Starting Out In Powerlifting
What all lifters should understand- my thoughts-


This page displays some of Rich Peters' opinion's, ideas and philosophy of the sport of Powerlifting and Strength Training that were posted on various Forums, Web Sites and Magazine Articles.

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Starting Out In Powerlifting  1.13.13

Positive and Progressive Training

Monster Muscle Interview Oct.-05


Rich Peters' Powerlifting Resume

Rich Peters

  • * Powerlifting Referee since 1976 USPF, IPF, AAU, USAPL and NASA- State, National and IPF Cat 2

  • * Head Coach of Team NASA (3 Champion Teams) vs Team AAU '04

  • * Head Coach of Team NASA (2 Champion Teams) vs Team AAU in '03

  • * NASA Coach of the Year 2003

  • * First Meet Director to allow Women to compete with men

  • * First Meet Director to allow music during meet

  • *First Meet Director to allow and use a Monolift in competition

  • *Designed the final design of the Monolift - Hagerstown, MD

  • * First Meet Director to conduct BP & PL Meets simultaneously

  • * Created "Power Sports" lifting in 1996 - Copyrighted

  • * Founder of the first High School National Championships

  • * Head Coach of 3 IPF World Championship Teams (Sweden, Norway & Luxembourg)

  • * Head Coach of IPF Jr. World Championship Team (Sweden) World Champions

  • *Head Coach of IPF 2nd Place Jr. World Team (Norway) World Runner-ups

  • * Head Coach of 4 IPF World Champion Lifters

  • *Head Coach of Team NASA Champions at the AAU World Push/Pull Championships

  • * Coached Lifters to more than 30 IPF World Records

  • * Coached more than 250 NASA National Champions

  • * Head Coach of 4 Winning USA Teams in Russia

  • * First USA Meet Director to conduct meets  in Russia (Moscow)

  • * 3 Time Strongest Man in Oklahoma Winner at 213 lbs bwt (lightest man in comp)

  • * State Champion Powerlifter (Best Training Lifts 804, 525, 733, 2060) @ 220 lbs

  • * Only Meet Director in history to Conduct 4 consecutive USPF Senior Nationals Championships

  • * Has Promoted more than 1800+ Individual Powerlifting Meets in 38+ years - World Record

  • * Has personally witnessed nearly 1,000,000 Powerlifting Attempts

  • * Worlds Foremost Authority on Spotting and Loading

  • * Executive Committee Member of the USPF for 4 years

  • * Served as USPF National Treasurer

  • * First Meet Director to bring Russian Powerlifting Team to US to compete (Atlanta, GA. 1990)





Posted 2-2-08 NASA Forum

Topic: Rep Indicators & Attempt selections




Posted 8-22-05 NASA Open Forum

Topic: Positive and Progressive Training

    Guys, I want to say that the things that I teach and preach are not something that I simply dreamed up on my own. On the contrary, I  have had to learn these things the hard way like most all lifters have done.

    Unfortunately, I went through what all of you are / have been going through for YEARS, struggling, making excuses, listening to well wishers and imagining what "could" be. I was making excuses for my failures. I literally lived the "would'a, could'a and should'a" powerlifting lifestyle.

    I finally got frustrated enough to start a career in "learning, observing and questioning". I observed everything about "every" lifter for YEARS, about 25 years now. I talked to, observed and questioned every great lifter that I met or who lifted in my meets, Pacifico, Anello, Crain, Thomas, McDonald, Wright, Jacoby, Alexander, Coan and the list could literally go on forever. Most of these great lifters had at least one attribute that I now preach, some two.

    I then studied Anatomy and Kinesiology books. I studied and learned about recovery time, muscle attachments, leverage, tendon strength, ligaments, etc. Then I began an extensive survey, which continues today, of questioned every lifter I can about their success or failure, on the platform, on meet day. I question lifters about their programs leading up to the meet, sets, reps, workouts and recovery time. I have literally become a sponge, soaking up every bit of information I could glean while developing stat's about every situation, circumstance and body type. I also workout all kinds of senario's involving lifters and their programs.

