Monday, May 22, 2023

2023 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation American Challenge NC Regional

Paul Bossi President of the RAW Powerlifting Federation talks about the federation and more in an interview with Michael Neziri

About RAW link


Strict Curl


Squats, Bench Press & Deadlifts

The  event took place at Currituck County High School on the evening of  Friday May 19th and  Saturday May 20th.  This was the same high school my wife Gina graduated from.  Of course I took advantage of being able to stay with her parents and making it a fun weekend.  My wife made me a proud husband as there were several banners, team pictures and relative awards in the hallway of her softball and volleyball championship teams.  My wife was all conference for softball and volleyball and was the MVP for her volleyball team. How cool is that?

This federation promotes a drug free environment without support equipment for competition.  They put on a great event that is challenging as the techniques required will not allow for any muscle substitution.  You have to control the entire lift!

The reason I had decided to participate in this event was because I had plans to compete in the 100% Raw Federation's event in Henderson NC planned in September before my HINSON24 ultramarathon later that month.  I communicated with the federation president Paul Bossi to learn all these accepted techniques.  He invited me to do this event.  It was less than 2 weeks later! YIKES!!

I knew I could drop the weight but having about 2 weeks is not a healthy or easy way to do it.  I was actually on the right track but we were in Charlotte for my son's State Soccer Cup Match on Mother's Day weekend.  I made the risky choice of enjoying Mert's on Saturday night and The Midnight Diner the next morning for breakfast.  I basically gained back 4 pounds that weekend.

Sadly, those 4 pounds gained is about what I needed to lose.  Bless. haha.  Friday morning of the competition, I was 153.3 which was 4.5 pounds over the 148.8 pound weight class I usually compete at.  Anyways, at that point I decided to just hydrate and eat.  I ended up officially weighing in at around 154 pounds which meant I had to bump up to the 165 pound weight class.  It was all a good push to go ahead and get weight down since I was definitely going to stay in the 148.8lb class for September etc. and I was getting fat!

Time To Warm Up!!

Rickey warming up!
Rickey has always been one of the toughest men I know.  We met in 1994 at what was then Pitt County Memorial Hospital and now ECU Health Medical Center.  He recruited me to several work city league sports such as basketball, flag football and softball.  We shared a love for fitness so I even taught him martial arts.  One thing that always stayed consistent was our shared love for weight lifting.  Keep in mind that Rickey is still getting it done and turns 69 in June of 2023.   What an inspiration to stay fit!

This whole strict curl and strict bench press techniques were all new to Rickey and me...  
We went upstairs to warm up with some relatively light weight to get used to the techniques.  We were extremely happy to find out that only our shoulder and hips had to maintain contact with the back board.  We had watched a video and evidently thought we also had to keep our head on the back board.  This makes a difference but being all new we were still trying to get a grasp on things.

Nearing the Start...
This event got top KUDOS for each day starting with a prayer and the National Anthem.  The DJ couple was also excellent!

Paul Bossi going over the rules...
I need to buy this specialty bar!

We had to put in our first attempts for curls and bench... others had to put down first attempts for the other events as well... squat and deadlift;  we definitely needed this chart to guide us!

I ended up winning my division with 110lbs which was less than my current 120 personal record.  I misunderstood all the rules and consequently failed my first attempt after realizing when the bar was loaded that I didn't have the required shirt under my singlet.  You have 1 minute to start after the bar has been announced as loaded.  I was touching the bar when the lifter friendly judges told me I needed a shirt. I darted up the bleachers to find my shirt and raced to put it on and got to the bar seconds before the expired time.  I was rushed and failed the lift due to my hips coming off the back board.   I kept the same ~90lb weight again to be safe for my 2nd attempt and then 3rd attempt I was successful again with 110.

Here is a video of my first strict curl experience along with Paul Bossi explaining the rules etc,

Rickey won 1st in the Strict Curl for his division!

Rickey's first attempt ever doing the strict curl!

This young man had many great lifts from both my weight classes of 148.8 and 165.  Fortunately for me he is a young cat that this old man doesn't have to compete against.

End of Day 1
The Strict Curl

Day 2
All Other Events!

Here I am hanging out with Nick.  Nick is an exceptional lifter in the 132lb weight class.

Time to Warm Up was difficult to figure out.  Fortunately the event directors and volunteers were all weight lifter friendly and did a great job attempting to guide and direct everyone despite being busy.

I was really impressed with the Currituck County High School's equipment.

I warmed up with 135lbs on the bench doing the traditional 21's.  21's are 7 reps from the chest to half Range; 7 reps from half to fully extended range then 7 full range reps.  I did a set at 185 of straight reps too.  Rickey did 135, 185 and 225 to warm up.  We had a hard time timing the warm ups for the strict curl and the bench competitions because we had not been to one of these federation competitions and wasn't really sure how quickly the flights of lifters would progress.  Oh well, it all worked out overall as a learning experience.

Random Competition Pictures

I had a great time being inspired by so many lifters of all ages!  I didn't have any pictures of Rickey and I doing the bench press because we were providing each other lift offs during our bench attempts.  Our family members didn't spectate and we really didn't know too many folks to help.

Rickie Dozier is a beast! We met at one of the Battle of the Brick Competitions by Harry Orr.  Harry plans to host a RAW event this September!  Rickie D benched over 500lbs.. 512? with a pause! YIKES! Impressive!!

Here I am hanging out with Rickie D!  He's a great lifter and even a better person!

This young lady was another amazing athlete.  She is the first female to play football for the Currituck Knights!

This young man killed every lift of every type!


I was blessed to have my family arrive before the award presentation.  They are not really into the weightlifting scene despite all lifting weights too.  Go figure?  I'm always inspired watching others.  

Rickey C and I both won all 3 divisions of our age and gender divisions.  Note bad for our very first 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation Event.  This event was a NC regional event of the American Challenge.  After each regional is complete, we will see our ranking at the National level.  I didn't know this fact until after the event.  I may have pushed for a higher lift in my 3rd attempts.  Either way, I didn't make my usual 148.8(67kg) weight class so I don't expect much from this higher 165class,  The only good thing is I have an advantage of being in the 50-54 age group which typically has less competitors than younger age groups.

Next up is the Henderson open September 9th followed by the World Championships in Virginia Beach in November.  At the end of September I have HINSON24 ultramarathon in Rockingham NC.  As you can imagine, it is difficult to do well in ultras and powerlifting so I accept being okay at both but not great at either.

Who's ready for the next competitions???

Here are a few videos of my training...

Check out my blog and YouTube channel for more crazy adventures!