our shows in two of the biggest convention centers in two of America’s nicest cities (The Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue Seattle, Washington and NRG Park in Houston, Texas.) Just renting one of these locations for a weekend can cost in excess of $60,000 and that’s just for getting to use the empty building space! There’s no way that our league, or any other powerlifting league in the world, can come up with that type of coin and so I hope lifting fans remember The NPC Emerald Cup Expo and The NPC Branch Warren Classic when they’re considering which bodybuilding expos to travel to this upcoming year and beyond, whether Hardcore Powerlifting runs a stage there or not. These show promoters have already gone way out of their way to help us with getting barbell lifting in front of thousands of new potential fans.
^^^ From Left To Right, NPC MC Kim Kong Farrison, Elaine Craig & Brad Craig Of Emerald Cup Expo Fame. ^^^
It’s never been a secret that I don’t personally have a lot of gold in my vault. For fifteen years now, I’ve been able to promote and produce events that were ONLY made possible through the generosity of those who’ve been more successful than me. The individuals and companies I’ve gotten to work with have literally flowed hundreds of thousands of dollars into the sport of powerlifting since I made my first advertising sales call for Powermag Magazine back in the Spring of 2001. My wealthier associates and I have put out newsstand publications, produced cable TV competitions and ran exciting challenges from coast to coast and it’s been my joy to have put in a lot of the “Sweat equity” while they covered the large stack of bills. Hardcore Powerlifting still has a number of 2016 highlight videos to release and we’ll be putting those out over the next few months, so please stay tuned to our IRON MAN Magazine blog (which you’re currently reading) and to our official video channel at www.YouTube.com/SeanHCPL We’re considering putting on a show or two next year, but our main focus for 2017 is repairing and upgrading our current equipment armoury and the adding of new items which will make our 2018 season be on a level that’s closer to the lofty vision we first described back when I was writing for Monster Muscle and for BodyTalk Magazine in the mid 2000s.
^^^ IFBB Pro, Branch Warren, Standing Alongside Our 2016 Branch Warren Classic Expo “Double Titan” Stage ^^^
As previously stated, we’ve been helped out by a good number of generous benefactors. We make it a point to show our gratitude via adding in sponsor credits to every highlight video and by getting our partners’ business logos in front of as many people in their target market as possible. In regards to our 2016 season, there were some key players who came through for us and whose assistance made it possible to run some events that we didn’t have the means to pay for on our own. IFBB pro, Branch Warren ( www.TheBranchWarren.com ) personally covered over 50% of our annual operation costs! Adding to that cash flow, Tracy Ruiz & SymbolicMuscle.com put up $2,000 in cash prize money so we could have a grand to award to each of our overall winners.
One of our main barriers to running shows outside of The Pacific Northwest is the freight and transportation fees. The Ivanko Barbell Company stepped up and donated a complete, calibrated, competition kilo weight set, which we’ve now got in storage down in Texas for our future use. And Wes Zunker and Texas Strength Systems drove a flat bed truck to and from the Houston show, so we were able to borrow every piece of high quality gear that we needed to construct the stage and the warm-up area (all at no cost to us!) And BOAD Apparel sponsored our spotter teams in both cities in addition to making the trips to Seattle and to Houston to assist with the running of our platforms. Not to be forgotten, additional sponsors included Fred “Dr. Squat” Hatfield and The I.S.S.A., Josh Bryant and JoshStrength.com , Swole O’Clock wrist watches, Rob Sims Photography and www.IndustrialStrengthGym.com
^^^ Garrett “Gunz” Griffin flew up to The Emerald Cup from New Orleans to become our overall men’s middleweight champion. His 505 pound raw bench, combined with a 640 pound deadlift at just 217.8 pounds body weight (same day weigh-in) earned him $1,000 in cash from SymbolicMuscle.com ^^^
^^^ “Princess” Erin Stanton showed that hard work pays off by breaking her own 2015 records in the bench and deadlift for our Amazon Division. She raw benched a 230 and she pulled 475 pounds off the floor, while weighing in 14 pounds lighter than at her previous outing. Those two new records put $200 in her pocket, thanks to Mr. Branch Warren. ^^^
^^^ In our most petite power division, Routh “Mini Beast” Thach set a new bench record (170 pounds) and a new deadlift record (300 pounds) in our 120 pound division and she was rewarded with $200 from Branch Warren, for taking those two records out. ^^^