    I believe every serious lifter should have his/her lifting analyzed by an unbiased, independent, knowledgeable coach. This takes guts, an open mind and a true desire to become the BEST he/she can be. Some simply cannot stand to be told they are not perfect. Unfortunately, these lifters will never reach their true potential. How do you know if you are a lifter like this? Easy, if you feel that all of your missed lifts are a problem caused by the Ref's, your equipment caused the problem or someone else is to blame, you need to take a few minutes to think about what you are doing. After several years of failure on the platform, regardless of your total, it should become evident that the problem is YOU! Remember, when you are trying to become the best you can become as a lifter, you are only being judged/compared to yourself. I have personally known lifters with world record totals and lifts that were only lifting at about 80% of their potential. But you can't tell them anything. I always look at a lifter and ask myself, "What CAN and SHOULD this lifter be doing?" This is the KEY question in my mind when I view ANY lifter.

    This all culminates into stats and percentages in my mind and on paper. I have literally studied and analyzed every lift I have seen in the past 25 years. This encompasses about 800,000 attempts over the years. I can literally see every flaw in anyone's lift, at anytime. I dare ANYONE to question me about ANY lift and see if I don't see the flaws, breakdowns and give an adequate evaluation of the last lift and a prognosis for the next attempts. I see things that most can't envision, imagine or understand. Minor, small, minute flaws that send bright red flags up to me in the breakdown of a lift literally in their infant stages on the platform. Flaws that will immediately become MAJOR flaws with an increase of only 5-10 lbs. A minor head bob, a small almost undetectable wobble in the bar at mid thigh in the DL, a very minor mid press correction in the bar path on the BP. All these things indicate a breakdown in form, technique and MOST importantly LEVERAGE!

    I have also studied long and hard about the mental aspects of lifters. I can literally read a lifter's bodily expressions before his attempts. Success or failure is telegraphed through these expressions.

    Talk about equipment all you want, rave about equipment if you wish, promote workout routines to your hearts content, but the bottom line in this sport all boils down to leverage, technique and preparation.

    THIS is what I have learned. NUMBERS don't lie. Stats don't lie. Yes, there are exceptions to everything, BUT the long term, solid percentages are what I preach and teach. These things build success long term. As in anything, such as the lottery, if you bet long enough and invest enough, you will win something. What most don't ask themselves is "Does my investment earn enough of a reward for the amount I have invested?". In almost 99% of cases, the answer is NO.

    Success breeds success. There is no replacement for success in this sport. This breaks down into mental success and physical success. You can't have total success unless you have both of these working together.

    I have actually had lifters tell me, after going 9 for 9, that they felt like they left something on the platform. I let them know that IF you go 9 for 9 you MUST leave something on the platform. The only way to not do this is to gamble on your lifts and struggle with your attempts and hope and pray that your lift is successful or is passed. They fail to ask themselves, "Where will I be IF I miss a heavier attempt?". In this sport you either leave some on the platform or you leave it off your total. The road of this sport is littered with the failed hopes and dreams of lifters that lived by the philosophy of "Would'a, Could'a and Should'a". I call these, pipe dreams.

    The absolute best thing a lifter can do, in preparation for his next training cycle/meet, is go 9 for 9 and "leave some on the platform" by going 9 for 9. WHY? Because it prepares you mentally for the NEXT cycle. You're positive, ambitious and confident in your next training cycle when you go 9 for 9. How positive are you after going 3-9, 4-9 or even 5-9? By missing an attempt in a meet, you have automatically "capped" your lift mentally for your next training cycle and the next meet. Capped that lift and your mental attitude with failure. For your next entire cycle you will be thinking of those "failed" attempts. Remember, success builds success. Positive is always better than negative, always. When you miss attempts at your last meet, during your entire next cycle, you are playing "catch up" both mentally and physically. During training, you are constantly saying and thinking, "That is the lift I missed at the last meet". Is this good? I think not. It is a negative and negative builds negative. Remember, when dealing with your mind, if you feed garbage into it, garbage is what comes out. Positive builds positive.

    When a lifter lies to himself about his form, performance, technique and capabilities, he is only lying to himself and the sad thing is, even he knows he is lying.