^^^ Stefan Oesterle made the trip across the Atlantic, from Germany, to set our 200 division deadlift record back in 2010 and that record had stood for six years. Andrew Schendel finally surpassed that marker by pulling 680 pounds at 192.2 pounds body weight and so he scored a new wrist watch from Swole O’Clock and $100 cash from Branch Warren. ^^^
^^^ Usually, when our records get broken, it’s only by a few pounds. But Portland’s Rebecca Roberts made one of the strongest statements we’ve seen by strict raw benching 285 pounds at just 178.6 pounds of body weight, which destroyed the previous record by 115 pounds! Now there’s no question that Ms. Roberts is the most superior barbell pusher we’ve had on stage, weighing less than 180 pounds on contest day. And this new record got her a $100 bill from Branch Warren. ^^^
^^^ The final prize winner at The Emerald Cup was Portland’s Lisa Hogan (pictured bottom right.) Lisa raw deadlifted 315 pounds at only 136.8 pounds body weight and that earned her a full year of Jiu Jitsu training at www.IndustrialStrengthGym.com . Ms. Hogan had already been attending that gym, as and Olympic Weightlifting student and grappler and so it was very cool of the owners to waive a year of her martial arts membership dues when Lisa became the lightest woman to pull 315 pounds off the floor on that day. I myself train Muay Thai and Western Boxing at this gym and I highly recommend it to anyone on Portland’s NW side, who wants to sport fight or to lift competitively. www.IndustrialBJJ.com for more information. ^^^
^^^ Though he wasn’t physically prepared to max out, Dominick “Mount” Matrana was still determined to make an impressive showing in Houston and he won the overall by way of a 540 pound bench and a 799 pound deadlift in our superheavyweight division. This 2 lift total netted him $1,000 in cash from Symbolic Muscle and his 380 pound frame was a great crowd draw for our corner of the main hall. ^^^
^^^ Orlando Green’s been the second, absolute strongest deadlifter Hardcore Powerlifting’s ever had on stage for years now, only being surpassed by Iceland’s superheavyweight, Benni Magnusson. Green ripped his hand open on his first attempt of the day, but that didn’t stop him from posting an 815 pound tug at 250 pounds body weight and so he won $250 in cash from IFBB pro, Branch Warren. ^^^
^^^ James Strickland got one step closer to his goal of raw benching 600 pounds on a Hardcore Powerlifting stage with a quality push of 556.7 pounds at 272 pounds of body weight. Strickland was the biggest bencher at our Texas outing and so Branch Warren rewarded him with $250 in cash for his winning ways. ^^^
^^^ Making a show of strength for the powerlifting ladies of The South, Stefanie Daniels tied her own 140 division bench record and she set a new raw deadlifting record with a 380.3 pound loaded barbell. That was good for $100 in cash from expo host, Branch Warren. Watch for Ms. Daniels to be stepping on to a Texas NPC physique stage for the first time, later on this month. ^^^
It’s my hope that 2017 will be a year for improving, repairing and for rebuilding. There’s a possibility that we’ll run a show or two, but our primary focus will be paying for new stage effects and for additional staging equipment. A lot of things around our office and in our storage garage are getting banged up and so we need to invest our working capital on fixing, replacing and on acquiring new gear. I’m also returning to nightclub work and promotions, which was my focus back in the 1990s and I’m hoping that that will further increase my discretionary income and some of that money will also flow into our company coffers for future Hardcore Powerlifting events. Rest assured that we are NOT “Walking off into the sunset” and this blog and our video channel will stay active the whole time.
I turned 44 years of age this Fall and so I’ve personally reduced my number of weight lifting days and I’m allowing myself to become immersed in my kickboxing training while my body’s still able to withstand the rounds of hard sparring with other light heavyweight and heavyweight hitters. One of the wonderful things about powerlifting is that a person can still compete in the sport, even into their late senior years. With martial arts, that’s rarely the case and so I’m burning that torch while I’m still young and durable enough to absorb kicks, punches and knees to the guts. A secret to a good death is living a fulfilling life and so kickboxing’s a realm in which I’m going to be spending a lot of time so I don’t have another regret later on down the road. If we do run a powerlifting promotion in 2017, the readers of this forum will be the first to hear about it. Otherwise, we’ll continue to bring you some powerlifting and strength training updates, we’ve got a lot of exciting highlight videos to release over the next few months and we’ll have our showbiz suit back on in 2018 and with a whole new bag of tricks to display.