Article Published in the October Issue of Monster Muscle Magazine

Rich Peters Interview October, 2005


Interview with Rich Peters for Behind The Lights

MM:  Tell us about you:  what you do for a living, your age, where you live.
Well, this is an easy one. I promote Powerlifting Events. I have been doing meets for nearly 30 years now, since 1976. I have conducted, promoted roughly 1,200 events. I loaded in almost 900 of these. Keep in mind, this is 900 distinctly differnet events in different locations. I have promoted meets for the ADFPA, NASA, USPF and APF over the years.
I am 55 years of age and I have lived in or around Norman, Oklahoma almost all my life.

MM:  Tell us about your personal powerlifting career and history.  How did you get started in the sport?
Well, I started lifting in 1970 as a suppliment to wrestling. I was wrestling for the Oklahoma City Athletic Club in Oklahoma City. We wrestled several universities, military bases and in several tournements.
I started competitive lifting around 1976. I eventuall won the State Championships and then started competing in Strong Man Events. I was fortunate enough to win the Oklahoma Strongest man contest 3 times. My best lifts at 213 lbs bwt were 1,400 lb half Squat, 960 lb partial DL, 86 reps with 110 lbs on Curls, 27 reps with 265 lbs on the BP (with pauses) and Dumb bell presses with 85 lb DB's for 27 Reps.
My best PL'ing lifts in the gym were 804 Squat, 525 BP and 755 DL. In meet best lifts were 733 Squat, 485 bp and 733 DL. I injured my knee severly in a job accident shortly afterwards and had to have complete knee reconstruction. I did come back a year later and did 705 Squat, 485 BP and 677 DL. I injured my shoulder at this same meet when the bar fell out of the bar craddle on the Bench and torn my shoulder up pretty good.
I then decide to promote Drug Free Lifting to give the new lifters and clean lifters an opportunity to enjoy the sport.
I served on the USPF Executive Committee for 4 years as a menber and as the National Treasurer. No, the Treasurer never handled any money, just assisted the President basically as a true V-P. I enjoyed the Organization and some of the wonderful people in it.

MM:  When did you form NASA (Natural Association of Strength Athletes)?  How was it then, compared to now?
I started NASA when I decided that the Drug Free lifter truly needed a platform on with to compete. Something more that just a "Division" in a meet. An Organization where the lifters, regarless of their experience level, could enjoy the sport and earn awards for thos accomplishments. NASA was formed in April of 1990.

MM:  Tell is about your role in the Unified Nationals?  What inspired you to start this? 
I simple think it is time that Powerlifting, as a sport, get's it's act together. We are not going to accomplish anything in the sports world with 30 different fragmented "organizations" doing their own thing. We must unite under one set of rules, one set of guidelines and one set of principles if we are to get the attention of any world organization or assembly.
I made this very same proposal to the USPF when I ran for President of that organization. I realized that there was a major split between Drug Free lifters and non tested lifters. I realized back then that it wouldnt be long until our sport would become even more fragmented than it was at the time. It was an attempt then, as now, to unify everyone as a sport. I simply made this proposal again last year but the leadership and the timing was just right.
Everyone within this coalition is "equal" in presence. No one has the upper hand, no one has more than one vote...In other words, the politic's have been removed. Once the Politics have been removed, what you have remaining are men that are interested in the "SPORT". When we vote, we always vote for what is the best for the Sport. We all must give and take. It's a matter of compromise. Everyone must give up something to gain something. In the process we all gain unity.
This coalition is open for any organization. They simply must agree to the terms of the coalition. There are no "rulers" of the coalition. The Coalition IS the ruler and we must all agree to make it work. This involves compromise. If an organization or group of leaders are set on maintainly "control" over the sport or professing to be "superior" to others, they will not like nor want to be a part of this coalition.
The one thing we all have in common is that we love the sport and we want to see it grow. This is what we always go back to when we question any issue at hand. Is it good for the SPORT? Overall?
Yes, it is my proposal, but that takes back seat to the fact that all the leaders of the other organizations are also equally responsible for this coalition becoming reality. I am merely a member of that coalition.
Look for the Coalition to grow in the future. If an organization would like to become a member, they merely have to agree to the terms of the coalition, the current members must vote on their admission and they MUST be represented at all of our National meets with at least one full team of Drug Free (tested) lifters. You simply cannot be a member and not be a contributor.

MM:  We like your idea of "Genuine Powerlifting" where lifters can only compete in wraps.  Tell us more about it.
It is time that lifters be able to compete and afford to compete with or without Equipment. Many new lifters simply do not want to spend $300-$500 on equipment simply to find out if they like the sport. Many lifters realize that they will never be able to BP 500-600 lbs, nor do they want to.
This Unequipped Nationals, NASA's own "Genuine" Powerlifting Nationals will offer these lifters the opportunity they have desired. We are even starting NEW Amrican Records in specific Divisions for these lifters. This will be the time for the Unequipped lifters to shine. We are truly excited about this division and we are looking forward to the event.

MM:  It is nice to see that NASA has a team that competes in other federations such as the AAU.  How did this come about?
Again, I wanted to show that there is cooperation and a desire within the sport for Unification. It is one thing for a leader to go on a Furm or through a newsletter and say they want Unification. But it is a whole different matter for that leader to bring his lifters to another organization's event and compete, as guests, on their turf, under their rules, for the sake of Unification. Although to this point no other organization has been willing to bring a team to any of our meets, we have still make the effort and shown that NASA can and will compete with anyone at any level.
Our current policy now is that require any organization that wants to compete with us to first show up at our meet and compete with us. We will then reciprocate as we did with the AAU. Unfortunately the AAU could not organizae any teams to reciprocate for various reasons. That did not stop us as we sent approximately 200 entries to 3 of their meets. We were disappointed tin the AAU, but we haven't given up hope. They will be represented at the Unified Nationals (US Powerlifting Championships) with a team who will be coached by Ricky Crain. I have no doubts that Ricky will have a very good AAU Team at the meet. The AAU has some very outstanding lifters and once they become organized they will be a force to reckon with. With Ricky, they have what has been missing, leadership. Bill Deporter, Chairman of the AAU, is doing a great job also.

MM:  There seems to be a resurgence of raw powerlifting.  What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think equipment will be allowed on the platform if powerlifting ever reaches Olympic status?
In my opinion, No, equipment will not be allowed on the platform if this sport were to make it to the Olympic's. I think the cost of equipment plus the lack of controls on equipment will make it prohibitive to some countries and lifters. There is also the argument that all of this equipment so severely inhances the performance of the lifter that it becomes a contest of who can manipulate his equipment the most. This is NOT what the Olympic Committee is looking to add to the Olympics.
I, personally, would like to see Wraps and Belt allowed. I do believe we need equipment makers as sponsors. If we eliminated everything, what reason would these makers have for supporting the sport. I also believe that if we go back to simple Poly Materials that we can use this equipment for a "safety" issue. I have found that after 30 years in this sport that if a lifter is afraid of getting hurt, he should probably get out of sports all together.

MM:  There are a few federations not competing in the Unified Nationals.  Care to comment?
I honestly think a few of these organizations are actually waiting to see if this event happens. Let's face it, some in the past have tried and coalition didn't happen. But this time it will happen. WHY? No one is trying to gain the upper hand. Every member has given up something for the Sport. In return we all gain by unifying the sport. Everyone is treated as an equal and in the process all lifters will be treated as equals, regardless of their organizational status.
I have already noticed that there is much less bickering on the forums between the member coalition's members and those that are members. Why? We are all now on the same team.
We are here when the other organizations decide they want to join. We welcome them all as long as they remember one thing, we are a coalition and what the coalition decides, we do as a coalition. No one is the Boss in other words, we are a Team.

MM:  You have spent considerable time promoting powerlifting and built a federation from ground zero.  What have you learned over the years?  Any advice you can give to other promoters?
Put in your dues, years are needed to become a quality meet director. Never publicly belittle any lifter. Always respect other meet directors and their efforts. Never book meets on top of other directors intentionally. Never bad mouth a meet director on the forums or Internet if you didn't have the nerve to speak to the meet director face to face first. Never betray the confidence of the lifters. Never disclose, in detail, drug testing information publically. This is a very classless act. Try your best to work with other meet directors. Never go to any other meet director's meet and try to recruit his personnel or his lifters. This is another classless act. Never make excuses for a poor performance as a meet director. Accept your responsibilities as a meet director and admit your mistakes. We are all people and we all make mistakes and we all have bad days, as lifters and as meet directors. And above all, the most important thing I can say is, if you don't truly love this sport, you will never become a long term meet director. There is not enough money to keep anyone doing meets in this sport, you must love it to be successful. Lifters can see through a phony very easily.

MM:  Through your personal experiences, do you have any advice to offer beginner lifters?  To seasoned lifters?
Yes. To Beginners-Be patient. The only true secret to this sport is longevity. It takes years to get stronger, not weeks or even months. Stay away from the advanced equipment at all costs. Learn to lift first. Staying healthy is the other key to making it good in this sport. If you can avoid injuries you will make 3 times the improvement that others will make.
Seasoned Lifters- Never forget where you came from. Never act as though you are above the sport, you aren't. Just remember, without the sport of PL'ing, most of todays stars would only be an average guy on the street. All experienced and advanced lifters also need to remember this key point- You are simply one injury away from being lost in yesterday's news. remember that and live life with that thought always in mind. Enjoy the sport, make friends and build relationships that will last past your lifting career. Your records, lifting totals, etc. will be quickly forgotten in todays world. But if you are a good person and a friend to thers, your accomplishments and records will always be remembered, by everyone you made an impression on. I would also remind all veterans to Get Involved in the Sport! Give something back to the sport. The sport owes you NOTHING. As a veteran and a star of the sport, you woe everything to the SPORT. Don't ever forget this and you will always be remembered years after your competition days are over.

MM:  NASA has lots of great lifters.  Is there anyone we should keep our eye on?
Mike Ewoldsen (123), Joe Thompson (220), Casey Brown (148), Mark Woodworth (165), Gary Riechert (165), Richard Kahle (308), Mike Adlemann (SHW), Teale Adelmann(123), Tracy Tucker (132),  Mary Hetzel (148), Heather Fry (114), Heena Patel (114), Heather Hughes (132), Mike Romero (242), Bobby Wilson (242), Mike Romero (242), Justin Ransbottom (272), Terry Perkins (181), Cory Smith (IA), Gary Green (MD), Dale Rhoades (IA), Jason Murphy (165) and the list goes on and on.
All of these lifters have great futures in the sport. Once we start the Umbrella Meets they will only improve as most are tops in their classes and all they need is true competiton to drive them upward.

MM:  What are you future plans?  What will you do to further steer powerlifting in the right direction?
Well, first of all, I don't think any single person has the ability to "steer" the sport anywhere. I think it will take a group effort to make things happen. To accomplish any major changes in the sport all leaders need to check their attitudes and hard headedness at the dorr and learn to compromise. The key for this sport is to work together and that will be very difficult since this entire sport is ego driven. The biggest obsticule in this effort will be over coming all of the ego's.
I personally will continue to suppport the coalition as long as our objectives are being reached. NASA nad myself are totally committed to the success of the coalition. I hope my willingness to meet at the table and talk will be an incentive for others to do the same. We will all benefit from coalition within the sport. We must all get on the same page and then work hard to make it all reality. I will do what I can to accomplish this.

MM:  Anyone you would like to thank?
There are so many people to thank. I would first off like to thank Monster Muscle for their time and effort to let me speak to an audience that I normally do not reach. I would also like to thank Dave Jefferies (USPF), Kieran Kidder (AAPF), Nick Busick and Bill DePorter (AAU) for their efforts so far in getting the Unification effort off the ground.
As far as people that have supported me over the years I must not forget Terry and Robbin Hedrick (TX), Earl Evatt (AZ), Greg & Susan Van Hoose (WV), Danny Black (OK), Robert Shackleford (TX), Gary Scholl (OH), Walt Sword (AZ), Eddie & Melissa Payne (NC), Bobby & Silvia Wilson (NC), Stephanie Gibson (OH), Bo Casto (WV), John Inzer (Inzer Advanced Designs), Tobey & Daryl Johnson (AR), Lindel & Mable Smith (IL), Jim McDermott (CO), Mike & Teale Adelmann (NM), Neil Eddins (TX), Bob Cook (TX), Dale Rhoades (IA) and hundreds of other outstanding people that have supported myself and the principles of NASA Powerlifting.
Above all, I would like to thank my children for being a part of the best sport in the world and allowing me to spend a lifetime doing what I truly love. I would also like to thank God for the wonderful path he has laid before me. The wonderful and lovely people he has placed in my path has been a reward beyond immagination. I would also like to say THANK YOU to the Sport for allowing me to be a small part of it.
Thanks to all the Powerlifters in America.